She Sells Seashells, also known as Sally Sells Seashells is an old tongue twister made popular by Terry Sullivan in 1909. The phrase was a popular tongue twister even before that, “She Sells Seashells” appearing in the 1 December 1871 edition of “The Family Herald; a Domestic Magazine of Useful Information and Amusement”.
It is often claimed that Terry Sullivan was inspired by renowned paleontologist and fossil collector, Mary Anning but there is no evidence to support this hypothesis.
“She Sells Seashells” Lyrics
She sells seashells by the seashore,
The shells she sells are seashells, I’m sure.
So if she sells seashells on the seashore,
Then I’m sure she sells seashore shells.
Various modern versions exist that are based on this song, often “she” is replaced by “Sally”. One popular modern tongue twister can be found below:
Sally sells seashells by the seashore.
She sells seashells on the seashell shore.
The seashells she sells are seashore shells,
Of that I’m sure.
She sells seashells by the seashore.
She hopes she will sell all her seashells soon.
If neither he sells seashells
Nor she sells seashells,
Who shall sell seashells?
Shall seashells be sold?