Betty Botter

Better Botter is a tough tongue-twister that was originally written in 1899 by American poet Carolyn Wells. It was initially titled “the Butter Betty Bought” and over the coming decades, it was added to the Mother Goose collection of nursery rhymes. 

The rhyme is particularly difficult to say due to its use of alliteration, which focuses on the “b” and “t” consonants. The wording of the rhyme is unchanged, but there are different versions in the circulation of varying lengths. 

The goal of Betty Botter was the same as any other tongue-twister, encouraging children to play and have fun with language. Sometimes this tongue twister is played as a game between children, to see who can say it the most times without making a mistake due to the similarity of the words. It is also used to the perfect language and improve intonation in children who may have trouble with speech.  

Betty Botter is an old nursery rhyme and one of the first known tongue twisters. An analysis of versions of the rhyme reveals no significant differences in text. It is a fun and humorous tongue twister, the key element being alliteration. Reading the text alone, or reciting it aloud, however, gives no indication of what the batter is for or what the character of Betty Botter is like, other than she is female.

Betty Botter Lyrics

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.
So she bought a bit of butter
Better than her bitter butter,
And she put it in her batter
And the batter was not bitter.
So t’was better Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter.

Betty Botter Music Sheet