Many people believe that an alliteration must contain at least two words starting with the same letter. This is not true. It can also be two or more words that start with the same sound.
For example, “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,” “She sells seashells by the sea-shore,” and “Jerry Jordan’s jelly jar and jam” are alliterations. They are tongue twisters, too. The repetitions of sounds make alliteration examples easy to identify.
What is alliteration? Alliteration is a type of figurative language that consists of two words that are next to each other or close to each other and start with the same letter or two words adjacent or close to each other that start with the same consonant sound.
Although, folks sometimes refer to the repetition of initial vowel sounds as being alliteration examples as well.
Any word in a sentence can begin an alliteration. The word does not have to start at the beginning of the sentence. Alliteration is a literary device that is typically used to be witty, thought-provoking, or evocative.
Modern writers tend to use the same letter alliterations, while traditional and classic writers tended to use alliterations that start with the same consonant sound.
Not every word in a sentence needs to be alliterative; propositions, pronouns, and other small illustrative words can also be part of the sentence. For example, “Good as gold” and “Phoebe and Fred went on a date” are both alliteration examples.
1.) She sells seashells by the seashore.
2.) How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? He would chuck, he would, as much as he could, and chuck as much wood as a woodchuck would if a woodchuck could chuck wood.
3.) Round the rough and rugged rock, the ragged rascal rudely ran.
4.) Nine nimble noblemen nibbling nuts.
5.) Quizzical quiz, kiss me quick.
6.) Betty bought a bit of butter. But, the butter Betty bought was bitter. So, Betty bought better butter, and it was better than the butter Betty bought before.
7.) Ingenious iguanas improvising an intricate impromptu on impossibly-impractical instruments.
8.) The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick. (considered possibly the world’s most difficult tongue twister.)
9.) One-One was a racehorse.
Two-Two was one, too.
When One-One won one race,
Two-Two won one, too.
Say That Three Times Fast
10.) A proper cup of coffee from a proper copper coffee pot.
11.) Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair. (And) Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy, was he?
12.) If you notice this notice, you will notice that this notice is not worth noticing.
13.) 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?
14.) These thousand tricky tongue twisters trip thrillingly off the tongue.
15.) If a dog chews shoes, whose shoes does he choose?
16.) Two tiny timid toads trying to trot to Tarrytown.
17.) Of all the felt I ever felt,
I never felt a piece of felt
which felt as fine as that felt felt
when first I felt that felt hat’s felt.
18.) I wish to wish the wish you wish to wish,
but if you wish the wish the witch wishes,
I won’t wish the wish you wish to wish.
19.) Truly rural.
20.) I wish to wash my Irish wristwatch.
21.) Silly Sally swiftly shooed seven silly sheep.
22.) Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager managing an imaginary menagerie.
23.) Eve eats eagerly elegant Easter eggs.
24.) I slit the sheet, the sheet I slit, and on the slitted sheet, I sit.
25.) What a to-do to die today, At a minute or two to two things distinctly hard to say, And harder still to do. For they’ll beat a tattoo at twenty to two, A rat-tat-tat-Tat-tat-tat-Tat-tat-tat-too, And the dragon will come when he hears the drum, At a minute or two to two today At a minute or two to two.
26.) He threw three free throws.
That’s Easy for You To Say
27.) She sees cheese.
28.) Which witch is which?
29.) Which wristwatches are Swiss wristwatches?
30.) I thought a thought. But the thought I thought wasn’t the thought I thought I thought.
If the thought I thought I thought had been the thought I thought, I wouldn’t have thought so much.
31.) Four fine fresh fish for you.
32.) I like New York, unique New York, I like unique New York.
33.) Nine nice night nurses nursing nicely.
34.) Six sticky skeletons.
35.) I thought, I thought of thinking of thanking you.
36.) How can a clam cram in a clean cream can?
37.) Three thin thinkers thinking thick thoughtful thoughts.
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Alliteration in Advertising and Brands
Brands and companies love to use alliteration in advertising headlines, tag lines, and company brand names. Here is a collection of ads, company and product names, and tag lines that use alliteration.
