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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
WordDefinition
cha-chingThe sound of a cash register.
chit-chatLight conversation
creepy-crawlyA small frightening flightless creature
chitter-chatterIdle talk
crisscrossTo move back & forth
dilly-dallyDawdle, move slowly
ding-dongBell sound
doodadTrinket
fiddle-faddleNonsense
flim-flamCon game
flip-flopThong slippers; change of mind
flotsam-jetsamSea garbage
fribble-frabbleNonsense
gibble-gabbleNonsense talk, drivel
heigh-hoExclamation of jollity or boredom
hee-hawMule sound
hip-hopChanting music
hotheadEasily angered person
jim-jamsPajamas; the jitters (archaic)
jingle-jangleSound of metal pieces
KitKatCommercial candy name
kitty-catA cat
klip-klopSound of hooves
knick-knackTrinket
linsey-woolseyCoarse wool fabric
niddle-noddleTo nod unsteadily
nid-nodNod repeatedly
peeweeVery small
pickpocketPocket thief
pish-poshNonsense
pit-patHeartbeat
pitter-patterSound of little feet
prittle-prattleIdle chatter, babble
rickrackZigzag trim for clothing
riff-raffLow life, worthless people
seesawA teeter-totter; to go back and forth
teeter-totterWobble; a seesaw
tick-tockSound of an old clock
tip-topVery best
tipsy-topsyHead over heels
tittle-tattleIdle chatter
twiddle-twaddleGab, superficial talk
whipper-snapperAn upstart
wiggle-waggleWaggling back and forth
wishy-washyIndecisive, vacillating
zig-zagMove back and forth
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Complex Compounds
CompoundDefinition
bric-a-brac, bricabracCheap decorative objects
chug-a-lugTo drink down in one swallow
clickety-clackHeavy clicking
cock-a-doodle-dooRooster sound
cock-a-leekieChicken-leek soup
ding-a-lingBell sound; foolish person
flibbertigibbetA talkative airhead
fuss budgetFussy person
hippety-hopHopping
hoopty-dooInterjection of excitement
hunky-doryOK, alright
jiggery-pokeryTrickery
ka-chingThe sound of a cash register.
lickety-splitFast
oopsy-daiseyExclamation when something falls
ratta-tat(-tat)Drum roll, drum sound
razzmatazzDazzling display
ring-a-ding-dingHappy interjection
ring-a-lingBell sound
rooty-toot(-toot)Sound of brass instrument
sasafrassRootbeer plant
tic-tac-toeSimple game
topsy-turvyConfused
yakety-yackDroning chatter
whirly birdHelicopter
Tweedledum & TweedledeeTwo identical things
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Duplicative Compounds
CompoundDefinition
CocoFrench nickname
FifiFrench nickname
GigiFrench nickname
MimiFrench nickname
bling-blingJewelry
bon-bonCandy
couscousSteamed semolina
dadaismAbsurdist art
dodoExtinct bird
doo-dooMess in your pants
frou-frouFussy stuff added to attire
ga-gaWide-eyed, awed
gogoFast paced (music)
goo-gooBaby talk.
goody-goodyA smugly or affectedly virtuous person.
ha-haNormal laugh
hee-heeHigh-pitched laugh
he-heConniving laugh
ho-hoDeep laugh
hubba-hubbaDisparaging salute to women
mau-mauTo terrorize
pee-peeWet your pants
poo-pooPoop
pooh-poohDismiss as trivial
putt-puttSound of toy motorboat
tutuShort ballet skirt
yadda-yadda-yaddaEtc., chatter, verbiage
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Rhyming Compounds
CompoundDefinition
argle-bargleArgument or fight
artsy-fartsyFake-art
backpackSatchel carried on back
bigwigImportant person
black-jackCard game
bogoBuy one, get one (free)
boob tubeTelevision set
boogie-woogieFast jazz dance
claptrapCheap talk
fast trackExpedited service
fuddy-duddyOld-fashioned person
fuzzy-wuzzyReally fuzzy.
handy-dandyQuite useful
hanky-pankyQuestionable activity
heebie-jeebiesChills of fright
helter-skelterin all directions
hi-fiHigh quality sound
higgledy-piggledyDisorganized
hobnobHang around with
hocus-pocusTrickery
hoi-poloiOrdinary people
hoity-toityShowing off
hokey-pokeyDance, ice cream
holus-bolusAll together
honky-tonkSleazy saloon
hootchy-kootchyDirty dance
hotshotImportant person
hubbubNoisy mixture of sounds
hubble-bubbleHubbub
hubbly-bubblyHookah
hugger-muggerSecrecy; in secret
humdrumBoringly routine.
Humpty-DumptyNursery rhyme name (egg)
hurdy-gurdyCranked musical instrument
hurly-burlyTumult, bustle, confusion
itsy-bitsyVery, very little
itty-bittyVery, very little
jelly bellyProtruding stomach
Ju-jubesCommercial candy name
legal beagleAgressive lawyer
loosey-gooseyVery relaxed
lovey-doveyAffectionate(ly)
miminy-piminyPrim and proper
Miss PrissPrissy litle girl
moo-juiceMilk
mumbo-jumboUnintelligible speech
nightlightSmall electric light
niminy-piminyPrim and proper
nitty-grittyThe essence
nitwitDumb person
nolens-volensLike it or not
oops-a-daiseyExclamation for a fall or lifting
okey-dokeyOK
pall-mallOld stick-and-ball game
palsy-walsySuspiciously friendly
paydayWhen salaries are paid
pell-mellIn a rush
pooper-scooperPet dropping scoop
potshotEasy shot
prime timeTV programs 8 to 11 PM
raggle-taggleStrangely mixed
ragtagRagged, disorganized
razzle-dazzleShowiness
roister-doisterLoud-mouth, cut-up, show-off
roly-polyRound
rooty-tootSound of brass instrument
Scooby-DooThe name of a cartoon dog.
shilly-shallyDelay, lag behind
silly WillyCasual nickname
sing-songBoringly monotonic
slangwhangRant nonsense
slap-happyCrazy happy
slo-moSlow motion (movies)
SohoArea of London
tee-heeHigh pitched laugh
teeny-weenyVery small.
Tex-MexTexas-Mexican
tutti-fruttiItalian ice cream flavor
voodooCaribbean magic
walkie-talkieTwo-way hand-held portable radio.
whing-dingWild party
wing-dingWild party
wi-fiWideband wireless network
willy-nillyLike it or not; randomly
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SH-Rule Compounds
CompoundDefinition
candy-shmandyCandy my eye!
fancy-shmancyFancy my eye!
fishy-shmishyFishy my eye!
girdle-shmirdleGirdle my eye!
salary-shmalarySalary my eye!
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Thank you to the following contributors: Lenore Taylor, Dr. Robert Whittier, . . .
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