What Rhymes with Orange?

atkins-bookshelf-wordsWords that sound alike from the pronunciation of the vowel of the main stressed syllable to the end of the word are known as perfect rhymes; they do not need to spelled the same. Examples of perfect rhymes are “day and “way” and “claim” and “same.” Some words have just one or two perfect rhyming words, others have dozens; for example, the word “most” has the, um, most rhymes — more than 102 (1-12 syllable options).

On the opposite end of the lexicon spectrum are words that have no rhyme: refractory rhymes. The most common examples of refractory or rhymeless words are: month, orange, purple, silver (note the bias in colors). Type in “what rhymes with orange” in Google and dozens of sites pop-up listing words without rhymes. However, many of these list are inaccurate —  if you dive deep enough into the amazingly vast corpus of the English language (the 1 million words defined by the mother of all dictionaries, the Oxford English Dictionary) one can find perfect rhymes for most of the words considered rhymeless. Of course, many of these words are obscure or archaic — not necessarily the words you would expect in contemporary poems and songs; but nonetheless, they are perfect rhymes. Below is a list of commonly considered rhymeless words with their perfect rhyme words followed by short definitions. Now you can finally write that poem about the glorious orange.

arugula – Bugula (a genus of bryozoan)
bulb – culb (a glass distillation vessel)
chaos – naos (a temple’s inner chamber
circle – hurkle (to pull in all one’s limbs)
cusp – dusp (dual-specificity phosphatase enzymes)
else  – wels (Silurus glanis, a fish)
fiends – teinds (Scottish term for portion of an estate assessed for clergy’s stipend)
film – pilm (Scottish word for dust)
gulf – sulf (sulfate-regulating enzymes)
midst – didst (an archaic for of did)
month – en-plus-oneth (a mathematical term, n + 1)
music – anchusic (anchusic acid) or dysgeusic (a disorder that causes changes in a person’s sense of taste) or  ageusic (no sense of taste)
opus – Hoppus (a method of measuring timber)
orange – Blorenge (a hill in southeast Wales) or sporange (alternate form or sporangium, a botanical term, for single- or multi-celled structure that produces spores, like algae, ferns, fungi, or mosses)
pint – rynt (a word that a milkmaid uses to get a cow to move)
plankton – Yankton (a member of the American Indian people of the Great Plains, South and North Dakota)
plinth – synth (abbreviated term for synthesizer)
purple – curple (the hindquarters of a donkey or horse) and hirple (to walk with a limp) and nurple (the slang term for grabbing and quickly twisting a nipple, also known as a titty twister)
rhythm – smitham (ore dust or fine malt)
silver – chilver, (female lamb)
siren – gyron (in heraldry, a type of triangle)
toilet – oillet (an eyelet)
width – sidth (length)
woman – toman (a military division or Persian coin)

Back in October of 2010, 60 Minutes did a fascinating interview with rapper Eminem. In his youth, Eminem spent quite a bit of time with a dictionary and came to love words and discovered his gift for rhyming. In the interview, when challenged “what rhymes with orange?” Eminem casually rattles off a number of words and phrases that rhyme closely (but not perfectly) with orange: four-inch, door hinge, storage, porridge, Geo-rge.

Read related posts: Words with Letters in Alphabetical Order
Difficult Tongue Twisters
Word Oddities: Fun with Vowels

For further reading: Oxford Rhyming Dictionary by Clive Upton (2012)
The Complete Rhyming Dictionary by Clement Wood (1992)
The Book of General Ignorance by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson (2006)
rhymezone.com; wikipedia.com

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