38.) Chuck E. Cheese.
39.) Borders Books.
40.) Johnson & Johnson.
41.) Bed, Bath & Beyond.
42.) Weight Watchers.
43.) American Apparel.
44.) Ted Talks.
45.) Dunkin’ Donuts.
46.) Market Basket.
47.) Golds Gym.
49.) Blue Bunny Ice Cream.
50.) Foster’s Freeze.
51.) American Airlines.
52.) Krispy Kreme.
53.) Circuit City.
56.) Ferarri (This is a single-word alliteration with multiple syllables making up an alliteration within the word.)
59.) Polo (by Ralph Lauren).
60.) Blue Bottle Coffee.
61.) Caribou Coffee.
62.) Best Buy.
64.) Range Rover.
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Consumer Brands Alliteration
65.) Baby Back Ribs.
66.) Tonka Toys.
67.) Captain Crunch.
68.) Hot Pocket.
70.) Muscle Milk.
71.) Tetley Tea.
72.) Burt’s Bees.
74.) Shake ‘n Bake.
75.) Banana Boat.
76.) Minute Maid.
77.) Speed Stick.
78.) Tasty Treats.
79.) Grey Goose.
80.) Planter’s Peanuts.
81.) Made to make your mouth water.
82.) You’ll never put a better bit of butter on your knife.
Country Life Butter
83.) Don’t Dream it. Drive it.
84.) Welcome to the World Wide of Wow.
85.) The Daily Diary of the American Dream.
The Wall Street Journal
86.) The best four by four by far.
88.) Greyhound going great.
89.) Intel Inside.
90.) Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.
A literary device found frequently in classic written works is alliteration. It has been used in poems, novels, plays, songs, and more. It can be a great way to add emphasis to a point or description and help the reader picture characters and scenes in their minds. Here are some examples of alliterations in literature:
91.) While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
Edgar Allan Poe
92.) The sibilant sermons of the snake as she discoursed upon the disposition of my sinner’s soul seemed ceaseless.
93.) The Soul selects her own Society – Then – shuts the Door.
95.) So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
96.) His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.
97.) My father brought to conversations a cavernous capacity for caring that dismayed strangers.
98.) She had no room for gaiety and ease. She had spent the golden time in grudging it going.
99.) From forth the fatal loins of these two foes, A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life.
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
100.) But four hours later, the fish was still swimming steadily out to sea, towing the skiff, and the old man was still braced solidly with the line across his back.
101.) … his appearance: something displeasing, something downright detestable. I never saw a man I so disliked, and yet I scarce know why. He must be deformed somewhere.
Robert Louis Stevenson
102.) …the first unknown phantom in the other world; neither of these can feel stranger and stronger emotions than that man does, who for the first time finds himself pulling into the charmed, churned circle of the hunted Sperm Whale.
103.) A moist young moon hung above the mist of a neighboring meadow.
104.) The fair breeze blew, the water foam flew, and the furrow followed free; we were the first that ever burst into that silent sea.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
105.) Behemoth biggest born of earth upheaved His vastness: Fleeced the flocks and bleating rose, As plants: Ambiguous between sea and land The river horse and scaly crocodile.
106.) But on a May morning on Malvern hills, A marvel befell me, of fairy methought.
I was weary with wandering and went me to rest Under a broad bank by a brook’s side,
And as I lay and leaned over and looked into the waters, I fell into a sleep, for it sounded so merry.”
Alliteration for Kids
There are a lot of alliterations that appeal to children, from candy to cartoon characters to simple alliterations that are easy for kids to try and say. Here are some samples of alliterations that just might appeal to your kids.
107.) Betty had a baby boy.
108.) Gary grumpily gathered the garbage.
109.) The big, bad bear scared all the baby bunnies in the bushes.
110.) I had to hurry home, where grandma was waiting for her waffles.
111.) Please put away your paints and practice the piano.
112.) Three grey geese in a green field grazing. Grey were the geese, and green was the grazing.
113.) The boy buzzed around as busy as a bee.
114.) Shut the shutters before the banging sound makes you shudder.
