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Rhyming Compounds

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This page contains our current glossary of rhyming compounds organized according to the categories discussed in Dr. Goodword's essay. For details, read Dr. Goodword's essay on sing-songy rhyming compounds in English. Asterisks mark the latest additions to the glossary. Click here for the same glossary listed alphabetically.
English Rhyming Compounds
Alliterative Compounds
Word Definition
cha-ching The sound of a cash register.
chit-chat Light conversation
creepy-crawly A small frightening flightless creature
chitter-chatter Idle talk
crisscross To move back & forth
dilly-dally Dawdle, move slowly
ding-dong Bell sound
doodad Trinket
fiddle-faddle Nonsense
flim-flam Con game
flip-flop Thong slippers; change of mind
flotsam-jetsam Sea garbage
fribble-frabble Nonsense
gibble-gabble Nonsense talk, drivel
heigh-ho Exclamation of jollity or boredom
hee-haw Mule sound
hip-hop Chanting music
hothead Easily angered person
jim-jams Pajamas; the jitters (archaic)
jingle-jangle Sound of metal pieces
KitKat Commercial candy name
kitty-cat A cat
klip-klop Sound of hooves
knick-knack Trinket
linsey-woolsey Coarse wool fabric
niddle-noddle To nod unsteadily
nid-nod Nod repeatedly
peewee Very small
pickpocket Pocket thief
pish-posh Nonsense
pit-pat Heartbeat
pitter-patter Sound of little feet
prittle-prattle Idle chatter, babble
rickrack Zigzag trim for clothing
riff-raff Low life, worthless people
seesaw A teeter-totter; to go back and forth
teeter-totter Wobble; a seesaw
tick-tock Sound of an old clock
tip-top Very best
tipsy-topsy Head over heels
tittle-tattle Idle chatter
twiddle-twaddle Gab, superficial talk
whipper-snapper An upstart
wiggle-waggle Waggling back and forth
wishy-washy Indecisive, vacillating
zig-zag Move back and forth
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Complex Compounds
Compound Definition
bric-a-brac, bricabrac Cheap decorative objects
chug-a-lug To drink down in one swallow
clickety-clack Heavy clicking
cock-a-doodle-doo Rooster sound
cock-a-leekie Chicken-leek soup
ding-a-ling Bell sound; foolish person
flibbertigibbet A talkative airhead
fuss budget Fussy person
hippety-hop Hopping
hoopty-doo Interjection of excitement
hunky-dory OK, alright
jiggery-pokery Trickery
ka-ching The sound of a cash register.
lickety-split Fast
oopsy-daisey Exclamation when something falls
ratta-tat(-tat) Drum roll, drum sound
razzmatazz Dazzling display
ring-a-ding-ding Happy interjection
ring-a-ling Bell sound
rooty-toot(-toot) Sound of brass instrument
sasafrass Rootbeer plant
tic-tac-toe Simple game
topsy-turvy Confused
yakety-yack Droning chatter
whirly bird Helicopter
Tweedledum & Tweedledee Two identical things
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Duplicative Compounds
Compound Definition
Coco French nickname
Fifi French nickname
Gigi French nickname
Mimi French nickname
bling-bling Jewelry
bon-bon Candy
couscous Steamed semolina
dadaism Absurdist art
dodo Extinct bird
doo-doo Mess in your pants
ga-ga Wide-eyed, awed
gogo Fast paced (music)
goo-goo Baby talk.
goody-goody A smugly or affectedly virtuous person.
ha-ha Normal laugh
hee-hee High-pitched laugh
he-he Conniving laugh
ho-ho Deep laugh
hubba-hubba Disparaging salute to women
mau-mau To terrorize
pee-pee Wet your pants
pooh-pooh Dismiss as trivial
putt-putt Sound of toy motorboat
tutu Short ballet skirt
yadda-yadda-yadda Etc., chatter, verbiage
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Rhyming Compounds
Compound Definition
argle-bargle Argument or fight
artsy-fartsy Fake-art
backpack Satchel carried on back
bigwig Important person
black-jack Card game
bogo Buy one, get one (free)
boob tube Television set
boogie-woogie Fast jazz dance
claptrap Cheap talk
fast track Expedited service
fuddy-duddy Old-fashioned person
fuzzy-wuzzy Really fuzzy.
handy-dandy Quite useful
hanky-panky Questionable activity
heebie-jeebies Chills of fright
helter-skelter in all directions
hi-fi High quality sound
higgledy-piggledy Disorganized
hobnob Hang around with
hocus-pocus Trickery
hoi-poloi Ordinary people
hoity-toity Showing off
hokey-pokey Dance, ice cream
holus-bolus All together
honky-tonk Sleazy saloon
hootchy-kootchy Dirty dance
hotshot Important person
hubbub Noisy mixture of sounds
hubble-bubble Hubbub
hubbly-bubbly Hookah
hugger-mugger Secrecy; in secret
humdrum Boringly routine.
Humpty-Dumpty Nursery rhyme name (egg)
hurdy-gurdy Cranked musical instrument
hurly-burly Tumult, bustle, confusion
itsy-bitsy Very, very little
itty-bitty Very, very little
jelly belly Protruding stomach
Ju-jubes Commercial candy name
legal beagle Agressive lawyer
loosey-goosey Very relaxed
lovey-dovey Affectionate(ly)
miminy-piminy Prim and proper
Miss Priss Prissy litle girl
moo-juice Milk
mumbo-jumbo Unintelligible speech
nightlight Small electric light
niminy-piminy Prim and proper
nitty-gritty The essence
nitwit Dumb person
nolens-volens Like it or not
oops-a-daisey Exclamation for a fall or lifting
okey-dokey OK
pall-mall Old stick-and-ball game
palsy-walsy Suspiciously friendly
payday When salaries are paid
pell-mell In a rush
pooper-scooper Pet dropping scoop
potshot Easy shot
prime time TV programs 8 to 11 PM
raggle-taggle Strangely mixed
ragtag Ragged, disorganized
razzle-dazzle Showiness
roister-doister Loud-mouth, cut-up, show-off
roly-poly Round
rooty-toot Sound of brass instrument
Scooby-Doo The name of a cartoon dog.
shilly-shally Delay, lag behind
silly Willy Casual nickname
sing-song Boringly monotonic
slangwhang Rant nonsense
slap-happy Crazy happy
slo-mo Slow motion (movies)
Soho Area of London
tee-hee High pitched laugh
teeny-weeny Very small.
Tex-Mex Texas-Mexican
tutti-frutti Italian ice cream flavor
voodoo Caribbean magic
walkie-talkie Two-way hand-held portable radio.
whing-ding Wild party
wing-ding Wild party
wi-fi Wideband wireless network
willy-nilly Like it or not; randomly
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SH-Rule Compounds
Compound Definition
candy-shmandy Candy my eye!
fancy-shmancy Fancy my eye!
fishy-shmishy Fishy my eye!
girdle-shmirdle Girdle my eye!
salary-shmalary Salary my eye!
Click Here for an Explanation of these Categories
Thank you to the following contributors: Lenore Taylor, Dr. Robert Whittier, . . .
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