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What Am I Riddles

These “What Am I Riddles” are fun brain teasers you can share with friends, kids, teachers, classmates, parents — really, just about anyone who enjoys a good challenge.

The standard format for these is to provide a description of something and follow up with a simple question, “What am I?” Can you guess?


  • You can hold me in your left hand but not in your right? What am I?
    Your right elbow.
  • I have a straight back and sharp teeth to cut objects. What am I?
    A saw.
  • I have a metal roof and a glass wall; I burn and burn but never fall. What am I?
    A lantern.
Best What Am I Riddles.

Best What Am I Riddles

Here we go. Be alert and stay up on your toes.

Silence - What am I riddles.

1.) I will disappear every time you say my name. What am I?

What disappears when someone talks? Well, I guess it’s easy in retrospect. But, this What Am I riddle is a traditional favorite.

A screw - what am I riddles.

2.) I like to twirl my body but keep my head up high. After I go in, everything becomes tight. What am I?
A screw.

Here’s a prime example of personification – giving human-like qualities to an inanimate object like a screw.

A skull - what am I riddles.

3.) I don’t have eyes, but once I did see. Once I had thoughts, but now I’m white and empty. What am I?
A skull.

Ok, this What Am I riddle is a little dark, and yet, it still works.

A newspaper - What am I riddles.

4.) I am black, white, and red all over. What am I?
A newspaper.

This is a classic and might be the most famous of the What Am I riddles.


Great puzzles and brainteasers.

5.) I am the beginning of everything, the end of time and space, the beginning of every end, and the end of every place. What am I?
The letter “E.”

This is the type of What Am I riddle that incorporates spelling into the solution. Tip for everyone: when all else fails, consider the spelling of the clue and see if that directs you to the correct solution.

Challenging puzzles.

6.) I have a straight back and sharp teeth to cut objects. What am I?
A saw.

As we’ve seen, personification is another common tactic for What Am I riddles’ clues. A back and sharp teeth sound like a person, but it’s really just a tool.

Teeth - what am I riddles.

7.) I’m white, perfect for cutting and grinding. For most animals, I am a useful tool. What am I?

Most of us think of teeth for chewing. So, you have to expand your definition to include cutting and grinding. What Am I riddles that will sometimes push the edges a bit?

What Am I Riddles.

Good What Am I Riddles For Kids

  1. I’m light as a feather, yet the strongest man can’t hold me for more than 5 minutes. What am I?
  2. I am a seed with three letters in my name. Take away the last two, and I still sound the same. What am I?
    A pea.
  3. I get wet when drying. I get dirty when wiping. What am I?
    A towel.
  4. I give milk and have a horn, but I’m not a cow? Who am I?
    A milk truck.
  5. I am bought by the yard but worn by the foot. What am I?
  6. I am heavy forward, but backward I’m not. What am I?
  7. I have two bodies joined together as one. When standing still. I ran and ran. What am I?
    An hourglass.
  8. I have a neck and no head, two arms but no hands. I’m with you to school. I’m with you to work. What am I?
    A shirt.
  9. I have one eye but cannot see. What am I?
    A needle.

See 65 mind puzzles for teens.

Riddles For Kids

  1. To throw it, you’ll need a hand. It never goes far though it might not land. What am I?
    A punch.
  2. You can catch me but cannot throw me. What am I?
    A cold.
  3. I have three eyes and only one leg. Obey me, or you will be sorry. What am I?
    A traffic light.
  4. My neighbor makes mistakes. I get rid of them. Who am I?
    An eraser.
  5. I have fangs and enjoy piecing holes with a single bite. What am I?
    A stapler.
  6. Two in a corner, 1 in a room, 0 in a house, but 1 in a shelter. What am I?
    The letter R.
  7. I’m the son of water, but when I return to the water, I die. Who am I?
  8. Say my name, and I disappear. What am I?
  9. I am not alive, but I grow, I don’t have lungs, but I need air. I don’t have a mouth, but water kills me. What am I?
  10. I have a face but no eyes and hands but no arms. What am I?
    A clock.

