This one was apparently passed on by a Jesuit priest in California who was taught it many decades previously by an old Shakespearean actor who gave private elocution lessons in San Francisco:
Amidst the mists and frosts the coldest,
With wrists the barest and heart the boldest,
He stuck his fists into posts the oldest,
And still insisted there were ghosts on Sixth Street.
The first three (below) were reported by people who’d auditioned, worked in radio or had therapy for speech impediments. The tongue twisters on the second list are old, but still known today or until the recent past. Peter Piper was already old in the 17th century, when it was first collected in a book. The third set are newer. I remember some of them from acting classes, especially Peggy Babcock, the lengthy version of Peter Piper, and “red leather yellow leather”. That last one isn’t in the book, although clearly it’s known in the USA or from there because I distinctly recall a nervous Don Draper having a little red leather yellow leather moment in an episode of Mad Men. For those who don’t know already, you shouldn’t feel smug if you can say any of these once, slowly… although some people are shocked to find they can’t even do that. The idea is that you say them fast, repeatedly. Some of them are easy to say once but inexplicably difficult to say three or four times in a row, “black bug’s blood” for example.
Get your tongues ready. No, not you Miley. We’ve all seen enough of your tongue, I think.
1. Three gray geese in the green grass grazing: Gray were the geese and green was the grass.
The sun shines on shop signs.
Fanny Finch fried five floundering fish for Francis Fowler’s father.
2. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers; Did Peter Piper pick a peck of pickled peppers? If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
A cryptic cricket critic.
Shave a cedar shingle thin.
Pure food for four poor mules.
3. Preshrunk shirts.
Tillie’s twin sweater set.
Six twin-screw cruisers.
Old oily Ollie oils old oily autos.
UPDATE/PS: Now you’re all warmed up and ready for some real thespianism, darling, why don’t you try reading aloud The Chaos by Gerard Noist Trenité? It’s almost entirely composed from the most baffling or inexplicable irregularities of the English language, and also contains some good pronunciation and enunciation challenges if that’s your bag. There’s another connection to the subject of this post in the fact that it was first written in the 1920s as part of a manual on losing a “foreign” accent, “foreign” in this case being Dutch. Of course the learner would only be losing one accent to gain another, even though many native speakers throughout the Anglophone world somehow remain convinced they have no accent while all other native English speakers and foreigners obviously have an accent.