There are many things that people can do with certain body parts that others can't do but is it a "defect" because I can't roll my tongue?

This just might be the most random question I've ever asked anyone, but after an interesting conversation with my son over the weekend, I thought I would try and find an answer for him and for me!

So we are sitting around the dinner table just about to wrap things up when my 10-year-old asks me, "Dad can you roll your tongue?" I responded with a "roll my tongue?" Yeah, he said, "can you make your tongue roll up like a taco?"

After sitting there for a second and trying to do it with my mouth closed, I determined that I can't do it and told him NO, I can't. Why are you asking me the most random thing EVER? He explained that at school last week a few of his friends were eating lunch and one of the kids was showing everyone how he could do it with his tongue and everyone was saying and showing how they could do it.


What is Tongue Rolling?

Tongue rolling is when a person has the ability to roll the lateral edges of their tongue upwards into a tube. If you can do it, it makes your tongue look like a taco.

When one of the kids asked my son if he could, he stopped and tried to do it but couldn't. Then one kid said that not being able to do it means that "you're not as smart as me." Obviously, this bothered him to hear, as it bothers the adult me, but I explained to him that his "friend" was way off. The only reason you can't roll your tongue is because of genetics.


Why Can't I Roll My Tongue?

It's far from a proven fact, but from what I've found online, tongue experts say that people who can roll their tongue inherited the ability from their parents and if you can't do it, it's not something you can learn to do.

As I told my son, if this conversation ever happens again, you can either start talking about genetics to sound really smart or you can simply blame the fact that you can't do it on mom and dad because just like everything else, it's our fault!

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