Difficult Rhymes

It has been said that there are no rhymes (Note: The word “rhyme” is used in a strict sense, called perfect rhyme, that the words are pronounced the same from the vowel of the main stressed syllable onwards.) for purple, orange, and silver, there are these.

Purple

  • Hirple – (British) walk lamely or hobble
  • Curple – hindquarters, especially of a horse
  • Burplea discontinued drink mix that was packaged in an expandable accordion-like plastic container.

The following is a poem by David R. B. Pekrul titled “What Rhymes With Purple”.

They say there is nothing that rhymes with purple,
But how ’bout a thing that’s called Maple Syruple?
And small little birds who go tweet and chirple,
Now those are the things that will rhyme with purple.

They say there is nothing that rhymes with purple,
But what about those who eat and then burple?
Which sounds very rude and not like a chirple,
But those are the things that will rhyme with purple.

Purple and syruple and chirple and burple,
The man Wyatt Earp, he was known as Eurple,
That is my story; my name’s Harry Hurple,
Excuse me while I have some purple syruple.

Orange

  • Blorenge – a hill near Abergavenny, Wales
  • Sporange – a sac in which spores are produced; sporangium

An anonymous 19th century poet in a London weekly, Athenaeum, 1865, wrote this orange ditty.

The second James a daughter had,
Too fine to lick a porringer;
He sought her out a noble lad,
And gave the Prince of Orange her.

And here’s one from Willard Espy’s The Game of Words (1972).

The four eng-
ineers
wear orange
brassieres.

Silver

  • Wilver – “Willie” Stargell, a former baseball player and coach
  • Chilver – an ewe lamb

And here is Stephen Sondheim’s solution, first published in Time Magazine, but also in Willard Espy’s An Almanac of Words at Play (1975).

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

Combining Them All…

In this poem by David Morice, Word Ways, May 1993, all three colors merge into an anecdote about the favorite drink of one of the Wild West’s colorful figures.

Wyatt Earp’ll
Shoot till he’s purple,
Then carefully chill ver-
mouth in a silver
Cup, which he’ll pour, inj-
ecting an orange.

Other Stubborn Rhymes

“W”

The King sent for his wise men all
To find a rhyme for W.
When they had thought a good long time,
But could not think of a single rhyme,
“I’m sorry,” said he, “to trouble you.”

– James Reeves

Velocity

Having once gained the summit,
and managed to cross it, he
Rolls down the side with uncommon
Velocity.

– Richard Harris Barham

Pelican

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week,
But I’m damned if I see how the helican!

– Dixon Lanier Merritt

About Edmark M. Law

My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. I blog at learnfunfacts.com. You can find me on Twitter @EdmarkMLaw and Facebook. My email is learnfunfacts@gmail.com
This entry was posted in Language, Poetry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Difficult Rhymes

  1. julioccarlos says:

    Nice article. Uttermost helpful. Keep it up.

    Like

  2. Well, who could not laugh and enjoy all the wit
    that was used when this orange-purpl’sh nonsense was writ?? 🙂
    Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kimelenecarr says:

    Wow!!! Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s