Adventures with a Rhyming Dictionary

I’ve just been looking up words that rhyme with vole. I already had hole, sole, soul, mole and ball in mind.

I was surprised, on checking an on-line rhyming dictionary, to find krumholz in it. One, because I’ve only just learnt the word and two, because I would never pronounce it to rhyme with vole. I always thought anything Germanic ending in -z had a ts sound at the end, and pronounce krumholz to rhyme with waltz. It’s not been a major issue because I’ve only ever read the word until now. This is the first time I’ve written it and I’ve never said it out loud.

They are trees on mountains which have grown up stunted by the weather. I first saw the word in a poetry magazine a couple of months ago.

I never thought I would ever need to use the word, as my life, generally, doesn’t take me up any mountains.

Another quick look suggets azoles (anti-fungal drugs), polls (which might be a bit too topical for Americans at the moment), and rissoles. The last one is, I admit, close to a word I was thinking of using. Actually, so is the first one.

I do like fumarole (a vent in or near a volcano from which hot gases, especially steam, are emitted) , but it may be a bit dramatic for a short poem about cute, furry animals.

Talking about cute furry animals, what do you think about mink? Apart from them being vicious predators of water voles they are, it seems, a reservoir of infection for COVID 19.

I was even more surprised to see that Denmark is still farming mink for furs. The official line always seems to be that Scandinavia is wonderful and the world would be so much better if we all embraced Scandinavian values like hygge, and, it seems, fur farming.

I’ve just spent an interesting ten minutes reading about eugenics, racism and various other things in Scandinavia. I think I might pass on the Scandinavian lifestyle. It’s amazing how we always think our own countries are doing badly, but I feel quite good about the UK after reading about Scandinavia.



23 thoughts on “Adventures with a Rhyming Dictionary

  1. Helen

    A Swedish friend alerted me to Denmark’s draconian attitude to immigration (if a Dane married someone from outside the EEA they would have to go and live in the spouse’s country) some 15 or so years ago. That got me thinking about how it’s easy to get impressions which aren’t true.

    I’m not suggesting for one minute that everything in Blighty is top notch but I don’t think we are worse than anywhere else.

    Anyway, when you said ‘ball’ rhymes with ‘vole’ did you mean ‘bowl’? Off the top of my head there are also: knoll, coal, kohl, foal, droll.

    I love rhymes 😊

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      Ball or bowl would work with my accent. 🙂 I must do some more work on that.

      And yes, we’re far from perfect, but sometimes we have to stand up for ourselves and say we aren’t too bad either.

      1. Helen

        I think that will be a matter of opinion. I should imagine it has a more musical quality that some whole languages.

      2. quercuscommunity Post author

        My voice, I’m afraid, shares much of its musical quality with the crow family. I was actually born in Walsall but moved away before I was one – a lucky escape.

  2. Lavinia Ross

    All countries are inhabited by humans, not Vulcans, and are subject to human failings. We are much closer to Andorians in nature, minus the blue skin and antennae. 🙂

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      I have white hair and will probably have a tinge of blue in my skin for the next few months, so I can empathise. All countries, and all people have foibles, but the Scandi foible of lecturing the rest of Europe on how wonderful they are does get a bit wearing at times. 🙂

      1. Lavinia Ross

        Everything is relative, and not perfect is better than chaos. I was off in another town doing shopping when I heard screaming, and saw a small crowd forming. A man was being beaten up on the street. Four police cruisers showed up, alerted by someone. I don’t know any details. I got out of there quickly.

  3. tootlepedal

    Always bear in mind that those living in the Scandinavian countries had an earlier existence as viking raiders and perhaps you won’t be so surprised about their habits. Mind you, if Mrs Thatcher had had the nous to invest the north sea oil profits into a sovereign wealth fund like the Norwegians, we would all be in a better place now.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      Yes, the Viking ancestry is a good point. Every time I think of the way the Norwegians used their oil money I feel saddened by the way we let ours dribble away. However, that involves thinking of politics and that is a depressing business.

  4. Laurie Graves

    No country is perfect, not even the vaunted Denmark. Poor creatures! On a lighter note…love learning and having fun with words. I’m a regular word nerd, that’s what I am. 😉 A simple pleasure in complicated times.


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