Easy Puzzlers

  1. I am always around you but often forgotten. I am pure and clean most time but occasionally rotten. What am I?
    The air.
  2. I am invisible. Who am I?
    A ghost.
  3. People walk on my day and night. I never sleep. Who am I?
    A sidewalk.
  4. The more you take away from me, the bigger I shall get. What am I?
    A hole.
  5. The more you take of me, the more you leave behind. What am I?
    A footstep.
  6. I can be cracked, made, told, and played. What am I?
    A joke.
  7. Tear me off and scratch my head. What was once red is now black. What am I?
    A match.


  1. Each morning, I appear to lie at your feet; all day, I will follow you no matter how fast you run, Yet, I nearly perish in the midday sun. What am I?
    A shadow.
  2. I shrink smaller every time I take a bath. What am I?
  3. As a state in America, I am round on both sides and high in the middle. What am I?
  4. When you take away the whole from me, there is always some left. What am I?
  5. I am the only thing that places today before yesterday. What am I?
  6. You are my brother, but I am not your brother. Who am I?
    I am your sister.
  7. If I drink, I die. If I eat, I am fine. What am I?
    A fire.
  8. Yesterday, I wasn’t here; today, I am. Tomorrow I’ll be absent, too; perhaps I’ll see you once a week! Who am I?
    I am today.

Hard What Am I Riddles

  1. When I left, I didn’t know where I was going; when I got there, I didn’t know where I was. And, when I returned, I didn’t know where I had been. Who was I?
    Christopher Columbus.
  2. There are four brothers: One can run but never wearies; one can eat but never gets full; one of them can drink but never quenches its thirst; and one of them can sing any type of song. Who are these brothers?
    Water, fire, earth, and wind.
  3. I make you weak at the worst of times, but I keep you safe in the end. You will sweat in my presence, even as you grow cold. I dwell with the weak and easily the brave, but without me, who could tell the difference.? Who am I?
  4. I am a mother from a family of eight. Spins around all day despite my weight. I had a ninth sibling before finding out it was fake. What am I?
    The earth.
  5. Marking mortal privation when what’s under me is in place.
    An enduring summation inscribed on my face.
    What am I?
    A tombstone.
  6. I am sneaky and pesky, and when I seek the truth, it often gets me in trouble. Who am I?

Challenging Puzzles

  1. I was not born, but I am here.
    I have no name, but I am given many.
    And I was made by science and life.
    What am I?
    A clone.
  2. I am a word. I become longer when the third letter is removed. What am I?
  3. You saw me where I never was and where I could not be. And yet within that very place, my face you often see. What am I?
    A reflection.
  4. I live in the dark until you need me. What am I?
    A potato
  5. I’m tall when I’m young and short when I’m old. What am I?
    A candle.
  6. Skinny, I am fast, fat, slow, but I’ll still delight you from your eyes to your nose. What am I?
    A candle (If you didn’t get after #11, you probably never would.)
Guess What I Am.

Who Am I Game

  1. I have grown from darkness but shine with a pale light. Very round I am and always a lady’s delight. What am I?
    A pearl.
  2. I am good at concealing what’s real and hiding what’s true. Sometimes, I bring out the courage in you! What am I?
  3. I can never be stolen from you. Everyone owns me. Some have more. Some have less. What am I?
  4. I have a metal roof and a glass wall; I burn and burn but never fall. What am I?
    A lantern.
  5. I am a portal to another world that you cannot enter. Only you can see me, but I can’t see you. What am I?
  6. I can fly, but I have no wings. I can cry, but I have no eyes. Wherever I go, darkness follows me. What am I?
    A cloud.
  7. I take off my clothes when you put on your clothes. I put on my clothes when you take off your clothes. What am I?
    A clothes hanger.

Solve the Mystery

  1. I prevent escape or intrusion,
    Yet I also preserve and protect,
    Thieves use me to get money,
    From me, they can often collect.
    I’m the practice of a sport, but not on the lawn,
    Your friends may get upset when I’m sat upon.
    What am I?
    A fence.
  2. I build up castles. I tear down mountains. And, I make some men blind. I help others to see. What am I?
  3. I have hundreds of legs, but I can only lean,
    You make me feel dirty so you can feel clean.
    What am I?
    A broom.
  4. Taken from a mine and then locked up in a wooden case. Never released but is used by students every day. What am I?
Riddle Game.

