Archive for the ‘Rhyme’ Category

More cultural allusions

March 7, 2014

Today’s Rhymes With Orange, packed with cultural allusions:


Commit to the bit

March 6, 2014

Today’s Zits:


There’s a lot of fun in there — I’m fond of Michisota, in particular, and the idea that Pierce’s fake ID has him as female — but here I’m looking at the rhyming slang idiom commit to the bit, which was new to me (hey, I’m an old man). From context, it seems to convey something like ‘embrace whole-heartedly’. But I’d welcome comments from native speakers.

macho nachos

November 16, 2013

The rhyming name was inevitable, but today’s Zippy takes a strange turn with it:

Macho Nacos: flame retardant, Liquid Paper, Bondo [putty], and Glue Stik. In the real world, Macho Nachos are more appetizing.


Modern Diner

November 9, 2013

Today’s Zippy, with yet another diner:


That’s the Modern Diner in Pawtucket. Then there’s the allusion to the limerick beginning “There once was a man from Nantucket”.


The cat in the $!☆#ing hat

October 17, 2013

A Bent Pinky cartoon by Scott Metzger, sent to me by Tom Limoncelli:


A play on The Cat in the Hat, with the nice final rhyme:

… a cake and a cup / … shut the fuck up!

(but with fuck disguised by obscenicons).


Steve Grand, DNA, Timoteo

July 11, 2013

(Not a lot about language, but mostly about music, sexuality, and the display of men’s bodies.)

This is about the country musician Steve Grand, the cover musician Steve Starchild, and the underwear models Steve Chatham and Finn Diesel — who are all the same young man, now getting wild media attention through a music video. From Wikipedia:

Steve Grand [born 1990] is a country music performer from Lemont, Illinois. He was acclaimed as the first openly gay male country singer after the music video of his song “All-American Boy” went viral on YouTube in less than a week.

“All-American Boy” is a sweet song of unrequited love, between the gay singer and his straight best buddy. It’s notable for including a kiss between the men that passes without eliciting “gay panic”, either in the buddy or in most of the video’s many viewers. Grand is also a strong singer with an attractive voice (hence Starchild’s career as a cover singer) and a very attractive body as well (hence Grand’s career as an underwear model, under various names).


Rhyme chains

June 14, 2013

Today’s Pearls Before Swine:

Pig sets up a preposterous rhyme chain, origami salami tsunami. And then, as in the word avalanche strip posted here (ending with “Does the word shame mean anything to you?”), Rat upbraids the cartoonist in the final meta-panel.

whoopee cushion

June 4, 2013

I was moved yesterday to wonder about the whoopee cushion, its history, and the various names for it. In particular, I mused that there would be no good way to predict what the thing is called in English, given a description of it; fart cushion would be the obvious candidate.


Reduplicative compounds

April 23, 2013

Today’s Rhymes With Orange:

Hippy-dippy, artsy-fartsy. Compound-like combinations with parts that aren’t semantically independent but are related phonologically, in this case by rhyme. In addition to rhyming reduplication (as in these cases), there’s also exact reduplication (yada yada, wee wee, chi chi; see this posting for the clever  punning invention tako-taco) and ablaut reduplication (chitchat, dilly-dally, tittle-tattle), with the accented vowel varied but the remainder of the components remaining the same. Many reduplicative compounds are negative in tone, as hippy-dippy and artsy-fartsy are in ordinary usage. For hippy dippy in the cartoon, more is going on, since there’s a pun on dip involved.


Cyanide and Happiness roundup

March 24, 2013

Five strips from the webcomic Cyanide and Happiness, with various points of linguistic interest (some incidental to the humor of the strip).



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