Nursery rhymes are fun because of the rhythm, alliterations, and rhyme schemes. Betty Botter is a tongue-twister from the Mother Goose collection of rhymes for children. Since tongue twisters are so much fun to say aloud, people came up with multiple versions of the same.
Parents use the rhyme at home to teach kids to understand the English language and its pronunciation. Tongue twisters are perfect for language training and can be customized as needed. Adults and kids love repeating sentences and trying to get them right. Did you win a tongue-twister contest as a kid? We sure did.
Read on for more information.
Carolyn Wells’ Version:
Betty Botta bought some butter;
“But,” said she, “this butter’s bitter!
If I put it in my batter
It will make my batter bitter.
But a bit o’ better butter
Will but make my batter better.”
Then she bought a bit o’ butter
Better than the bitter butter,
Made her bitter batter better.
So ’twas better Betty Botta
Bought a bit o’ better butter.
Betty Botter bought a bit of butter
but the bit of butter was bitter
so Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter
to make the bit of bitter butter better.
Download the printable PDF file of Betty Botter from this link.
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Watch this adorable animation of the rhyme:
Origins and History
The original version of Betty Botter Bought Butter was written by Carolyn Wells, an American author of 170 books. She wrote children’s books and poetry during her initial days. The nursery rhyme was written during this phase. It was a part of The Jingle Book, published in 1899. The rhyme was a single stanza of eleven lines with alliterations and an AA rhyme scheme.
A few years later, Betty Botter had a new version written by Bronte Alberts. This one had just three lines taken and rearranged from the original. Then came Oscheff Fia’s version, which was also three lines. However, the second line was super long and had sixteen words.
There’s another version where the poem was rewritten in three long sentences. This one converted a poem into a story. A slightly different version is used in the UK.
One version of the nursery rhyme uses Betty Batta instead of Betty Botter and reads like a story (in prose form).
It’s not over yet! There’s James Josie’s version with five lines, again a mash-up of the original.
Lynn Tomlinson, an animator and artist, created one more version of the tongue-twister for PBS Kids Television Channel. The animated version had seven lines (slightly longer ones), followed by a couple of lines where the narrator is also a part of the poem.
Phew! There could be more versions, though these are most popular or commonly used by parents and teachers.
Well, there isn’t any specific significance. Carolyn Wells liked to write nonsensical and humorous poems in her younger days. She would send her works to magazines for publishing. The Jingle Book is a collection of such poems written for kids, with illustrations by Oliver Herford.
Yes. Betty Botter rhyme has a two-syllable pattern. The first syllable had vowels (batter, butter, bitter, & Botter). The vowels were different (a,u, i, & o).