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The Penguin Rhyming Dictionary [Hardcover]

Rosalind Fergusson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, 25 Oct 1984 --  
Paperback 6.99  

Book Description

25 Oct 1984
The Penguin Rhyming Dictionary is an indispensable reference companion for anyone who writes verse - whether lyric poet, songwriter or composer of limericks or jingles. Clearly arranged and easy to use, it offers an astonishing wide range of suggestions for rhyming words, from the common and everyday to the more difficult and obscure.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Viking; First Edition edition (25 Oct 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670800368
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670800360
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 14.2 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,555,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'One of the delights of our age... a treasure-trove for writers of every kind. As it satisfies our search for similar sounds, so it leads us into new thoughts, strange associations, unexpected territories... Everyone who loves words should own a copy'
-- Andrew Motion --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Rosalind Fergusson has worked extensively as an editor, lexicographer and writer for over twenty years. Her previous publications include THE PENGUIN DICTIONARY OF PROVERBS, THE PENGUIN DICTIONARY OF SYNONYMS AND ANTONYMS and CHOOSE YOUR BABY'S NAME. She is currently working on THE PENGUIN DICTIONARY OF ABBREVIATIONS. She is married and lives in Newington, nr Sittingbourne, Kent. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read the other reviews! 6 April 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The reviews on here are pretty old, but I've just bought this book and they're still completely relevant. The rhymes and index is well put together and easy to cross reference.

I've been using this to put together rhyming poetry and at first I was using it as a handy tool, now it's a staple whenever I'm feeling poetic. Fortunately it's small(ish) and lightweight, but unfortunately it's always accompanied by a dictionary and thesaurus because the rhymes are so comprehensive I have to look up what half of the words mean!

Anyway, I'd recommend this rhyming dictionary to all poets, songwriters, spell writers, and anyone else in need of a little rhyme.
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 11 rhymes for love 28 Feb 2001
By A Customer
The Penguin Rhyming Dictionary by Rosalind Fergusson is easy to use. To find the rhymes for any particular word, first look in the index, which forms roughly the second half of the book. The index will refer you either to a group number (e.g. 15) or a subgroup number (e.g. 15.3) in the first part of the book. And that's it, - rhyme along! The book contains lists of rhymes for well over 40000 words, and even offer explanations of the unusual ones. For instance: I was desperately looking for a rhyme for the word disequilibrium, and yes, here it was: Perionychium, explained as skin surrounding fingernail. I'll find a way to make use of this in a song, sooner or later. But, of course, there are several more relevant words for songwriters: 11 rhymes for love, - even Baal Shem Tov (Jewish religious leader!). I don't regret I also ordered a copy for a friend.
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64 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful And Handy 25 May 2002
By A Customer
The Penguin Rhyming Dictionary is a compelling opus, which generally meets all the linguistic needs of today's true versifiers. It is very extensive covering words from common to exceptionally rare yet remaining absolutely pragmatic.
The Penguin Rhyming Dictionary is also very easy to use unlike some rhyming dictionaries such as, for instance, The Complete Rhyming Dictionary, which I found very arduous as the rhymes were to be searched by their phonetic order. In The Penguin Rhyming Dictionary the desired word can be looked up from the back of the book, and it gives you the page number from where all the words that rhyme with this particular word can be found.
Basically, the only thing that stops me from giving 5 stars to this book is that there are a few word sections that are just jumbled up and which do not really rhyme, such as dribble and babble, or something similar to this example.
However, this is only a tiny flaw in a book that has definitely become an incontestable necessity for me. It has earned its recommendations.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I had found this gem before 2 Jan 2010
By Angel House VINE VOICE
This is an absolute must for anyone who writes poetry. I wish I had discovered it years ago. It would have made life a lot easier. I am amazed at the number of words that are identified for each rhyme. Some not even in my huge dictionary. Being a word geek, I also love just looking through at the rhyming words as well as using this for poetry writing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Potential Poets 21 Dec 2010
This book is great. I recently went on a creative writing workshop including poetry and I have always struggled finding sensible words, in plain English, that rhyme. This book solves the problem. Its easy to use and my tutor was quite impressed when I turned up in class with it saying it is one of the best on the market.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best of the bunch 8 Aug 2010
This is the best rhyming dictionary I know of, and I've bought a few. It manages to be both extensive and relatively easy to use. However, it's not perfect. You often have to trawl through long lists of imperfect rhymes to find the perfect ones, i.e. there are very long lists of words grouped together where the rhyme falls on an unstressed syllable.

