Rhyming Compounds

Listed by Category

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
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
flim-flamCon game
flip-flopThong slippers; change of mind
flotsam-jetsamSea garbage
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
linsey-woolseyCoarse wool fabric
niddle-noddleTo nod unsteadily
nid-nodNod repeatedly
peeweeVery small
pickpocketPocket thief
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
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
hoopty-dooInterjection of excitement
hunky-doryOK, alright
ka-chingThe sound of a cash register.
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
yakety-yackDroning chatter
whirly birdHelicopter
Tweedledum & TweedledeeTwo identical things
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Duplicative Compounds
CocoFrench nickname
FifiFrench nickname
GigiFrench nickname
MimiFrench nickname
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
pooh-poohDismiss as trivial
putt-puttSound of toy motorboat
tutuShort ballet skirt
yadda-yadda-yaddaEtc., chatter, verbiage
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Rhyming Compounds
argle-bargleArgument or fight
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
hobnobHang around with
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
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
miminy-piminyPrim and proper
Miss PrissPrissy litle girl
mumbo-jumboUnintelligible speech
nightlightSmall electric light
niminy-piminyPrim and proper
nitty-grittyThe details of the essence
nitwitDumb person
nolens-volensLike it or not
oops-a-daiseyExclamation for a fall or lifting
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
roister-doisterLoud-mouth, cut-up, show-off
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.
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
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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