Alliteration refers to when two words in the same sentence start with the same sound. Usually, those two words will start with the same letter, though that isn’t always the case.
Sometimes, the two words will have the same letter not only at the beginning of the words but multiple times throughout each word. At other times, there will be multiple words that start with the same sound, not only two.
Using alliteration can be a fun and easy way to help your kids learn about different letters in the English alphabet and the sounds they make.
Alliteration examples are often funny and witty. At other times, they are poetic and moody.
You can use alliteration to draw a mental picture, set the scene, or simply add a twist of fun to a brand or character name.
Kids sometimes find alliteration examples challenging to pronounce, which is where the fun is. It’s a great way to get them to practice their reading.
There are a few types of alliteration examples that I’m going to cover in this article. They include tongue twisters, poems, short phrases, names of characters, rhymes, titles of movies and books, and more.
Here are the 60 best alliteration examples for kids.
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Let’s start with some tongue twisters, which use alliteration to scramble your brain and get your tongue all confused.
One of the most popular tongue twisters that children all across the English-speaking world grow up with is “Peter Piper.”
The poem was published back in 1813 in England, in a book called “Peter Piper’s Practical Principles of Plain and Perfect Pronunciation.”
That alone is an example of alliteration! The book had one tongue-twister for every letter of the alphabet.
The tongue-twister goes like this:
“Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked;
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?”
Note that there are numerous variations of the rhyme, though this is one of the more common ones.
It’s quite difficult for both children and adults to complete the rhyme quickly without stumbling over the words. Try it yourself!
Who exactly was Peter Piper? We’re not sure if he was a real person, but some historians think it might have referred to 18th-century French botanist Pierre Poivre.
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Here’s another popular tongue twister that you may remember from your own childhood. Unlike the previous tongue twister, it’s American in origin, not British.
In this alliteration, it’s the “w” that’s being repeated many times throughout the sentence. The “ch” sound and the “ood” sound are also repeated.
The rhyme consists of one question, and it goes like this:
“How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”
There is an answer to that, and it is a tongue twister as well:
“A woodchuck would chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.”
Well, what’s the real answer? In case you were wondering, a woodchuck could chuck around 700 pounds of wood, according to researchers at Cornell University.
Yes, some scientists actually got together to figure out the answer to this age-old question!
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Another popular tongue twister that uses alliteration talks about a girl selling seashells by the seashore. Here, the “s” and “sh” sounds are repeated multiple times throughout the rhyme.
When you think about it phonetically, though, the “s” and “sh” are not too different from each other either. Think about where your tongue goes and what you need to do with your mouth when making the two sounds, and you’ll realize they’re actually really close.
That’s what makes this particular tongue twister even more difficult.
There are various variations of this popular rhyme, but here’s one popular one:
“Sally sells seashells by the seashore.
She sells seashells on the seashell shore.
The seashells she sells are seashore shells,
Of that I’m sure.”
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Here’s another tongue twister that uses both the “s” and “sh” sounds liberally. Try saying it fast three times – you’ll get better with practice!
“Silly Sally swiftly shooed seven silly sheep.
The seven silly sheep Silly Sally shooed
These sheep shouldn’t sleep in a shack;
sheep should sleep in a shed.”
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The last long tongue twister on our list talks about a girl buying some butter, with heavy and repeated usage of the “b” sound.
Try saying this fast!
“Betty Botter bought some butter
But she said the butter’s bitter,
“If I put it in my batter
It will make my batter bitter,
But a bit of better butter
Will make my batter better.”
You will notice there is also a lot of repeated usage of the “t” sound. In fact, there isn’t much difference between words like butter, batter, better, bitter, and Botter, with only one vowel differentiating these words.
Let’s move on to short alliteration examples. The following are random phrases and short tongue twisters.
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I’m not sure why skeletons would be sticky, but trying saying “six sticky skeletons” 5-10 times in a row without stopping. It’s probably harder than you think, and that’s due to the alliteration in the tongue twister.
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This one actually makes sense. Yes, zebras run zigzag, and they run pretty fast.
There’s a reason for that, though – running zigzag helps them evade their predators. There are plenty of wild animals that would love to eat zebras, including lions, cheetahs, and hyenas.
That helps confuse their attackers, which kind of makes up for the fact that zebras, while being fast runners, are not nearly as fast as cheetahs.
This short tongue twister talks about grape growers, and it uses the “g” sound repeatedly. Here is how it goes:
“The great Greek grape growers grow great Greek Grapes.”
Wine has been produced in Greece for a really long time, and there are many varieties of grapes growing in Greece.
The following alliterations are quite tricky. Not only do the words start with the same letter, but they sound exactly the same!
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These three words sound exactly the same, although they are spelled differently from each other. In that sense, it is different from the following alliteration examples coming up next, which can be quite confusing at first.
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This one is really tricky. It’s an alliteration, because all the words start with “b,” and it also has repeated usage of the “f” and “l” sounds.
