Archive for January, 2009

This Just In…from a visitor

It is widely accepted that no single English word is a true rhyme for orange, though there are half rhymes such as hinge, lozenge, syringe, flange, Stonehenge, or porridge. A commonly referred to word on this subject, however controversial, is “door hinge”. Although sporange, a variant of sporangium, is an eye rhyme for orange, it is not a true rhyme as its second syllable is pronounced with an unreduced vowel [-ændʒ], and often with stress.

However, there are proper nouns which are almost true rhymes, including Blorenge, a hill in Wales, and Gorringe, a surname. US Naval Commander Henry Honychurch Gorringe, the captain of the USS Gettysburg who discovered Gorringe Ridge in 1875, led Arthur Guiterman to quip in “Local Note”:

In Sparkill buried lies that man of mark
Who brought the Obelisk to Central Park,
Redoubtable Commander H.H. Gorringe,
Whose name supplies the long-sought rhyme for “orange.”

Compounds or sequences of words may give true or near rhymes in some accents. Examples include door-hinge, torn hinge, or inch, a wrench.

Enjambment can also provide for rhymes. One example is Willard Espy’s poem, “The Unrhymable Word: Orange”:

The four eng-
ineers
Wore orange
brassieres.

An even more strained example by Tom Lehrer relies on the New York-New Jersey accent’s way of pronouncing orange as “ar-ange”:

Eating an orange
While making love
Makes for bizarre enj-
oyment thereof.

Composers Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel contrived a rhyme in the song “Oranges Poranges”. It was sung by the Witchiepoo character (played by Billie Hayes) on the show H.R. Pufnstuf.

Oranges poranges, who says,
oranges poranges, who says,
oranges poranges, who says?
there ain’t no rhyme for oranges!

January 6, 2009 at 2:37 pm Leave a comment


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