116.) Round and round, she ran until she realized she was running round and round.
117.) Little Larry likes licking the sticky lollipops.
118.) Bake a big cake with lots of butter.
119.) Kim came to help us cut out a colorful kite for Chris.
120.) Paula’s prancing pony out-performed all the others.
121.) Those lazy lizards are lying like lumps in the leaves.
122.) Come and clean the chaos in your closet.
Kids love candy. So, it stands to reason that some of our favorite candies have alliterative names. They’re catching, so you don’t forget their names at your next stop at the candy shop.
123.) Laffy Taffy.
124.) Bon Bon.
128.) Peppermint Patty.
129.) Tart ‘n Tinys.
132.) Reese’s Pieces.
So, it only stands to reason that if kids enjoy alliteration, they would want their favorite cartoon characters’ names with alliterations as well:
134.) Petunia Pig.
135.) Jane Jetson.
136.) Mickey Mouse.
137.) Minnie Mouse.
138.) Bugs Bunny.
139.) Road Runner.
140.) Woody Woodpecker.
141.) Quick raw McGraw.
142.) Donald Duck.
143.) Spongebob Squarepants.
144.) Porky Pig.
145.) Mighty Mouse.
146.) Fred Flinstone.
147.) Daffy Duck.
Some of our favorite stars would have names that are alliterations; here is a list of a few:
148.) Tiny Tim.
149.) Nick Nolte.
150.) Emilio Estevez.
151.) Ryan Reynolds.
152.) Charlie Chaplin.
153.) Lindsay Lohan.
154.) Danny DeVito.
155.) Lucy Liu.
156.) Sylvester Stallone.
157.) Robert Redford.
158.) Paula Patton.
159.) Amy Adams.
160.) Michael Moore.
161.) Jessie James.
162.) Kevin Kline.
163.) Mike Myers.
164.) Steven Seagal.
165.) Chris Columbus.
166.) Kris Kristofferson.
167.) Malcolm McDowell.
168.) Many mumbling mice are making midnight music in the moonlight.
169.) 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.
Edgar Allan Poe – The Raven
170.) I saw an ol’ gnome. Take a gknock at a gnat. Who was gnibbling the gnose of his gnu.
171.) I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations.
Martin Luther King
172.) The fair breeze blow, the white foam flew. The furrow followed free.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Rime of the Ancient Mariner
173.) They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.
174.) From forth the fatal loins of these two foes; A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life.
Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare
175.) I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
Martin Luther King
176.) My friend foolishly forgot to take the first photo in France.
177.) Even elephants enjoy eating eggs every day.
178.) Betty Botter bought some butter, but she said, this 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.
Alliteration makes readers more likely to notice your text. They can set the tone for the text, create a light and fun mood, and make it more memorable. If you’re asked to remember a line from a kids’ book, a Dr. Seuss offering might come to mind. Why? Because he used alliteration generously, e.g. “Auntie Annie’s Alligator” or “Four fluffy feathers on a Fiffer-feffer-feff.” It makes lines catchy, and most kids love it!
We defined it, described it, and detailed 167 examples of alliteration.
Now, it’s your job to put your knowledge to use. If you work with children, have a brainstorming session and see if everyone can come up with some funny ones. Sometimes it helps to narrow the playing field by having them focus on a single topic like animals. The “Hungry Hippos,” “The Curious Cat,” or “Leaping Lizards.” Start with two-word and challenge your group to three-word and four-word examples or more.
Try them out in daily conversations, texts, emails, and writings. Techniques like alliteration are best used sparingly in most situations. You don’t want your reader to rear back with the repetition and revolt, do you?
By Tim Moodie
OK, so here’s an alliteration: Tim Moodie is a terrible teacher. Well, that’s not technically true (another alliteration). In the only two classes I ever taught, I did just fine. But, what I really enjoyed being was the class clown, and I’ve spent my life trying to recapture that. By doing things like writing the script for the Wayne’s World Video Game, writing funny radio and TV spots, or ghost-writing jokes for an author’s book tour.
You’re on our All About Alliteration page.
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