What Am I: Food Riddles

  1. Although I may have eyes, I cannot see. I have a round brown face with lots of acne. What am I?
    A potato.
  2. I wear a green jacket on the outside, a white jacket as a second layer, and a red jacket inside. I am pregnant with a lot of babies. What am I?
    A watermelon.
  3. Born in the ocean and white as snow. When I fall back to the water, I disappear without a trace. What am I?
  4. I am gentle enough to soothe your skin, light enough to fly in the sky, strong enough to crack rocks. What am I?
  5. I am a seed three letters in the name,
    Take away two, and I sound quite the same.
    What am I?
    A pea.

Guess Who I Am Riddles

  1. I have married many but have never been married myself. Guess Who I Am?
    A priest.
  2. Although glory, but not at my best. Power will fall to me finally when the man-made me is dead. Guess Who I Am?
    A prince.
  3. Some people like me, some people don’t. I can be good but bad sometimes, too. Guess Who I Am?
  4. If it’s information you seek, come and see me.
    If it’s pairs of letters you need, I have consecutively three.
    Guess Who I Am?
    A bookkeeper.
  5. Not my sister nor my brother but still the child of my mother and father. Guess Who I Am?
  6. Brothers and sisters have I none, but that man’s father is my father’s son. Guess Who I Am?
    The son of the speaker.

Guessing Game: Who Am I?

  1. I took away one-fourth of humankind. Guess Who I Am?
    Cain (who dealt with Abel)
  2. I dig out tiny caves and store gold and silver in them. I also build bridges of silver and make crowns of gold. They are the smallest you could imagine. Sooner or later, everybody needs my help, yet many people are afraid to help them. Guess Who I Am?
    A dentist.
  3. I have two step-sisters who make me work all day long and won’t let me go to the ball. Guess Who I Am?
  4. I am someone you don’t know. Guess Who I Am?
    A stranger to you.
  5. A father’s child, a mother’s child, yet no one’s son. Guess Who I Am?
    The daughter.
  6. 500 begins it; 500 ends it. A 5 in the middle is seen. The first of all letters, the first of all people, give me this famous king. You have to know your Roman numerals to get this. Guess Who I Am?
    King David.

Clever What Am I Riddles

  1. I have an eye but cannot see. I am stronger and faster than any man alive but have no limbs. Who am I?
    A hurricane.
  2. I may only be given but never bought. Sinners seek me, but saints do not. What am I?
  3. The more you have me, the less you see. Shine a light on me, and I flea. What am I?
  4. My first two letters say my name.
    My last letter asks a question.
    What I embrace, I destroy.
    What am I?
  5. Some try to hide, some try to delay, but time will show we always will meet. Try as you might to guess my name, I promise you’ll know when I claim you. Who am I?
  6. With three eyes and as black as night, I frequently knock down ten men with a single strike! What am I?
    A bowling ball.
  7. If you allow me to live, I shall not live long, but if you kill me, I shall stay longer. Who am I?
    A candle.
  8. Whoever made me doesn’t want me; Whoever bought me doesn’t need me. And, whoever uses me doesn’t know me. What am I?
    A coffin.
  9. I have a mouth but cannot drink,
    And have a head but cannot think.
    I have a tongue but not a lung.
    Some are held, and some are hung.
    What am I?
    A Bell.

Little What Am I Riddles

  1. I am the type of room you can not enter or leave. Raise from the ground below. I could be poisonous or a delicious treat. What am I?
    A mushroom.
  2. I can be long or short. I can be grown or bought. And I can be painted or left bare. My tip can be round or square. (one word) What am I?
  3. I go up and never come down, no matter how hard you wish. As I get higher, more wrinkles crawl onto the face. What am I?
  4. I am lighter than air, but a hundred people cannot lift me. Careful, I am fragile. What am I?
    A bubble.
  5. At the sound of me, men may dream
    Or stamp their feet,
    At the sound of me, women may laugh
    Or sometimes weep. Who am I?
  6. I turn everything around, but I cannot move. When you see me, you see you! What am I?
    A mirror.
  7. I will dance, I will sing, but I do not have life. Who am I?