The book claims to have overcome the common rhyming dictionary problem of words being grouped together simply because of similar spelling, but then often falls at the same fence. For example (this is a random page opening): marbled is listed together with fabled and gabled - but, strangely, not garbled. And, on the same page, untravelled is listed with disgruntled but not unravelled.

In a perfect world, there would be a faultless dictionary of perfect rhymes. This is a great labour saving device, but you do have to meet it halfway.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK for quick use, fiddly for extended use. 7 Aug 2012
I have both the Penguin Rhyming Dictionary and the Complete Rhyming Dictionary and they're each useful in their own way.

The strengths of the Penguin Rhyming Dictionary are:
If you know the word you want to rhyme, you look up that word in the index then find the section containing rhymes for that word;
The rhyme lists are large and relatively comprehensive.

The weaknesses of the Penguin Rhyming Dictionary are:
There appears to be no obvious organisation of the rhyming section. Rhymes are not organised so that all rhymes beginning -A, -E, -I are in order, and masculine and feminine rhymes are all jumbled up together. This means that it is difficult to use the rhyming section without first referring to the index. If you only have a couple of words to look up that's OK, but if you're looking for a large number of rhymes (or are looking for family rhymes) this quickly becomes time-consuming and, ultimately, tiresome.

There is the occasional pointlessly expanded list of compound words. -ity being a case in point. It would take far less paper and be clearer to make a note for words ending in -ual, -ial, -il that -ity can be appended where appropriate. Anyone who's using a rhyming dictionary is probably smart enough to know that you can append -ity to 'eventual' and 'trivial'.

The paperback version of the book has a tendency to fall to pieces: I've had mine for 6 weeks now and the first pages are already falling out.

The strengths of the Complete Rhyming Dictionary are:
The rhyming section of the dictionary are split into masculine rhymes and feminine rhymes and organised by phonetic sound within each section. This makes it easier to find rhymes by scanning the rhyming section, and to find family rhymes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
very good value , well pakaged , and delivered on time
Published 25 days ago by steve torch
4.0 out of 5 stars For budding Wordsworths...
Great when the little one has poetry writing homework (or for any adult who feels like they want to write rhyming couplets but can't think of something to rhyme with phyllophagous... Read more
Published 25 days ago by Ohcci
5.0 out of 5 stars Delivered on time and in good condition
My son found this dictionary to be exactly what he was looking for. It arrived promptly and in good condition. No problems.
Published 1 month ago by lestroischenes
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a prize possession!
What a useful book for a songwriter, poet or lyricist. If one is stuck for a rhyme then this worthy tome will provide the answer every time. Excellent purchase!
Published 1 month ago by Peter A. Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
perfect for any lyricist or rapper that wants to improve and increase their vocabulary and become a more literate spitter of verse
Published 2 months ago by andrea greenandpleasantland
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have book
I found this book very useful when I was writing poetry, considering I have never written before. I have used this book while at University.
Published 2 months ago by Honeybun
5.0 out of 5 stars Really helpful
Bought for my dad who writes poetry. It was confusing for me to understand at first, but once I got the hang of it, it proves to be a very handy tool for people of all ages.
Published 4 months ago by georgie
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
Exactly what I wanted and unbelievably cheap I would highly recomend the seller. I will be back for more.Great. Happiness
Published 5 months ago by veggie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for writing poems or songs
My brother and I bought this book for my dad who writes songs. He let me borrow it and I've found it makes song writing much easier. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Ruth Dean
4.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful
Takes a little while to get the hang of, but an extremely useful book. Has had a lot of use in a short time.
Published 10 months ago by Leseratte
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