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The Word That Rhymes With Orange

September 28, 2014
He spent hours searching for a word that rhymes with orange... but to no avail.  (image via wikimedia)

He spent hours searching for a word that rhymes with orange… but to no avail. (image via wikimedia)

My youngest daughter thought of a word that rhymes with “orange.”  This is a big deal because I’ve always heard that nothing rhymes with “orange.”  During my daughter’s English class this week, when some student asked what could rhyme with orange, the teacher answered with nothing, and my daughter blurted out:

“Door hinge!”

I don’t know how she thought of it.  She’s not even sure.  Maybe she was staring at a door hinge, but I doubt a door hinge would catch her attention, unless it was a glittery, sparkly door hinge with lots of unicorns on/around it.  Maybe my daughter read or heard that “door hinge” rhymes with “orange,” but I’ve never heard that before, so maybe she thought of it herself.

When my daughter said “door hinge” out loud to the class, her English teacher (according to my daughter) took a moment to think and then said, “No, not quite.  But that’s a very good try.”

Good try?  I hope that I don’t sound like a whiner, but my daughter didn’t just give it a good try; she nailed it.  She solved the phonological puzzle that has baffled poets for generations.  I’m not going to email my daughter’s English teacher and demand an explanation (I don’t want to become that kind of parent), but how does “door hinge” NOT rhyme with “orange”?

Okay, “door hinge” is two words, but two words are allowed to rhyme with one word.  That has been established in poetry and song lyrics for generations.

Maybe the “H” sound in “hinge” messes up the perfect rhyme, but rhymes don’t have to be perfect to rhyme, especially when the rhymes involve more than one syllable.

To prove that “door hinge” rhymes with “orange,” all we need to do is compare my daughter’s rhyme with a rhyme that is already universally accepted.  As evidence, I provide a stanza from “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost:

 

“I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

 

If “ages hence” rhymes with “difference,” then “door hinge” rhymes with “orange.”   We know “ages hence” rhymes with “difference” because this is from a Robert Frost poem that rhymes, and nobody argues with Robert Frost poetry.  At least if there’s arguing, it’s not about whether “ages hence” rhymes with “difference.”  It just does, and everybody accepts that.

If you go by the last syllable, “hence” matches “-rence.”  That’s all you need for a rhyme.  Using the same logic, “hinge” rhymes with “-ringe” (as pronounced in “orange).   If anything, “door hinge” rhymes with “orange” far better than “ages hence” rhymes with “difference” because of the “r” sound in “door.”

Extending this logic even further, my daughter rhymes better than Robert Frost, and her English teacher cannot see it.

I don’t blame the English teacher.  She’s been taught all her life that nothing rhymes with “orange.”  It’s part of her worldview that nothing rhymes with “orange.”  Once your worldview is set, nothing is going to change your mind, especially an 11 year-old girl.

I have to give my daughter’s English teacher some credit for not telling my daughter to “SHUT UP!!” for disagreeing with her.  When I was in junior high, I had an English teacher who told us to “SHUT UP!!” whenever we disagreed with him.  Sometimes we disagreed with him just to hear him say “SHUT UP!!”  It was funny.  We didn’t laugh in a disrespectful way.  We quietly looked down and chuckled so that he wouldn’t see us, except maybe for our shoulders shaking.  Nobody in junior high cared enough about literature (especially poetry) to disagree with a teacher about anything, but hearing him say “SHUT UP!!” was worth getting yelled at a little bit.  At least my daughter’s English teacher handled their disagreement with respect.

I am proud of my daughter.  She didn’t simply accept that there was no word that rhymes with orange.  She tried to think of one herself, despite the odds against her.  And, though biased I may be, I think she succeeded.

*****

What do you think?  Does “door hinge” rhyme with “orange”?  Is it a near rhyme?  Is “door hinge/orange” a better rhyme than “ages hence/difference”?  Was it disrespectful to disagree with our English teacher just to hear him say “SHUT UP!!”?  Should teachers ever yell “SHUT UP!!” at their students?  What other words are difficult to rhyme?

