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A Rhyme to "Silver."  The Dramatic Review 5.109, Sat., Feb. 26, 1887, p. 16.

SIR, - You advertise for a rhyme to "silver."  Allow me to submit "chilver" to your consideration.  I confess I am not quite clear as to what a chilver may be, but I have seen the word in advertisements of sales of farm stock, and I have an idea that it describes a species of sheep.  Perhaps some of your readers who are better farmers than I, can give you more definite information on the subject.  I am bound to admit that I cannot find the word in any dictionary.

It has long been supposed that there is no rhyme to "month."  There is a rhyme to it—not "onety-onth," or any lisping version of such words as "once," "dunce," etc., but a legitimate word in everyday use.  Perhaps your readers would like to guess what it is.

While I am on the subject of rhymes, I should like to suggest that any inventor who is in need of a name for his invention would confer a boon on all rhymers, and at the same time insure himself many gratuitous advertisements, if he were to select a word that rhymes to one of the many words in common use that have very few rhymes or none at all.  Any invention called, for instance, a "Lorrange," would surely be referred to whenever a poet wished to rhyme to "orange."  A few more words rhyming to "love" are greatly wanted.  All who have dabbled in amatory verse must have felt this necessity.  "Revenge" and "avenge" have no rhyme but "Penge" and "Stonehenge"; "coif" has no rhyme at all.  "Starve" has no rhyme, except (O irony) "carve!"  "Scarf" has no rhyme, though I fully expect to be told that "laugh" and "half" and "calf" are admissible—which they certainly are not.  "Scalp" has no rhyme but "Alp."  "False" has no rhyme—"valse" is near it, but the French accent disqualifies it.  "Waltz" is also near but the "t" spoils it.  "Babe" has no rhyme but "astrolabe"—certain proper names excepted.  "Gamboge" has no rhyme but "rouge."  "Tube" would be rhymeless, save for "cube" and "jujube."  "Fugue" has no rhyme at all.  Gulf rhymes with no English word: we have to fall back on "Cardinal Pandulph," and "Ulf," the minstrel.  "Azimuth" has only "doth."  "Culm" and "cusp" have no English rhymes. 

Your obedient servant,

W.S. GILBERT.

London, 23rd February, 1887.



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