Saturday, June 09, 2007

Don't Forget Large Marge

A few of the many examples of the rhyming duplications or "echo words" that follow the rule of the first half beginning with a softer sound than the second.
  • Achey-Breakey
  • airy-fairy
  • artsy-fartsy
  • backpack
  • bedspread
  • brain drain
  • chill pill
  • double trouble
  • fancy-schmancy
  • fender-bender
  • fuddy duddy
  • hanky-panky
  • heebie-jeebies
  • helter-skelter
  • herky-jerky
  • higgledy piggledy
  • hobnob
  • hocus-pocus
  • hoity-toity
  • hokey-pokey
  • holy moly
  • hootchie-kootchie
  • hurdy-gurdy
  • hurly-burly
  • hurry-scurry
  • itsy-bitsy
  • lovey-dovey
  • miminy-piminy
  • namby-pamby
  • night flight
  • nitty-gritty
  • okey-dokey
  • pell-mell
  • pooper-scooper
  • ragin' Cajun
  • razzle-dazzle
  • roach coach
  • roly-poly
  • sci-fi
  • Slim Jim
  • super-duper
  • Super Trooper
  • walkie-talkie
  • Wavy Gravy
  • willy-nilly
  • wingding
It's amusing to me that the pairs follow this rule so closely and that people would so naturally chose "super-duper" over "duper-super," even though the latter might easily make as much sense to someone who had never heard the expression before.

There are, of course, many exceptions — "Plain Jane," "tutti frutti," "teeney-weeney," "Maui Wowee" and "peg leg" perhaps among the most familiar — and some of the calls on which letter sounds softer are arguable, but in general the ones that get spoken most often adhere, I'm told.

No comments:

Post a Comment