‘Orange’ and other words that don’t rhyme with anything at all

Once upon a time, in my middle school drama class, I was performing in a small skit with some friends that involved taking a scene and acting it out in a number of different ways. “Pretend that you both really have to go to the bathroom,” the teacher would scream. “Speak in a British accent.” “Perform the entire scene as if you’re in an episode of Sesame Street.” Halfway through my scene, my teacher announced a new prompt: “Hold a conversation with your partner in rhyming sentences!”

Why the teacher thought that 13-year-olds could conjure up a coherent story that also rhymes on the spot, I don’t know, but the magnitude of the task sent me into a panic. Rather than choose one of the ten-thousand words in my middle school vocabulary, my brain decided to end my monologue with the word “orange,” forcing my partner (who had to continue the act) into an impossible rhyming situation that likely haunts him to this day. At the time, I thought that orange was the only word in the English language without a rhyming counterpart but apparently, that’s not the case. There’s a whole slew of words that don’t rhyme with anything at all. Like. . .

1) Walrus

You can argue that words like “bust,” “must,” and “lust” rhyme with this aquatic creature but I would then point out that cutting off the first half of the term and adding a letter doesn’t make it a legitimate rhyme, nor does breaking the word in two and calling them separate entities. Walrus does not rhyme with “Walrust.” It does not rhyme with “Wall Rust.” It’s like trying to rhyme “You” with “You” in a pop song. It happens, and you could make it work, but you should probably just choose something else. Try “Seal” or “Fish.”

2) Rhythm

If you’re thinking about using rhythm in your next songwriting/poetry project, don’t. Really. If you’re anything like me, you’ll misspell it at least 27 times or use it to describe musical terms that have nothing to do with “the measured flow of words or phrases in a verse.” Not only that, but you’ll likely find yourself at a crossroads if you try to find a word with a matching sound. “My heart’s got a rhythm, and it sounds like a. . .prism?” It won’t work, trust me.

3) Month

As one of the most commonly cited “rhyme-less” words, month doesn’t really need an explanation, but I’ll provide one anyway because I believe in bashing every word equally. On my personal list of favorite words, month does not score the best ranking, mostly because it doesn’t have the wistful, romantic quality that the best words have (example: elixir) but also, because it’s nearly impossible to even come up with a fake rhyme for this word. Dunth? Hunth? Bonth? These all look like old Irish words that have long since fallen out of use.

4) Purple

Excluding the made-up term “purple-nurple” – where you twist a piece of someone’s skin until it turns purple – there are no rhymes for this term. Luckily, purple is not woefully alone in the world of rhyme-less colors. “Silver” also lacks an official rhyme, though the alliterative “sliver of silver” gets pretty close.

5) Bulb

This may be the only time in my life that I advise you to use the word “bulbous.” (I just had an involuntary shudder.) I make this exception because “bulb” apparently has no rhyming pairs. Brainstorming “bulb” rhymes with your friends won’t get you very far; you’ll all end up sitting in a circle and repeating the “ulb” sound in frustration for a few hours, which pretty torturous to me.

6) Almond

Fellow tree nut fans: I give you permission to use this point in any debates involving the ranking of tree nuts. Evidence of the cashew’s superiority lies in the fact that it can rhyme with so many great things. “Phew!” “Achoo!” “Herru!” (That last one was Scooby Doo saying hello, if you couldn’t tell.) What does almond rhyme with? Nothing. I assure you, this is sound logic.

7) False

Sorry, False, but this fact is very true. You have no rhymes. You are all alone in this struggle. The closest thing I can think of is “faults” but honestly, I don’t see a time where you would ever be using the two words in the same sentence. Wrong might be a better alternative, or erroneous if you’re trying to be fancy.

8) Husband

This situation is fixable. All we have to do is get “tind,” meaning “to swipe right on Tinder,” to catch on and we’ll have an appropriate rhyme. “I’m sure I’ll tind my future husband eventually. I just have to keep swiping.” No? Fine.

9) Wasp

Good. Those tiny devils don’t deserve rhymes anyway.

10) Wolf

Here’s a fun game: invent a word that rhymes with wolf. Good, now say it out loud. See? You just made the sound that a wolf makes. How fun!

Feel free to brainstorm rhymes for these words. It will make them feel less lonely.

Featured image via. More words that don’t rhyme here.