the rules of rhyming

i have been told that no words in english rhyme with purple or orange. doesn’t ‘people’ rhyme with ‘purple’ ? doesn’t ‘binge’ rhyme with ‘orange’? if that isn’t true, then what are the rules for rhyming?

From A Collection of Word Oddities and Trivia

For orange: Blorenge (hill in Wales); range, Stonehenge, derange (as pronouned in Singapore); Solange (french first name); citrange (final syllable); syringe (alternate pronunciation.)
For purple: hirple (British), curple (Scottish), herpal (“related to herpes” and also a Hindu name).

From an Infoplease encyclopedia article on rhyming rules (presumably for the English language):
[ul][li]end rhyme - rhyme at the end of a line[/li][li]assonance (medieval poetry) - repetition of related vowel sounds - no longer considered a “rhyme”[/li][li]alliteration (medieval poetry) - repetition of consonants - no longer considered a “rhyme”[/li][li]current definition: final accented syllables must be pronounced the same, and words must be accented on the same syllable[/li][li]perfect rhyme - final accented syllables are pronounced the same and the consonants succeeding the vowel have the same sound: shroud and cloud[/li][li]imperfect rhymes (aka approximate rhymes) - vowels and consonants are similar but not identical: groaned and ground[/li][li]single rhyme (aka masculine rhyme) - one syllable words, or words ending in a consonant with no mute e at the end: sad and bad[/li][li]weak endings (aka double rhymes aka feminine rhymes) - two syllable words or words not accented on the last syllable or end in a final mute e: able and cable[/li][li] masculine rhymes predominate in English; feminine rhymes predominate in Spanish and Italian; both are equally represented in German and French[/li][li]triple rhymes (aka three-syllable rhumes) - uncommon: cheerily and wearily[/li][li]eye rhymes - words spelled alike but not pronounced alike: wind (noun) and kind[/li][/ul]

Also this kind of question belongs in our “General Questions” forum. So I’ll move it over there.

FWIW, I’ve also read that rhymes are most effective when the parts of speech are different, as in

" She would never make me jealous,
Gives me all her time as well as
Lovin’, don’t ask me why. "

Even more so, if the words or sounds are exactly the same, like *read(verb), red(adjective) *. Now that I think about it, jealous doesn’t exactly rhyme with well as, but it’s still a damn clever turn of a lyric that John and Paul came up with (as they so often did).

For a “perfect” rhyme, the vowel and consonantal sounds for the last accented syllable (and any following unaccented syllable) should be identical and the accents for those syllables should have the same “weight” in the word.

Less “perfect” rhymes would allow vowels or consonants that were in the same “families” to be substituted or accents to be off a bit in weight.

The fact that binge and orange each end in a consonantal “nj” sound are offset by the fact that ornj has a distinctively different vowel sound than binj (to say nothing of that intruding “r”).

People and purple have the same accents and each end in the same “pl” consonantal blend, but, again, the vowels that precede them are quite different.

To find words that are (often horribly) forced to rhyme for their humorous effect, try reading poetry by Ogden Nash. But even his extended torture of the language would generally not extend to making “pur” rhyme with (phonetic) “pee” (in the purple/people comparison).

Don’t get so caught up in rhyme that you forget to keep the meter consistent. For more information on this vital poetic concept, go to the link below.

Cheffie’s guide to Poetic Meter, You Idiots

Assonance and Alliteration are still very much a part of modern poetry.

So is Consonance, the repetition of consonant sounds. (Alliteration is a specific type of Consonance, where the repeated sound appears at the beginning of words.)

There’s another term, Echoing, for the use of similar sounds. Repetition of “B” and “P”, for instance, wouldn’t technically be Consonance, but their respective sounds are close enough to create a similar effect.

In Perfect Rhyme, <b>all</b> sounds following the final accented syllable must be the same (as in the examples of Feminine and Three-Syllable rhyme.)

Rhymes of three or more syllables often have an amusing effect.

Imperfect rhyme is also called Near Rhyme.

I forget the term for “jealous / well as,” where one word rhymes with two. It is certainly considered a rhyme. Thus, while no <b>word</b> in English rhymes with “orange,” there certainly are <b>rhymes</b> for orange – my favorite being “door hinge.”

– Beruang

As long as we are on poetry, what’s the word for an internal rhyme? I believe there is a term, but I don’t recall it.

Internal Rhyme is when two words within a single line rhyme. Most commonly this is a word in the middle and a word at the end.

Javaman’s post is a fine example of another technique, called Run-On Rhyme. This is when the rhyme occurs before the grammatical end of the sentence or phrase.

And as for meter, my favorite has always been Anapestic Hexameter. Sounds like a hospital disinfectant! :smiley:

Slant rhyme … more commonly used term for eye rhymes.
And internal rhymes are called just that.

Anapestic tetrameter’s cool as they come:
Da da dum, da da dum, da da dum, da da dum.

Two anapestic trimeters, followed by two anapestic dimeters, ending with an anapestic trimeter are cooler.:cool: All limericks are so composed, and what can be cooler than that?

Says barbitu8, “Trimeter’s cool,
And with bimeter (nobody’s fool),
Rhymed ‘BB-AAB’,
With 33-223,
Takes your old rhyming couplets to school.”

Cool, Achenar. You know limericks need not be limited to one stanza.


There was once a runner from Muppet,
In racing, he was so slow he’d muck it.
He tried to do speed
To run like a steed,
“Til a “ladder” he did, then said, “-----it!”

Now I know that you may think me naughty,
And impute terminology bawdy.
But in truth, as it’s said,
“It’s just all in your head”;
For he said of the “ladder,” he’d shuck it!

So if limericks, or prose, you’re perusing,
And you don’t find your readings amusing,
May I humbly suggest
You submit to this test:
Were the blasphemies of your own choosing?

The rules of rhyming
Need expert timing
Which is why I climbing a hill.

This makes no sense
And seems quite dense.
If you want me to stop, I will.

[sub]Okay, I have no idea where THAT came from…[/sub]

Let me be the first to note Roger Miller’s effort:

The classic example, of course, being the Major-General’s song from The Pirates of Penzance. (As a side note, older libretti usually render the first line as “I am the very model of a modern Major-Gineral,” which was Gilbert’s original spelling.)

BTW, a great site for this sort of thing is the University of Toronto’s poetic glossary.

And I’ve always remembered which one is the anapest and which the dactyl by means of this couplet, from my ninth-grade English book:

“I would like to be serious, but lo, I cannot;
Anapestic tetrameter makes the verse trot.”