Short Riddles

  1. I dance on one foot and know only one shape. Someone with the same name as me is very good with directions. What am I?
    A compass.
  2. I flex my jaws when you use me,
    My only purpose is to damage,
    Yet I’m used by small children.
    What am I?
  3. I am 5 letter word. If all five letters are available, I am a talent in you. If you remove my first letter, I will die. But, if you remove my first two letters, I will be sick. Who am I?
  4. Poor people have it. Rich people need it. If you eat it, you die. What is it?

Animal Challenges: What Am I Riddles

  1. I live in the canopy. I rarely touch the forest floor. And I hang upside down all day. I move as slowly as a tortoise. My hair is brown and green. I eat tree leaves. Who am I?
    A 3-toed sloth.
  2. I wiggle and cannot see, sometimes underground and sometimes on a tree. I really don’t want to be on a hook, and I become a person when combined with a book. What am I?
    A worm.
  3. I can wake you in the morning, but I require no electricity or winding.
    I can also provide you with a meal, but only once.
    What am I?
    A rooster.
  4. If you carried my burden, you would be crushed.
    Though not rich, I leave a trail of silver.
    What am I?
    A snail.
  5. I have four legs but no tail. Usually, I am heard only at night. Who am I?
    A frog.
  6. I jump when I walk and sit when I stand. What am I?
  7. I am not very commonly found, only in some rainforests. I have an odd number of toes. I’m sluggish and hang upside down. What am I?
    A sloth.

These riddles can be great ways of using time effectively, especially when you just have a few minutes.

If a math lesson ends ahead of schedule, pull out a few riddles and engage your students. Have a few minutes to wait before lunch? Try a few more.

Funny Riddles

  1. A man who was outside in the rain without an umbrella or hat didn’t get a single hair on his head wet. Why?
    He was bald.
  2. What kind of room has no doors or windows?
    A mushroom.
  3. David’s parents have three sons: Snap, Crackle, and what’s the name of the third son?
  4. You can hold me in your left hand but not in your right? What am I?
    Your right elbow.
  5. Where would you take a sick boat?
    To the dock.
  6. If an electric train is traveling south, then which way is the smoke going?
    There is no smoke—it’s an electric train.
  7. A bus driver goes the wrong way down a one-way street. He passes the cops, but they don’t stop him. Why?
    He was walking.

Simple Riddles

  1. What has many keys but can’t open a single lock?
    A piano.
  2. You walk into a room that contains a match, a kerosene lamp, a candle, and a fireplace. What would you light first?
    The match.
  3. You see me once in June, twice in November, and not at all in May. What am I?
    The letter “e”.
  4. Which is heavier: a ton of bricks or a ton of feathers?
    Neither—they both weigh a ton.
  5. What kind of tree can you carry in your hand?
    A palm.

Difficult Riddles

  1. I have branches but no fruit, trunk, or leaves. What am I?
    A bank.
  2. There’s a one-story house in which everything is yellow. Yellow walls, yellow doors, yellow furniture. What color are the stairs?
    There aren’t any—it’s a one-story house.
  3. What five-letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?
  4. You’ll find me in Mercury, Earth, Mars, and Jupiter, but not in Venus or Neptune. What am I?
    The letter “R.”
  5. A man looks at a painting in a museum and says, “Brothers and sisters, I have none, but that man’s father is my father’s son.” Who is in the painting?
    The man’s son.
  6. If your uncle’s sister is not your aunt, what relation is she to you?
    Your mother.

Teacher Tips For Using What Am I Riddles

One other suggestion when you have more time. Walk through the structure of these questions and the common techniques employed to try to solve these puzzles.

Teach students elements like identifying keywords from each question. Caution them about editing out possible answers too soon. Encourage them to consider answers that are counter to stereotypical beliefs. Encourage everyone to participate – there’s no such thing as a bad guess.

Along the way, remember one of the best things about brain teasers like this: they bring out the fun in learning!

By Michael O’Halloran

Michael is the founder and editor of Greeting Card Poet.


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