What are “Orphans”?

An “orphan” is a word in WikiRhymer that has no PURE rhymes. The classic example of this is the word “orange,” which as most everybody knows, has no pure rhyme.

At WikiRhymer, words are always grouped into sets of words that are pure rhymes for each other. The only exception to this are orphans. So, you will find a set like Near Rhyme Set #76* of 76 for the target word “love” that contains a bunch of words that are near rhymes for “love.” If you peruse the members of Set 76, you will see words like “bulb,” “buzzed,” and “cusp” that are near rhymes for “love”,” but not pure rhymes for each other.

How To Avoid Using Orphans
Orphans complicate things for rhymers. If your target word is an orphan; guess what–you are kinda screwed as to pure rhymes for it–there aren’t any! So how can you avoid setting yourself up for defeat? How can you generally avoid ending a line with an orphan that you then have to waste time trying to rhyme? Here are some tips:

  • The shorter a word is (i.e., number of letters), the less likely it is to be an orphan.
  • The fewer number of syllables a word has, the less likely it is to be an orphan. The vast majority of single syllable words ARE NOT orphans. But, click here for a list that are!
  • Multi-syllabic words whose stressed syllable is NOT its last syllable are more often orphans.
  • A majority of three- or more syllable words whose stressed syllable is NOT the last or second to last syllable are orphans.

What To Do If You Have Backed Yourself Into A Corner With An Orphan
Well, by now you know that an orphan has no pure rhyme, so what are you to do? Use a near rhyme, an end rhyme or a mosaic rhyme. They are all at WikiRhymer!

Opportunities Orphans Create
Because orphans are hard to rhyme, poets and songwriters assiduously avoid them. That creates an opportunity because that which is rare is rarely mundane, boring or commonplace. So, if you manage to creatively rhyme orphans, by definition you will be creating something unique and rare and that may give you an edge.

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