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Appendix for reading

Idioms, rhymes, tongue-twisters

Idioms

1 As wet as a fish – as dry as a bone.

2As live as a bird – as dead as a stone.

3As plump as a partridge – as poor as a rat.

4 As strong as a horse – as weak as a cat.

5 As white as a lily – as black as coal.

6 As heavy as lead – as light as a feather.

7 As steady as time – as uncertain as weather.

8 As hot as an oven – as cold as a frog.

9 As gay as a lark – as sick as a dog.

10 As fierce as a tiger – as mild as a dove.

11 As stiff as a poker – as limp as a glove.

12 As blind as a bat – as deaf as a post.

13 As cool as a cucumber – as warm as a toast.

14 As beautiful as a day - as ugly as sin.

 



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Rhymes

1 An apple a day keeps the doctor away;
Apple in the morning - doctor's warning;
Roast apple at night - starves the doctor outright;
Eat an apple going to bed - knock the doctor on the head;
Three each day, seven days a week - ruddy apple, ruddy cheek

 



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2 Little Polly Flinders sat among the cinders

Warming her pretty little toes;

Her mother came and caught her

And whipped her little daughter

For spoiling her nice new clothes.

 



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3 Swan, swan over the lake,

Swim, swan, swim;

Swan, swan back again,

Well swum, swan!

 



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4 For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

 



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5 A wise old owl lived in an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why can't we all be like that wise old bird?

 



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6 Three wise men of Gotham / gɒtəm/

Went to sea in a bowl;

And if the bowl had been stronger,

My song would have been longer.

 



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7 A fly and a flea flew into a flue.

Said the fly, “Let us flee!”, said the flea, “Let us fly!”

So they flew through a flaw in the flue.

 



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8 The Inky Binky Spider climbed up the kitchen wall.
Swoosh! Swoosh! went the fan and made the spider fall.

Off went the fan, no longer did it blow,
So the Inky Binky Spider back up the wall did go.

The Inky Binky Spider went up the water spout,

Down came the rain and washed the spider out.

Out came the sun that dried up all the rain

And the Inky Binky Spider climbed up the spout again.

 



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9 A centipede was happy quite, Until a frog in fun said,

“Pray, which leg comes after which?”

This raised her mind to such a pitch,

She lay distracted in the ditch

Considering how to run.

(Ogden Nash)

 



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10 Old King Cole was a merry old soul
and a merry old soul was he
He called for his pipe and he called for his bowl
and he called for his fiddlers three.
And every fiddler had a fine fiddle

and a very fine fiddle had he
Old King Cole was a merry old soul
and a merry old soul was he.

 



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11 Now what do you think

Of little Jack Jingle?

Before he was married

He used to live single.

 



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12 A tutor who tooted the flute

Tried to teach two young tutors to toot;

Said the two to the tutor,

“ Is it harder to toot,

Or to tutor two tutors to toot? “

 



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13 A swinging young monkey named Fred

Let go and fell smack on his head;

It gives him no pain,

Except that his brain

Sees yellow bananas as red.

 



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14 Tommy Trot, a man of law,

Sold his bed and lay upon straw;

Sold his straw and slept on grass

To buy his wife a looking-glass.

 



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15 Oh the Grand Old Duke of York
He had ten thousand men
He marched them up to the top of the hill
And he marched them down again
When they were up, they were up
And when they were down, they were down
But when they were only half way up
They were neither up nor down

 



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16 Three young rats with black felt hats,

Three young ducks with white straw flats,

Three young dogs with curling tails,

Three young cats with demi-veils

Went out to walk with two young pigs

In satin vests and sorrel wigs;

But suddenly it chanced to rain,

And so they all went home again.

 



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17 Once upon a time there were three little foxes,

Who didn’t wear stockings, and they didn’t wear sockses.

But they all had handkerchiefs to blow their noses,

And they kept their handkerchiefs in cardboard boxes.

 



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18 Little Bo peep has lost her sheep
And doesn't know where to find them.
Leave them alone and they'll come home,
Bringing their tails behind them.

Little Bo peep fell fast asleep
And dreamt she heard them bleating,
But when she awoke, she found it a joke,
For they were all still fleeting.

Then up she took her little crook
Determined for to find them.
She found them indeed,

but it made her heart bleed,
For they left their tails behind them.

 

It happened one day, as Bo peep did stray
Into a meadow hard by,
There she espied their tails side by side
All hung on a tree to dry.
She heaved a sigh, and wiped her eye,
And over the hillocks went rambling,
And tried what she could,
As a shepherdess should,
To tack again each to its lambkin.

 



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An extract from «Five green bottles» by Ray Jenkings. | 

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