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50 Funny Things To Teach Your Parrot To Say

Last Updated on January 28, 2024 by Carrie Stephens

Teaching a parrot to speak is an effective way to bond and play together. Some intelligent birds can memorize up to 1000 words, developing an extensive vocabulary.

Educate a parrot by teaching it some funny and unique expressions to maximize its verbal abilities. These will bring a smile to your face and help the parrot express its true personality.

Start with short words and progress to encourage the parrot to speak in complete sentences. This will take time and patience, but the rewards will last a lifetime.

For good or bad, once a parrot learns a word, it rarely forgets it.

How Parrots Learn To Talk

Parrots are natural imitators, and this is how they learn to talk.

Parrots will repeat the sounds and words they hear, especially if they find them pleasurable to say. The more a parrot hears a word, the likelier it is to say it.

A parrot will also associate words with actions. If you say “bedtime” before covering its cage, it’ll associate the word with the outcome. For example, a parrot may say “bedtime” when it’s getting dark.

Numbers of Words Parrots Can Say

This depends on the species and how much time you spend speaking with the bird.

According to Applied Animal Behavior Science, the African gray can sometimes learn up to 1,000 words, and budgies have an advanced vocabulary.

Other parrots have a more limited vocal repertoire, perhaps only learning 10-15 words. Equally, just because a budgie or African gray has the potential to talk doesn’t mean it’ll do so.

How Long It Takes Parrots To Talk

When a parrot is one year old, it’s comparatively chatty. The more you speak to the parrot and respond when it talks back, the sooner it’ll become talkative.

Words Parrots Find The Easiest to Say

Think of a parrot’s speech capabilities as equivalent to a human infant.

Start by teaching short, simple 1-2 syllable words. Then, gradually move to more elaborate speech patterns and complete sentences.

One short word that you can teach a parrot is “no.” This is arguably the most straightforward word for a parrot to pick up. If you’re not careful, you’ll hear it a great deal.

Teach the parrot terms you’re happy to hear regularly.

Funny Things To Make A Parrot Say

One of the joys of owning a talking parrot is teaching it to use certain words and phrases.

Here are some funny sayings you can teach a parrot:


Greetings, especially a simple “hello,” are the first things many people teach parrots. You could expand a parrot’s repertoire with some fun alternatives and compliments. Try these examples.

  • “Ahoy, matey.”
  • “You look nice today.”
  • “Rise and shine.”
  • “Here you are again.”
  • “Hello, handsome.”

This is just the tip of the iceberg. However you greet a parrot is likely to be repeated for yourself and others, so make it an endearing salutation.


Parrots know their minds and can sometimes be bossy. Still, teaching a parrot to issue commands can be great fun. Here are some good-natured and helpful demands you can teach a parrot:

  • “Kiss me please” or “Give me a kiss.”
  • “Lights off, please,” or “Turn out the lights.”
  • “Play with me, please.”
  • “Feed me, please.”
  • “Water, please.”

If you teach a parrot to issue commands, act on them so it doesn’t get frustrated.


Parrots love to interact with their human families, and asking questions is a simple way to earn a response. Here are some fun things you can teach a parrot to ask:

  • “What’s going on?”
  • “Who’s a pretty boy?”
  • “What time is it?”
  • “Who goes there?”
  • “How is the weather?”

If a parrot asks a question and you answer, it’ll be encouraged to keep repeating the query. If a parrot asks something you’d rather it did not say again, don’t react.

funny things to teach a parrot


Parrots can make surprisingly effective guard pets, as they’ll often grow excitable when they see somebody – whether it’s a familiar face or not.

You can also teach a parrot to verbalize if you do something they dislike or when they make a mess.

Examples of warning sayings beyond a simple “uh-oh” include:

  • “Someone’s at the door.”
  • “Poop is coming.”
  • “Bombs away!” (use this when you drop something, and the parrot will do the same.)
  • “Don’t like that.”
  • “Stranger danger.”

Teach a parrot to use these sayings in an appropriate context and take it with a pinch of salt when they do. Learn the parrot’s body language cues to make the most of their verbal warnings.

Conversations and Jokes

If you can teach a parrot some basic conversational mannerisms, you’ll impress guests and help the parrot feel involved in your daily lives and routines.

Here are some fun sayings you can encourage a parrot to use in polite company:

  • “I like your hair.”
  • “Happy birthday.”
  • “I’m calling the cops.”
  • “Help, I’m not a parrot.”
  • “Bless you.”

These words and sayings will take more effort to ingrain into the parrot’s life. They may not always use them appropriately, but you’ll smile when they do.

Asking for Food

Parrots love to eat and can get into trouble by helping themselves to human snacks. You can avoid this outcome if you teach a parrot to announce when hungry. Try these sayings.

  • “Polly wants a cracker” (you call this a cliché, we call it a classic.)
  • “Yummy, yummy, yummy.”
  • “Dinner time, please.”
  • “Time for tea.”
  • “Want <food name>, please.”

You can teach a parrot how to identify food by holding it before them and repeating it. Before you know it, a parrot will request its favorite snacks by name.

Proverbs and Idioms

Try teaching a parrot some simple proverbs. These will be easy enough to remember and give you and the parrot sage advice. These idioms shouldn’t be beyond the parrot’s vocal repertoire:

  • “Look before you leap.”
  • “Better late than never” (or you could try, “better safe than sorry.”)
  • “Waste not, want not.”
  • “Beggars can’t be choosers.”
  • “Takes two to tango.”

Remember that the parrot could repeat these sayings at any point – they won’t attach them to any specific meaning.

Don’t risk offending visitors by teaching the parrot an expression that could be misconstrued.

Movie and TV Quotes

Many parrots live in the living room of a home and spend their evenings relaxing with a human family. This means it’s common for parrots to repeat famous quotes from favorite movies or shows.

Here are some fun lines to teach a parrot:

  • “We were on a break.”
  • “The name’s Bond, James Bond.”
  • “You’re a wizard, Harry.”
  • “Yabba dabba doo.”
  • “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

Be careful what you watch when a parrot is in the room. For example, if you’re watching an R-rated movie, the parrot may develop an unwanted preference for profanity.

Song Lyrics

Parrots learn new words through repetition, so song lyrics heard on the radio will frequently be repeated. This could be a pro or con, depending on the song.

Popular song lyrics to teach a parrot include:

  • “>Squawk< we’re halfway there. >Squawk< livin’ on a prayer.”
  • “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah.”
  • “Umbrella-ella-ella.”
  • “I kissed a girl. I liked it.”
  • “You really got me.”

Christmas ditties often have a simple, repetitive beat. This means a parrot will pick up a song like “Jingle Bells.” The parrot will sing this all year round, which may become annoying.

Nursery Rhymes

Nursery rhymes are another simple beat you can teach a parrot. Try introducing these popular rhythms into a parrot’s vocabulary:

  • “Mary had a little lamb.”
  • “Jack and Jill went up the hill.”
  • “Twinkle, twinkle, little star.”
  • “London Bridge is falling down.”
  • “Head, shoulders, knees, and toes.”

Some nursery rhymes are more challenging than others to teach parrots. If you stick with the classics, you should find the bird repeats them repeatedly.

Parrots Forgetting Words

Once a parrot learns a word, it’s likely locked into its vocabulary for life.

Just because parrots know a word doesn’t mean they’ll use it. If a parrot says something you disapprove of, ignore it and don’t use the word again around them. Of course, teach them alternatives.

If a parrot isn’t getting the response or attention it desires from using one word, it’ll often switch to another. If a parrot enjoys the sound of a word, it may never stop using it.