My informant for this tongue twister is a friend’s grandfather. Since its conception, my informant has continued to tell and retell the mouthful of a twister to friends and family. This has led it to be changed and added to with each retelling, subsequently causing different listeners to learn different versions of it.
When he was a young child, my informant was walking around his backyard looking for his blue, toy boat to use in their pool. When he asked his sister where it was, she replied “what blue boat?” He then said “my bright blue boat.” “Your bright blue boogaloo boat?” “My bright blue beautiful boogaloo boat!” And so the tongue twister was born.
“Bidding belligerently, Buffalo Bill bought Buster Burnett’s bright, blue, beautiful, boogaloo boat by Bobby Bridget’s black bungalow before bewildering Barbara Bennett’s big, buxom bunny by bouncing backwards blindfolded bearing Betsy Barnaby’s Big Boy Bonus Burger bedecked by Bart’s buttered barley buns.”
When my informant first told me of the tongue twister that he created, I wavered on whether or not it should be added to USC’s folklore library as it seemed to only apply to him. I thought this until he told me just how long he’s been working on developing the sentence, and how many people have ended up memorizing it. Additionally, my informant noted that a number of his friends and family have helped him add to the original tongue twister, each memorizing different versions and passing those to their own friends and family. While it can be very difficult to determine the source of any piece of folklore, “B’s in my Bonnet” is a clear and insightful demonstration of how a piece of knowledge or lore disseminates from one person to many, changing form over time and with each retelling.