46 Comments
  1. Your daughter deserves the Pullitzer for that one. Fresh baked cookies are a good consolation prize in case they don’t go for it.

    • Red velvet cupcakes. I think you’re right that Pulitzer won’t go for it, so she gets (or has already received) red velvet cupcakes. Thanks for the idea!

      • Mmmm…cupcakes. Just pipe the letters P-U-L-I-T-Z-E-R on the tops and it’ll be fine as long as she never finds out about the $10,000.

  2. “Door hinge” is a very creative rhyme; this from someone who rhymed “green” with “antihistamine” for a creative writing class. It’s a rhyme but not an exact rhyme like “hop” and “pop” are. There might be a word for what kind of rhyme it is. That might be too subtle for a middle grade English teacher.

    • She’s actually a really good English teacher. I think she was just caught by surprise. And she MIGHT be correct (as others below have stated) that the rhyme might not be perfect and maybe that’s what the teacher was thinking. Maybe.

      “Green” and “antihistimine”? That sounds like my kind of poem (I mean that as a compliment).

    • tintobear permalink

      I would call it ‘half rhyme’ (and scrolling through the comments I see there are lots of other similar terms used). The Robert Frost example I would def consider half rhyme. That’s a brilliant call though – go your daughter!!!! xx

  3. Your daughter did something very interesting. Kids are great impulsive and creative. I want to be just like her. I don’t think you have to be like that kind parent but you can give her you are so stupid look at the next parent teachers meeting.

  4. What’s wrong with her teacher? That totally rhymes! 🙂

  5. I’m pretty sure I invented the word interwebs. It’s a joke word that comes from confusing “internet” with “world wide web.” What I mean by that is I was using that word years and years ago, before I’d heard anyone else use it, and now everyone uses it. So I tell people I invented it. And I like to think I really did.

  6. Of course it rhymes! Kudos to your daughter. And a cookie.

  7. Your daughter is a genius! And a very interesting post, by the way 🙂

  8. Children have those sparkling moments and nothing can put them down!

  9. Very creative.

  10. your daughter is Amazeballs!! it totally rhymes and I don’t think anyone would care about being disrespectful in grade school if it meant you got to hear the teacher say “Shut up” it’s kinda like giggling whenever someone breaks wind, you know it’s gross but funny all the same

  11. I would call “door hinge” for “orange” a weak rhyme, primarily because of the difference in stresses between the the two. That is most likely a regional pronunciation issue, however–I speak the words “door hinge” as two distinct syllables with a clear stress on the modifier (door). “Orange” I pronounce as one syllable, unstressed. (I also pronounce the number 40 as “farty” to give you an idea of my accent.)

    However, poets–even very good ones, as Frost in your example–make use of weak rhymes.

  12. Judy permalink

    Door hinge rhyming with oringe. (misspelling intended). Your daughter is priceless.

  13. “Drench” too rhymes with “orange”. Nothing rhymes with orange though! They also say nothing rhymes with “silver”, but “fur” rhymes with “silver”. 😀
    And yes, please tell your daughter she rocks!

  14. Yes. It’s called an off rhyme or slant rhyme. Your daughter is not only correct, but she should write poetry or song lyrics. Orange is a damn hard word to rhyme!

  15. Yes, it does rhyme! also does fringe rhyme with orange?

  16. Reblogged this on todaywillmatter and commented:
    An amazing read. Lets you see the world from a different perspective.

