What Did the Greeks Call “Tongue Twisters?”

Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria 1.1.37

“It would not be out of place to demand from children of this age, in order to exercise the mouth and make speech more expressive, that they rapidly pronounce certain names and verses of a rather contrived difficulty, owing to the concatenation of many syllables which clash together and produce a sort of rocky sound. The Greeks called these χαλινοί (bridles).

Non alienum fuerit exigere ab his aetatibus, quo sit absolutius os et expressior sermo, ut nomina quaedam versusque adfectatae difficultatis ex pluribus et asperrime coeuntibus inter se syllabis catenatos et veluti confragosos quam citatissime volvant (χαλινοί Graece vocantur)

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