Assonances and Oranges

While it is true that there is no exact rhyme for the English word ‘orange,’ I feel that it is necessary to remind everyone that there are a few good assonances –

A few good what now?

Get the snickering out of your system. Go ahead. Think about something completely wrong, like Rob Ford in a pink lace negligee eating a herring-wrapped banana.


There. Are we done?

To resume: assonance is a not-quite-rhyme, a method poets and lyricists use to work around those hard-to-rhyme words that will end up on the end of a line from time to time. To find the assonance – stop snickering – you have to have the same vowel sound(s) as the original word, and similar consonants, so that the effect of a rhyme is reproduced. Think of words like ‘planned’ and ‘grant,’ ‘scoop’ and ‘cube,’ ‘little’ and ‘riddle,’ to name a few.

A handy device, for sure, but not one you want to over-use: assonances, like I said, are a useable method to work up the effect of the rhyme, but speaking frankly as a songwriter, it’s much better to save them for internal rhymes (ones in the middle of a line of poetry or lyric), or at least, for those times when the structure of the song or poem doesn’t require a strict rhyme scheme. It’s just, well, sloppy songwriting. You know better than that; get a rhyme or get a thesaurus.

Well, without any more ado, here’s the list of assonances for the word ‘orange,’ offered here as a public service (with thanks to my friend Lindsay):







Syringe (a bit of a stretch)

Door Hinge (almost an exact rhyme, but…)

It is also worth noting that although ‘orange’ has no exact, one-word rhyme, there is, in fact, a rhyme for ‘oranger,’ which, although not an officially acceptable adjective for ‘the state of being more orange,’ is, IMHO, perfectly fine, no matter what Microsoft’s spellcheck says*. The rhyme for ‘oranger,’ is, of course, ‘porringer,’ which is an old-fashioned pot used for serving porridge. Neither the word nor the implement is in common usage now, but I feel it should remain in our language, if only because it rhymes so nicely with the adjective form of our most poetically problematic color. Also, I have a fondness for antique words, as well as antique kitchen tools. But, then, I’ve always wanted to have archaic and eat it, too ….

No, I didn’t say that.

On a final note, I couldn’t resist and cobbled up this little offering:

An antiques collector named Gorringer

Is particularly proud of his porringer.

Its uranium glaze

Was the craze in those days,

You couldn’t find anything oranger.

*I mean, really, why not? We have the adjectives ‘greener’ and ‘redder,’ ‘yellower,’ ‘bluer,’ and even, Gaia forbid, ‘purpler’; why not ‘oranger’? but since when has the English language ever made any sense?


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