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4.5 out of 5 stars54
4.5 out of 5 stars
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 6 April 2009
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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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2001
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 2 January 2010
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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65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on 25 May 2002
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 21 December 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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 7 August 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.

There aren't as many pointlessly expanded lists of words - words tend to be reduced to a basic stub with a note that they can be expanded using various suffixes.

The weaknesses of the Complete Rhyming Dictionary are:
There is no word index. If you don't know how find the phonetic sound you want you're scuppered. Personally I didn't find this much of a problem - it took me about 5 minutes to learn the sounds specified in the index and begin using the dictionary in anger - but this might not be the case for other people.

It's an American book. Although I didn't have any trouble finding "Fire" (it's in the same list as Aspire, Rewire and other words rhyming -'R) there are pronunciation differences between British and American English to do with which syllables are stressed in multi-syllable words: You say adúlt, we say ádult, you say díctate, we say dictáte. This occasionally causes a word the British would put in the masculine rhyme section under one heading (dictáte, under -ate) to occur in the feminine rhyme section under another heading (díctate under -ict). Personally I think this is just a slight annoyance (compared with the endless index-related fiddling of the Penguin Dictionary) and I cross-check with the Penguin dictionary to make sure I'm not missing anything. Others might find it more of an irritation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 June 2009
to anyone who's never had the pleasure of using this book to find a rhyming word then you've had a lot of hard work for nothing. This book is a very good source of words-often better than you can sometimes think up/remember!
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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on 18 September 2003
There was a young man from Salisbury, who once bought a rhyming dictionary,
Whilst sucking on a lozenge, he found a rhyme for orange, and the rest as they say, is history! - from limericks to lyrics an invaluable guide for poets and songwriters, very easy to use with rhymes listed in groups with true rhymes then close rhymes, even gives descriptions for obscure words as well as names & place names, an extremely useful guide for inspiration and finding that illusive rhyme.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 June 2012
I've had a copy of this book for many years and it is now tatty through over-use. My new one serves to replace this. I use it for writing 'poems' of appreciation or complaint to companies, making up rhyming stories for birthdays etc and also for more serious stuff when I just feel like expressing myself in a different way. The book has never let me down and contains an amazing array of words that you would never think to use if you didn't have this wonderful book. It"s incredibly easy to use and if you buy one it will change the way you think about words and will increase your vocabulary. I wouldn't be without a copy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 8 August 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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