Rhymes with "orange"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon May 1 17:30:51 UTC 2006

>         Arnold is, of course, correct, although the porringer rhyme's
>survival for centuries shows that there are at least some speakers for
>whom that construction is acceptable.  As a demonstration that a rhyme
>exists, however, I think that "burp'll" is conclusive (albeit
>unnecessary, in light of the existence of "sherpal," as Larry pointed
>out).  "Prince of Orange her" does indeed play fast and loose with the
>nonexistent ground rules, since a rhyme is achieved only by adding a
>word to the word to be rhymed.
>John Baker

FWIW, not only is there a band called "Murple", but there's one
called "Oranger", which may or may not have been so yclept to provide
a rhyme with Porringer.  (Somehow I'm reminded of those parents who
conceive a child to serve as a donor for its transplant-needing


>-----Original Message-----
>From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
>Of Arnold M. Zwicky
>Sent: Monday, May 01, 2006 12:07 PM
>Subject: Re: Rhymes with "orange"
>On May 1, 2006, at 8:36 AM, John Baker wrote:
>>          For orange, at least, there's a classic nursery rhyme:
>>  What is the rhyme for porringer?
>>  What is the rhyme for porringer?
>>  The king he had a daughter fair
>>  And gave the Prince of Orange her.
>>  ....        In addition to orange and silver, purple is a third
>>  color that
>>  is traditionally considered unrhymable, but Louis Sachar came up with
>>  this clever rhyme in Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger:
>>  The baby won't stop crying.
>>  His face is turning purple.
>>  Will anything make him feel better?
>>  I bet a burp'll.
>more instances of needing to be clear about the rules of the game.
>the last lines of both verses are unacceptable for most modern english
>speakers, though they have substructures that are fine in other versions
>or in other contexts.
>the first has a double-object construction (with the first object
>referring to the recipient of the transfer, the second to the thing
>transferred).  the construction is famous for being unacceptable when
>the first object is nonpronominal and the second is a personal pronoun,
>as in the verse.  "and gave the Prince of Orange his daughter" is fine,
>the second has Auxiliary Reduction (here, "contraction" of "will") in a
>Verb Phrase Ellipsis context, the most famous context that disallows AR
>for most people.  "i bet a burp'll help", is fine, though.
>this is entertaining play, but not quite fair.
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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