We’ll begin with box, and the plural is boxes;

But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes.

Then one fowl is goose, but two are called geese,

Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.


You may find a lone mouse or a whole lot of mice,

But the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,

Then couldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?


The cow in the plural may be called cows or kine,

But the plural of vow is called vows, never vine.

And I speak of a foot, and you show me your feet,

But if I give you a boot – would a pair be called beet?  


If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,

Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?

If the singular is this and plural is these,

Why shouldn’t the plural of kiss be named kese?


Then one may be that, and two may be those,

Yet the plural of hat would never be hose.

We speak of a brother, and also of brethren,

But although we say mother, we never say methren.


The masculine pronouns are he, his and him,

But imagine the feminine— she, shis, and shim!

So this verbiage called English I think you’ll agree,

Is the trickiest language you ever did see.


I fairly assume you already know

About tough and bough and cough and dough?

Others may stumble, but surely not you

On cough, thorough, slough, and through?

Well done! And now you might wish, perhaps

To learn of some less familiar traps?

Beware of heard, such a slippery word,

That looks like a beard and sounds like a bird.


To be dead; said like bed, and surely not bead;

(Whatever you do, don’t call it a deed!)

Watch out for meat and great and threat,

(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt).


A moth is not spoken like the moth in mother.

Nor both as in bother, and broth as in brother.

And here is not spoken as if you were there.

And dear and fear aren’t like bear and pear.


And then there’s a dose and a rose and to lose —

You might look them up—also goose and to choose.

Worse still, cork and work and card and ward,

And font and front and word and sword.


And do and go, then thwart and cart.

Come on, I’ve hardly made a start.

You say: “Dreadful language?” Why, man alive

I’d learned to speak it before I was five!  


 Source: Author Unknown. Reproduced for Educational Purposes.