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Word for a word with no rhyme?

There are many words in the English language which allegedly have no rhyme. I was wondering if there is a term to denote rhyme-less words (i.e. orange, silver...)?

  • June 20, 2006
  • Posted by jr
  • Filed in Misc

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Depends on your accent I s'pose...

Soup June 21, 2006, 8:25am

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by Chris Cole
Word Ways, 1990

In the February 1976 Word Ways, Maxey Brooke defines rhyme as "the identity in sound, of the accented vowels of words, usually the last one accented, and of all consonantal and vowel sounds following, with a difference in the sound of the consonants immediately preceding the accented vowels." Masculine rhymes have the final syllable accented, feminine rhymes have the penultimate syllable accented, and triple rhymes have the third-from-last syllable accented. Rhymes with the following consonants somewhat different are called vowel rhyme or assonance; rhymes with identical consonant sounds but slightly different vowel sounds are called off rhyme, sour rhyme, analyzed rhyme or consonance.

Refractory rhymes, or rhymeless words, involve the relatively unexplored area of word pronunciation (as opposed to word spelling). As such, they offer opportunities to distinguish true logology from mere word puzzling. For example, at least one recently-published word puzzle book states that there are two rhymeless words in English: ORANGE and SILVER. Actually, there are thousands of rhymeless English words, but Word Ways readers know of rhymes for ORANGE and SILVER.

Refractory rhymes are the subject of a chapter in Charles C. Bombaugh's Oddities and Curiosities of Words and Literature (Dover, 1961, reprint of 1890). In addition, several articles in Word Ways have discussed this subject:

* In February 1975, Ralph Beaman discussed historical references and classical refractory rhymes. Ralph cited several rhymes for these classical cases, including SPORANGE for ORANGE and CHILVER for SILVER, although many of the rhymes are mosaic (or multi-word) phrases. James Roberts (November 1975) challenged him to rhyme OBLIGE; Ralph obliged in February 1976 with phrases like ELIJAH KNEW / OBLIGE A JEW.

* In the November 1976 Poets' Corner, Milton Bass suggested rhymes for various pronuncia-tions of ORANGE.

* In the August 1980 Kickshaws, Howard Bergerson noted that there are probably many rhymeless words for feminine (and higher) rhymes. He opined that one-syllable rhymeless words are rarer, and listed 55. Jay Ames (May 1981) provided rhymes for TUFTS, LAIRDS, BEARDS and JINXES.

* In the August 1988 Poets' Corner, Kay Haugaard rhymed CIRCLE with JERK'LL.

Janet June 21, 2006, 8:34am

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This may help.

Half rhyme, sometimes known as slant, sprung or near rhyme, and less commonly eye rhyme (a term covering a broader phenomenon), is consonance on the final consonants of the words involved. It is widely used in Irish, Welsh, and Icelandic verse. Some examples are ill and shell and also dropped and wept.

The first English poet to use half rhyme was Henry Vaughan, [citation needed] but it was not until it was used in the works of W. B. Yeats and Gerard Manley Hopkins that half rhyme became popular among English-language poets. In the 20th century half-rhyme has been used widely by English poets. Often, as in most of Yeats's poems, it is mixed with regular rhymes, assonance, para-rhymes etc.

When have I last looked on
The round green eyes and the long wavering bodies
Of the dark leopards of the moon?
All the wild witches, those most noble ladies,
(Yeats, "Lines written in Dejection")

lmj June 22, 2006, 10:55pm

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This reminds me of a poem I read once (not that it helps the discussion at all).

To find a rhyme for silver
Or any rhymeless rhyme
Requires only will, ver-
Bosity and time.

brixen_ivy July 2, 2006, 10:48am

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I think people have missed JRs question. Is there a word that means "a word for which there is no rhyme".

I don't think that there is.

Karen August 5, 2006, 12:00pm

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Anonymous August 5, 2006, 7:13pm

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isnt orange one of them?

www.EverythingEvil2105 August 28, 2006, 12:17pm

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I think JR and Joe got it without even trying: "rhymeless." That's one of the great things about English--if we need a word for something, our language has the tools to create that word. Do we really need a dictionary to tell us what to say?

Di September 27, 2006, 1:11pm

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rhymeless is an adjective. It is NOT a noun that means "rhymeless word".

porsche September 27, 2006, 3:17pm

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NOTHING... surely anyTHING that ends in "thing" rhymes?

