How To Use Phonetic Word Search?
- Click the IPA symbol buttons to add phonemes to your search query.
- Use Any/Consonant/Vowel buttons to add wildcard symbols.
- Click "Search" to retrieve results, and use "show rare words", "show proper nouns", and part of speech filters to narrow down your search.
Why Use Phonetic Word Search?
When The Word Has No Perfect Rhymes
Let's take the famous "orange" example. The word "orange" doesn't have perfect rhymes as it's the only English word that ends with "r ə n dʒ". How to solve this? The "ə" phoneme can be replaced with any vowel symbol "V", and you will find "fringe", "range", "strange". You can also try to skip the "n" phoneme as it is the least prominent of the consonants and search for "r ə dʒ" which yields "porridge", "storage". These are NOT perfect rhymes but in a case where suitable perfect rhyme doesn’t exist or it has been overused by other writers (e.g. "love - dove"), the "near rhymes" is the only alternative.
When Looking For Sound Similarities
Words rhyme when their ending phonemes match, but in some cases, you might want to look for similarities in phonemes that aren't closing the word. Such phonetic similarities can emphasize the rhythm and the connection between two words. For example, "dodo" - there aren't any relevant rhymes, but if you search for words with "d vowel d" pattern we get: "dodo died", "dodo ended", "dodo faded", and "widowed dodo". These sound connections are NOT a substitute for rhyming line endings in metered poetry, but they can be used to great effect in the middle of lines and in a free form verse.
What Is IPA?
IPA – the International Phonetic Alphabet is a system of phonetic notation provided by the International Phonetic Association. This website uses slightly modified Gimson’s phonemic system - a variation of IPA used in most modern English dictionaries.