  17. Cheers to your daughter on finding that slant rhyme. Her English teacher was right in the sense that “it didn’t quite work.” But that’s because it’s a slant rhyme, a concept she was probably unfamiliar with. The problem with English teachers in elementary and middle schools is that they don’t have English degrees, and they have limited knowledge of literary/poetical devices. So, did she say your daughter was wrong to maintain authority in her classroom. I’d say yes. Out of necessity, teachers have to maintain a certain level of intellectual authority over classrooms or their students don’t take them seriously. However, I’ve found it much more powerful to admit an occasional mistake, rather than create the “santa clause isn’t real effect,” that this teacher had on your daughter. Although she maintained authority over the class as a whole, your daughter now knows that the teacher is both fallible and willing to dismiss Truth to maintain Power over her students.

    Not a big deal though. It’s a lesson we all learn at some point in our lives. If it were me (my daughter is only 2), I’d take two things away from the experience. The girl’s pretty darn smart, and she learned an invaluable lesson from the teachers reaction.

  18. Reblogged this on Eric James-Olson and commented:
    Really cool article. Someone finally found a word rhyming with orange

  19. It’s almost a perfect rhyme. Especially compared to popular music with its “be/me”‘s, “you/do”‘s and particularly “together/forever”‘s.

  20. Anonymous permalink

    Gotta side with you on this one…door hinge it is:)

  21. Your daughter is right. It rhymes.

  22. Relay my eternal gratitude to your daughter. This has been keeping me awake for years. Now I can sleep!

  23. rhyme or not, i thought it was very original. a big kiss for your daughter.

  24. “Good try? I hope that I don’t sound like a whiner, but my daughter didn’t just give it a good try; she nailed it.”

    Indeed!

  25. Reblogged this on dunkwusandra's Blog and commented:
    Creative

  26. I’d like to write a poem in the exact syntax as the Robert Frost poem, using Door Hinge and Orange within it. 🙂 When I was in my MFA program, we were assigned to write a poem copying someone else’s syntax exactly, and syllables I believe. It pushed me into a very different voice and langauge, rather gothic actually, and made me realize how my sentence structure is not very varied- I’ve imroved that with greater consciousness. Yes, a good rhyme from your daughter!

  27. I’d say run with the door hinge, but be careful. You could poke your eye out.

  28. Lorraine permalink

    Maybe you need to announce it on Twitter or Facebook, so we have a record of this.. (No I’m not teasing or being sarcastic or mean. I’m serious.

  29. I think this is great! I do want to point out that Eminem also rhymed orange in his raps many times with several different things, though at times he changed the word a couple times. That being said, your daughter sure showed that teacher.! Thanks for the post.

  30. Anonymous permalink

    awesome…

  31. olutade permalink

    awesome

  32. Absolutely rhymes – LOVE it!

  33. This is why I love teaching. Kids have no idea what they’re not supposed to be able to do. It rhymes. Nailed it. She should be praised.

  34. I don’t know much about literature, but in Hip Hop music, door hinge is a totally acceptable rhyme for Orange 🙂

  35. Lee Lian Oi permalink

    As an English teacher myself, I’d say your daughter nailed it.

  36. I like it and I think it works as a rhyme, although I guess it depends on how you pronounce “orange” (I usually pronounce it as one syllable). Still, if I were her teacher, I would have been impressed and given her a sticker or something. That’s some good creative thinking. And look, it works:
    “Roses are red, orchids are orange,
    If you punch me in the gut, I’ll fold like a door hinge.”

    Perfect.

  37. Eminem used it in a rhyme on his second album, I believe. Did your daughter accidentally catch on to Eminem? 😉 Kidding.

    Smart girl, though. Great post. Thanks!

  38. I was a teacher for over thirty years, middle school, children in the pangs of hormones. I did say shut up and regretted it each time. Not because they did not deserve it but because I lost my cool. I was the adult and should have exercised more control. Easily said, not easily done.

  39. nailed it

  40. It’s funny how that kind of thing happens; when a child is insightful enough to point out something a grown up overlooked. I think she nailed it when she said ‘door hinge’ rhymes with ‘orange’. Great post 🙂

  41. Katie permalink

    Sorry to burst your bubble but that rhyme comes from the TV show Drake and Josh..

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