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Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

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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
  • 43 comments

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Purple
Pint
Nothing
Orange
Silver
Month

Depends on your accent I s'pose...

Soup1 Jun-21-2006

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http://wordways.com/refracto.htm

REFRACTORY RHYME

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* In February 1975, Ralph Beaman discussed historical references and classical refractory rhymes.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.

Janet1 Jun-21-2006

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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 Jun-23-2006

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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.

Joe4 Jul-02-2006

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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.

karen3 Aug-05-2006

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rhymelessnessosity

anonymous4 Aug-05-2006

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isnt orange one of them?

www.EverythingEvil2105 Aug-28-2006

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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 Sep-27-2006

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

porsche Sep-27-2006

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

Hayley Oct-16-2006

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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?

anonymous4 Oct-16-2006

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Orange

Door-hinge

Nathan Dec-03-2006

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

kierancharles Jan-19-2007

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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 Mar-13-2007

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i am a fat racist :)

dicok_hampson Mar-13-2007

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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 Mar-19-2007

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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 Apr-08-2007

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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 Aug-01-2007

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


And orange....

it's rather annoying

Lottie Feb-07-2008

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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 Feb-07-2008

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What rhymes with Antartica?

Cammi Feb-18-2008

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what rhymes with Kieran??

dionne3165 Feb-19-2008

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yagubluck Feb-21-2008

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

anonymous4 Feb-21-2008

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What rhymes with "of"?

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

Keith1 Mar-01-2008

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Dove

anonymous4 Mar-04-2008

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Love
Shove
Above

Lord_Merriwether Mar-19-2008

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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.

Keith1 Apr-01-2008

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

anonymous4 Apr-01-2008

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Are these American dictionaries?

Keith1 Apr-02-2008

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andy warhol coke

anonymous4 Apr-08-2008

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Wilbur rhymes with silver
and orange rhymes with whore changed

Anna_ Sep-15-2008

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

anonymous4 Aug-21-2009

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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?

Anonymous_too Aug-22-2009

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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 Aug-22-2009

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"the sling" rhymes with "nothing"

kcirred23 Mar-22-2010

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nothing ryhmes with A

lollol Jul-09-2010

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print ryhmes with lint!

nothing Dec-15-2011

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Try this link: http://www.rhymer.com/

Master May-10-2012

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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 Aug-28-2012

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what about orange and spornge

Carly Sep-21-2012

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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 Oct-04-2012

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orange: sporange
silver: chilver

asdasdsadasda Jan-06-2013

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