Hayley October 16, 2006, 9:28am

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So hayley, are you saying that a word that rhymes with nothing is anything? everything? something?... What about a word for a word that rhymes with nothing?

Anonymous October 16, 2006, 11:15am

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Nathan December 3, 2006, 11:21am

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dude weatherson doesnt rhyme with anything?!!? bruv sort it out!

kierancharles January 19, 2007, 9:59am

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since i have taken the test that proves if you are a genius or not.....and passed. i'd have to say that CAT is a rhymeless word. i mean really, what word rhymes with cat. definetely not that, hat,gnat, fat, or pat rhyme with cat because none have a "c" in them -duh! i'm too smart.

deez simith March 13, 2007, 3:20am

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i am a fat racist :)

dicok hampson March 13, 2007, 3:21am

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Sadly, "anything" doesn't rhyme with "nothing," at least if we restrict ourselves to masculine, feminine, and triple rhyme. The stress of "nothing" falls on the penultimate syllable, while the stress of "anything" falls everywhere but there.

Jin-Ho March 19, 2007, 4:17pm

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wer we allz from, we just make up dem wurds soz day fits wat wez tryin to say, you all think too much.

mountain man April 8, 2007, 11:56am

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"Thing" rhyme with "thing"? In a way, of course, but does a a word RHYME with itself, or do we need different words with similar sounds to have a rhyme?

dullard August 1, 2007, 8:32am

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Im trying to write a limerick, but nothing rhymes with hayley!

And orange....

it's rather annoying

Lottie February 6, 2008, 10:34pm

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Lottie, "daily" rhymes with Hayley.

And to deez simith, the first consonant of the stressed syllable need not be the same for a word to rhyme. only the following consonants, etc. But, even if what you say were true, then by your own rules "cat" does still have a rhyme. "scat" would rhyme with "cat".

porsche February 7, 2008, 3:24am

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What rhymes with Antartica?

Cammi February 18, 2008, 4:51am

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what rhymes with Kieran??

dionne3165 February 19, 2008, 8:47am

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yagubluck February 21, 2008, 4:11am

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just a can rhyme "orange" with "door hinge"....sorta.

Anonymous February 21, 2008, 1:20pm

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What rhymes with "of"?

Words with more than one syllable that have no rhyme are two a penny.

Keith March 1, 2008, 9:44am

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Anonymous March 4, 2008, 8:06am

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Lord Merriwether March 19, 2008, 5:36am

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None of those rhyme with "of" in English English. "of" is pronounced "ov" whereas all those words end in an "uv" sound.

Keith April 1, 2008, 8:16am

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Really Keith? Not in any of my dictionaries. They're all the same.

Anonymous April 1, 2008, 9:30am

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Are these American dictionaries?

Keith April 2, 2008, 9:50am

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andy warhol coke

Anonymous April 8, 2008, 7:31pm

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Wilbur rhymes with silver
and orange rhymes with whore changed

Anna September 15, 2008, 5:12pm

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purple, month, ninth, pint, wolf, opus, dangerous, marathon, orange, diamond, skeleton, limited, poem, nothing

aero62 August 21, 2009, 2:07pm

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Anonymous, just what was your point? Was that supposed to be a list of words with no rhymes? The truth is, MOST words in the English language don't have rhymes. That makes the very discussion a bit trivial, doesn't it?

anon August 22, 2009, 1:23pm

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The question was: is there a term to denote (that is to say, a noun) a rhyme-less word? I think it's fair to turn it around: is there a noun meaning "a word which has a rhyme?" I'm pretty sure the answer is no to both questions.

douglas.bryant August 22, 2009, 2:44pm

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"the sling" rhymes with "nothing"

kcirred23 March 21, 2010, 8:04pm

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nothing ryhmes with A

lollol July 9, 2010, 6:54am

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print ryhmes with lint!

nothing December 15, 2011, 4:46am

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Try this link:

Master May 10, 2012, 8:38am

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nothing, bluffing, stuffing,
oranges, porn gizz, foreign kids,
Silver, pillar, roto tiller,
Purple, circle, hurdle,
Pint, defiant, reliant,
months, dounce, once,

zachary August 28, 2012, 5:19am

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what about orange and spornge

Carly September 21, 2012, 4:57am

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Refractory rhyme. This is the term used for rhymeless words.
Three years too-late. Don't know how you'd use it in a sentence.

orange October 4, 2012, 11:35am

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orange: sporange
silver: chilver

asdasdsadasda January 6, 2013, 9:48am

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Yes     No