From nursery rhymes to the latest hip-hop songs, children’s lives are filled with rhyme everywhere they look… or read…or listen. Always delightful and sometimes insightful, rhymes make everything from poetry to song lyrics just a little bit more fun.

Rhyme refers to the repetition of similar sounds in two or more words. For example, bat, cat, hat and rat rhyme. Rhyme can also refer to a short rhyming poem, such as a nursery rhyme.

Rhyme has been around a long, long time. The Shi Jing, a Chinese poetry book, contains the oldest evidence of rhyming. It dates back to the 10th century B.C.

Some scholars believe Irish literature introduced rhyme to medieval Europe in the 7th century. The oldest English rhyming poem is believed to be The Rhyming Poem. Written in Old English (quite different than today’s English!), this 87-line poem from the 10th century consists of rhyming couplets (pairs of rhyming lines).

As most authors and poets know, rhyme creates repeating patterns that are pleasing to the ear. Repeating patterns also often serve as mnemonic devices, helping listeners remember rhyming passages better than nonrhyming ones.

Regular use of rhyme also helps authors and poets to structure their works. Readers often find them easier to read because the rhyming patterns clearly mark the ends of lines.

Plus, let’s be honest: Rhyme is just plain fun. Take a look at the two examples below. Which do you prefer?

Example One:
Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
My name is Jed.
My favorite flower is you.

Example Two:

Roses are red.
Violets are purple.
Jed is my name.
You’re the apple of my eye.

We’re guessing you probably liked Example One (with rhyme) better than Example Two (without rhyme). Are we right?

Unfortunately, all of the billions of people who have shaped language over the course of history didn’t always keep rhyme in mind. For example, in English, there are many words that don’t rhyme with anything.

The four most common nonrhyming words are orange, silver, purple and month. There are many other words that don’t rhyme.

Can you think of any? If you’re an author or a poet, what should you do if you want to use one of these words?

Some authors may try to be clever by rhyming a word like orange with a combination of words, such as door hinge. We all know that’s technically cheating, though.

More often, authors will simply find a synonym (a word with the same or similar meaning) to use instead of the nonrhyming word. For example, orange might be replaced with amber or citrus, depending on the meaning the author wants to express.

Another option is simply to place the nonrhyming word in a different position. Instead of at the end, where it might need to rhyme, an author might place the word at the beginning or in the middle of the sentence.

So, instead of “the orange attracted the bee,” a poet might say, “the orange on the tree attracted the bee.”

 

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    • Thanks for sharing about the video with us, Cate! You’re right! We found how he rhymed “orange” (when he pronounced it “or-inge”) with words like “door hinge” and “storage.” Super cool! We like learning new things, too, so THANK YOU for commenting today! :-)

    • Hi there, Sammm! We picked the video for today’s Wonder because it was musical, colorful, and a funny example of how lots of people (even the people who make commercials for M&M’S®) think that you can’t rhyme anything with the word ORANGE! We hope you had fun exploring this Wonder of the Day® and that you learned some new things about rhyming! :-)

    • Hello, Evenelle! Thank you so much for visiting today’s Wonder and for letting us know you liked the video! We really enjoy learning new words whenever we hear them! If we don’t know the meaning of a new word, we look in a dictionary or ask a grown-up for help! :-)

  1. Here’s the summer sun.
    So, it’s time to have some fun.
    Do you want a bun?
    ‘Cause I’ve got a dozen!
    It’s time to see my cousin.
    But not without bear.
    Oh, how I miss my hare!
    So sweet and funny.
    My honey!
    But, here’s the summer sun.

    I made it up (it’s really silly and weird).

    • We think your rhyme is AWESOME, JJ! Thank you so much for sharing it with everyone in Wonderopolis! It might be just a little silly, but it’s definitely NOT weird! We love it! It’s FUN to be silly sometimes…it helps us WONDER even more!

    • We’re so happy you left us another comment today and let us know you liked the video for this Wonder, Natalie! Thanks so much for being a GREAT Wonder Friend! :-)

  2. Wow this was interesting! I thought hard, but I could never think of something that rhymes with orange! When I saw this question, I knew I wanted to read more! :D

    • Wanting to read more and learn more is what WONDERing is all about, Mac! We’re so proud of you for trying your best to find a word that rhymes with orange! :-)

  3. Wow! I love Doctor Seuss, and I love poetry! I came to this page to see if anything rhymed with orange so I could use it in my poetry, but now I know that if I’m writing a silly poem, I can just make up words like “jorange,” which in my mind is a leopard zebra with spots that magically changes into an elephant/eagle/cat. I hope I can be as great as Doctor Seuss! Thanks for the information, Wonderopolis! I’ll visit again!