Here’s the full sentence:
“Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.”
At first glance, the sentence makes no sense at all. It might surprise you to learn that the sentence is actually grammatically correct!
So, what’s up? What does it mean?
To understand that, we have to understand the different meanings of the word buffalo:
- Buffalo is an animal indigenous to Africa and Asia.
- Buffalo is a city in New York, USA. It didn’t get its name from the animal – a lot of people confuse the American bison with the buffalo, but they’re not the same.
- Buffalo is a verb that means to bully.
So, let’s go over the sentence again:
Buffalo buffalo (the animals called buffalo from the city of Buffalo) Buffalo buffalo buffalo (which other buffalo from the city of Buffalo bully) buffalo Buffalo buffalo (are themselves bullying buffalo from the city of Buffalo).
Here’s something even more interesting: Any sentence with the word buffalo repeated many times, regardless of the number of times, is grammatically correct in one way or another.
For example, the one-word sentence, “Buffalo!”, is a command to bully. “Buffalo buffalo,” on the other hand, can be a command to bully some buffalo (the animal).
However, there needs to be at least two words in the sentence for it to be an alliteration.
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Yes, this sentence is also grammatically correct. Let’s see it again, this time with the appropriate words in uppercase:
“Will, will Will will Will Will’s will?”
Let’s break it down:
Will (addressing a person called Will – let’s call him Will #1), will Will (would a second guy called Will – let’s call him Will #2) will Will (bequeath to a third dude called Will – Will #3) Will’s will (the will of Will #2)?
This sentence is similar to the buffalo buffalo sentence. There’s a place in Poland called Police, and police is both a noun that refers to law enforcement officers and a verb that refers to the act of enforcing the law.
Here’s the sentence again:
“Police police Police police police police Police police.”
And here is the sentence broken down:
Police police (law enforcement from Police, Poland), Police police police (which other officers from Police, Poland, are policing) police Police police (are themselves policing other law enforcement officers from Police, Poland).
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This sentence has multiple alliterations. It’s quite confusing, but there are multiple ways to interpret it and be grammatically correct, as long as you know where to put pronunciation marks!
Here is one way to break it down:
That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is that it? It is.
And here is another way to break it down:
That that is, is that that is. Not is not. Is that it? It is.
Whew! These last few alliterations can be a bit tough, especially for young children.
While older children will enjoy figuring out how those sentences are grammatically correct, let’s continue with some simpler alliteration examples for younger kids.
Popular children’s characters often have alliterations in their names to make them more memorable and fun.
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Mickey Mouse is one of America’s most famous cartoon characters. Created by Walt Disney, children have been growing up watching Mickey Mouse since the 1920s.
Of course, the name Mickey was chosen because it starts with an “m,” just like the word mouse.
In addition, there is Minnie Mouse, Mickey’s lifelong partner and girlfriend. There is also Mortimer Mouse, Minnie’s uncle and one of Mickey’s top enemies.
For kids who love Walt Disney, those are some excellent alliteration examples.
Another beloved children’s character is Donald Duck. Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse are friends; they are both characters that Walt Disney created.
Donald Duck’s girlfriend is Daisy Duck, who is also related to his family through marriage. There’s another alliteration example right there, but there are others:
- Dewey Duck
- Della Duck
- Dudley D. Duck
Many people get confused between all these ducks, but Daffy Duck was created by Warner Bros, not Walt Disney. Walt Disney never ended up buying Warner Bros (despite wanting to), and they’re separate companies.
Peppa Pig is a British TV series for kids. However, it’s also very popular in the United States.
It features Peppa, the main character, and some other pigs.
Another American classic is Bugs Bunny. He’s a bunny who was first created in the 1930s, and many of our older readers will remember him from their childhoods.
Mrs. Bugs Bunny is another alliteration example.
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Okay, so this isn’t an actual character but rather the name of a popular television series.
Regardless of your age and where you grew up in the world, you’ve probably grown up with Elmo, Bert, Grover, and some other Sesame Street characters, including the beloved Cookie Monster.
Big Bird is one of the most lovable Sesame Street characters, and his name is a great alliteration example as well.
I can’t talk about alliteration examples in popular children’s characters without mentioning SpongeBob SquarePants.
It’s the name of a television series featuring a main character of the same name. SpongeBob is a talking and walking sponge, with feet and a face.
First released in 1999, the show is still as popular as ever and going strong. It was recently renewed for yet another season, and children watch it on channels such as Hulu and YouTube TV.
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There are many nursery rhymes that not only contain rhymes but alliterations as well. The following rhymes aren’t necessarily tongue twisters, which is why I did not include them earlier.
This famous nursery rhyme by “Mother Goose” talks about two children going up the hill to get some water. Their names are Jack and Jill, both starting with the letter “j.”
Here is how it goes:
“Jack and Jill went up the hill,
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.”
