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The Penguin Rhyming Dictionary (Dictionary, Penguin) Paperback – 29 Aug 1985

4.6 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Reissue edition (29 Aug. 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140511369
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140511369
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'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

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.


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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By A Customer on 28 Feb. 2001
Format: Paperback
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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By A Customer on 25 May 2002
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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.
Read more ›
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