    • We really like your description of what a “jorange” is, Sharkysharky! That was VERY creative! Thanks for letting us know that you learned something new by exploring this Wonder of the Day®! We know you are a GREAT poet…keep up the good work! :-)

    • Hello, Elizabeth/Ryan! Thank you for letting us know you liked the video for this Wonder of the Day®! Thank you for visiting Wonderopolis, too! :-)

  4. This is super interesting and I love the video!!! I learned some new things in the Wonder of the Day!! I do not know of anything that rhymes with orange and I can not think of anything!!! I hope there is one on fruit/orange.

    • We’re proud of you for trying to think of words that might rhyme with orange, Hannah! We think you ROCK for visiting this Wonder and leaving us a comment, too! :-)

    • Hi, Victoria! We’re glad you might look at rhyming a little differently now that you’ve visited this Wonder of the Day®! We’re proud of you! :-)

  5. Hi Wonderoplis! I love this wonder because I love orange and m&ms. I really like how every day there is a great wonder. Thank you for your hard work and awesomeness!

    • Thanks for saying such super nice things about Wonderopolis in your comment, Kelsey! We appreciate you letting us know how much you enjoy exploring the Wonders of the Day and learning new things every day! :-)

  6. You’re welcome. It’s me, Ashlyn, again. I give comments to every video I watch !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    LOVE
    ASHLYN YOUR BIGGEST FAN
    PS.CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT YOU PLEASE?

    • We appreciate your comments very much, Ashlyn! We’re so glad you’re our biggest fan! Wonderopolis is a place where learners of all ages can explore, share and WONDER together! We really hope you like learning here! :-)

    • Thanks for letting us know what you thought about the video for this Wonder of the Day®, Ashley! We appreciate your comment! :-)

    • Thanks for sharing what you like about the video for today’s Wonder, Kevin and Ashlyn! We’re glad you guys visited Wonderopolis today! :-)

  7. Hi, it’s just me, Ashlyn. You’re welcome. I was going to ask you if tomorrow if you can put another one like that one up so it will be exciting to see. Please? To make your fans happy and to make me happy? I know that you don’t want to disappoint your fans, now do you? And if you do, it will make me really happy. If you can’t, that will be fine just try for me, please? My mom likes this one, too, and she wants to have you to put another one up like that one, too, soooooooooooooooo just try to put another one up like it up tomorrow or another day. Just try to do it tomorrow. I am counting on you guys to try and I know you will try and I know you will not disappoint me and I hope you won’t because tomorrow is my birthday and that is why I want that to happen tomorrow, please do not disappoint me or my mom and mostly my mom. Do not disappoint her.

    • That’s really clever, Ella! We like that you found a fun way to rhyme words with “orange.” Way to go! :-)

  8. Hello! Today I learned about “what rhymes with orange.” Two new vocabulary words I found were conundrum and mnemonic. I learned that some scholars believe Irish literature introduced rhyme to Europe in the 7th century. Also that the Shi Jing, a Chinese poetry book contains the oldest evidence of writing (in the 10th century, B.C.). I wonder if someone has tried to rhyme with orange in a poem. Thank you Wonderopolis for putting “what rhymes with orange” on your website!

    • We want to thank YOU, Team Unger 20, for visiting this Wonder and leaving us this SUPER comment to let us know you were here! :-)

    • Thanks so much for letting us know you had FUN learning some new rhyming words today, soccerqueen55! We’re super glad you stopped by this Wonder of the Day®! :-)

  9. We humans should make a name like jorange make it another name for something like grass and then we have something that rhymes with orange.

    • We like your creativity, Chris! We haven’t heard of the word “nurple”… we Wonder what it means?! :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • What rhymes with orange?
  • Does every word rhyme with at least one other word?
  • Why are rhymes so popular?

Wonder Gallery

girl with oranges_shutterstock_22056595Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Ready to rhyme? We bet you’re a poet and don’t even know it… yet!

One of our favorite authors, when given the time, could write stories full of wit… and rhyme. Who? We’re talking about Dr. Seuss, of course!

Do you think you can write a clever rhyming story or poem like Dr. Seuss? We think you can.

For inspiration, grab an old Dr. Seuss favorite off the shelf, or head to the library to check out a couple of Dr. Seuss books. Have fun rereading some cherished books with your friends and family.

Before you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), there are a couple of rules. First rule: Your story or poem must rhyme.

Second rule: Your story or poem must include the following words in rhyming positions: orange, silver, purple and month.

“But those words don’t rhyme with anything!” you might say. That may be true in the English language, but that never stopped Dr. Seuss from inventing new words that made his rhyming stories so magical.

Give free rein to your imagination, and have fun writing a rhyming story or poem that will forever put an end to the question, “What rhymes with orange?” If you need help finding rhyming words as you write, feel free to check out the Rhyme Zone!

When you’re finished, we want to read your story or poem. You can email us a copy, post it on our Facebook page or even Tweet it to us 140 characters at a time.

 

Still Wondering

Check out ReadWriteThink’s Generating Rhymes: Developing Phonemic Awareness lesson to see how traditional chants and songs can be adapted to help young students recognize and generate rhymes.

 

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