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Baa Baa Black Sheep is another famous nursery rhyme by “Mother Goose” that will bring back sweet childhood memories. It’s been around since the 1700s, at least, and it originated in England.
Here is how it goes:
“Baa Baa Black Sheep
Have you any wool?
Yes, sir, yes, sir,
Three bags full;
One for the master,
One for the dame,
And one for the little girl and boy
Who lives down the lane.
Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes, sir, yes, sir,
Three bags full.”
In this poem, the “b” is repeated a few times in the opening sentence.
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Another British classic that has been around for a couple of hundred years, at the minimum, is one about a “muffin man” who lived on a street called Drury Lane.
It’s likely that the nursery rhyme was based on a real person: a man living on Drury Lane in London who went around to houses in the area selling muffins. We’re talking about English muffins, by the way, which you may have tried if you’ve ever had an English breakfast.
Here is how it goes:
“Do you know the muffin man,
The muffin man, the muffin man.
Do you know the muffin man,
Who lives on Drury Lane?
Yes, I know the muffin man,
The muffin man, the muffin man,
Yes, I know the muffin man,
Who lives on Drury Lane.”
For older kids, especially those in love with poetry, you may want to introduce some poems written by some of the greatest poets of all time, like Edgar Allan Poe.
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Edgar Allan Poe, who lived from 1809 to 1949, is considered one of America’s greatest poets. He wrote many short stories, tales, and poems, including “The Tell-Tale Heart.”
One of his poems is titled, “The Raven.” The poem is quite long, so I’m only going to include some excerpts which contain alliterations:
“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door…”
“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before…”
“Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore…”
You can see the full text here, from the Poetry Foundation.
There are multiple alliterations in the poem:
- “Weak and weary”
- “Nodded, nearly napping”
- “Deep into that darkness”
- “Doubting, dreaming dreams”
- “Flung… Flirt and flutter”
Alliteration is used often in poetry. In fact, it’s one of the most common effects in poetry, along with rhyme, repetition, and assonance.
The Raven is a perfect example you can show kids studying poetry of how poets use alliteration to set the mood and draw a picture with words.
There are many other poems with alliterations. I won’t quote all of them, but I’ll list a few that you can check out for yourself:
- Piers Plowman, by William Langland
- Sir Garaine and the Green Knight, by Yvor Winters
- Beowulf (written in Old English)
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There are also many foods that contain alliterations. Your kid may be a fan of some of these, so let’s explore them.
- Banana bread: Banana bread is sweet bread that contains banana as a core ingredient. It’s more like a cake than bread.
- Pineapple pizza: Pineapple pizza can be quite controversial, with many remaining adamant that pineapple has no place on pizza. Whether you love it or hate it, pineapple pizza is an excellent example of alliteration in food.
- Bean burrito: Burritos are a type of wrap in Mexican cuisine, which is one of the most popular foreign cuisines in the United States. It is also popular in the American twist of Mexican cuisine, Tex-Mex. Bean burritos are simply burritos that contain beans, along with other ingredients.
- Foo foo: If you’ve ever tried West African cuisine, which is present in several major US cities, you’ve likely come across foo foo, also spelled fu-fu. It’s a dough made of ground plantains and cassava, and it’s eaten together with soup or stews.
- Coca-Cola: This is more of a drink than a food, but it is still an alliteration.
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Theodore Seuss Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, was an American writer, artist, and cartoonist. He is known for his dozens of children’s books, such as “The Cat in the Hat,” which often use witty illustrations and humorous rhymes.
Dr. Seuss used a lot of alliteration in his writings. Let’s look at some of them:
- Hen in a hat, hooray, hooray.
- A yawning yellow yak. Young Yolanda Yorgenson is yelling on his back.
- David Donald Doo dreamed a dozen doughnuts and a duck-dog, too.
- Luke’s duck likes lakes. Luke Luck licks lakes.
- But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready, you see.
Let’s finish off our list with some random and sometimes humorous alliteration examples!
- Crunchy cucumbers
- Grumpy grandpa
- Taco Tuesday
- Krispy Kreme
- Gray goose
- Heavy hedgehog
- Cute cat
- Ugly ogre
- Lucky Luciano
- Special sister
- Terrified tiger
- Mythical monster
- Cracked computer
- Little laptop
- Big bugs and bad beetles
- Giant giraffe
- Dandy dandelion
- Country classics
- Gritty graffiti
- Annoying apple
- Ferocious fire
- Hopelessly happy
- Ten tiny toes
- Five fluffy fingers
- Mama mia
- Peter Parker
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I’ve included multiple examples, ranging from difficult tongue twisters to interesting poems to random phrases.
Regardless of your kid’s age and grade, some of these alliteration examples will catch their attention.
Benjamin Levin is a digital marketing professional with 4+ years of experience with inbound and outbound marketing. He helps small businesses reach their content creation, social media marketing, email marketing, and paid advertising goals. His hobbies include reading and traveling.