Teaching Tip: Multi-Syllable Rhymes

Eminem performing at the DJ hero party with D1...Image via Wikipedia

When people think of poets, they don’t often think of rappers, but Eminem gets a lot of attention for how he puts his words together. People who don’t even like rap, admire him for his skill.

I know what you are thinking

– Eminem in a Teaching Tip Tuesday post?

– Has Chase really lost it?

The answer is, “No!”

Eminem is a brilliant wordsmith and probably the best one the English language has ever seen. Many of our students listen to him and are quite familiar with his lyrics. We don’t need to play any of his songs in the classroom to illustrate our point either.

This lesson will energize our students and get them writing. They can listen to him when they go home and hopefully will do so with a new appreciation of his technique and style.

Here’s the lesson,

There are three types of rhymes,

Normal rhyme such as “cat / hat”
Multi rhyme such as my “cat / hi-hat”
and Longer Multi Rhyme such as “bit my cat / hit the hi-hat.”

Eminem rarely uses normal rhyme or multi rhyme. Instead he strings together complex syllables where each sound rhymes over and over again. He does this in a way that does not sound forced at all and has accomplished this from years and years of practice.

As a drill, Eminem breaks phrases down into syllables and then tries to find rhymes for each syllable. It doesn’t even have to make sense, this is a basic search for some complex rhymes. This is an example from his latest album, “Op-en-up-some-lanes / go-ing-through-grow-ing-pains / flow-ing-through-my-veins / go-ing-in-sane / diss-ing-Lil-Wayne.”

Here’s an example from Big Daddy Kane, “Ain’t no need for wondering who’s the man / Staying looking right always an exclusive brand

As you can see, this style of rhyming has been around in hip-hop for quite some time.

2Pac packed lots of mutli-syllable rhymes into his verses as well,

“do to me” – “community”
“concrete” – “wrong street”
“irrelevant” – “devil’s friend”

Classroom Activity 

Brainstorm some phrases with the class and write them on the board. Then choose one phrase and have each student write syllable rhymes for it. Stress that we are only looking for rhymes. Spelling and making sense doesn’t count. At the end of the time, compile all of our work into one Eminem style verse.

I tried this with my class last week. We chose the phrase “cold winter day” for this exercise.

1) First, we brainstormed word that rhymed with “cold”


– old
– fold
– bold
– gold
– mold
– polled
– rolled

Then we brainstormed words that rhymed with “winter.”


– sprinter
– printer
– spinster
– enter
– centre
– sinner
– winner
– Prime Minister
– sinister
– finger

As you can see, not all of our words were perfect rhymes. That is totally fine.

Lastly, we needed to list words that rhymed with “day.”


– bay
– say
– okay
– obey
– clay
– stay
– away
– tray
– pay
– Santa Fe

Then we tried to combine words from each list that made sense when put together. 

Cold Winter Day

– old spinsters pray
– gold winners play
– the old sinister man from the bay
– fold printer paper this way
– polled the Prime Minister today
– bold tornado lays destruction

One of my students is a bit obsessed with Hello Kitty. She brainstormed words that rhymed with that title and came up with this short poem,

Hello Kitty
wanted to go to Mellow City
so she hopped on a Yellow jet ski.

So Try it out! 

If you have any ideas, tips, or lessons you’d like to share, please leave me a comment, or you could even write a guest post for an upcoming edition of Teaching Tip Tuesday. Teachers helping teachers is what this is all about. 

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10 responses to “Teaching Tip: Multi-Syllable Rhymes”

  1. Hi Chase .. that sounds like fun for the kids .. especially tying it in with Eminem ..

    The Edward Lear limericks are fun ..

    Nursery rhymes too … Peter Piper picked a piece of pickled pepper .. find out where pepper comes from and how it looks on the tree, how it's extracted off the branch .. with the feet, and then various pepper festivals and foods .. and I guess the poem ..

    Sea Shells .. etc .. eating chips from the space ship in the sky ..

    Cheers .. Hilary

  2. I’ma train him because his bar can’t be fixed into ORGANISED BEAT/
    i ain’t hot headed anymore unlike when i get pissed asap like those VOLCANISED HEAT

  3. I’ts a hardcore battle so we’re fisting in some BROKEN CLASSES/
    Lmao he got his leg thorned out from BROKEN GLASSES

  4. Hi John,

    Classes and Glasses are good. But maybe you could have done something different with Broken. You did it with Organized and Volcanized. Nice!

    Thanks for the comment!

  5. That’s a cool site. I don’t think it is cheating to use rhyming dictionaries or online resources as long as you don’t let the words dictate your rhyme. Content should still be king. You need to say something, present an argument, tell a story, or get to the point. I really dislike rambling rappers just saying multi-syllable rhymes just for the rhyme’s sake.

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Shake a tambourine, go and get yourself a whistlin’/

    Make your ass bleed, slow and steady with my fist again/

    Slant Multirhymes,
    Syllables, and Vowels

    They say there is no word that rhymes with oranges…Phfftt! Perhaps no real accurate rhymes but that has never mattered and never will matter. Why rhyme like your in nursery school when you can extend your rhyming skills and get creatively advanced. Everyone can rhyme hat with cat and bat with fat. But that doesn’t impress anyone.

    They also say that about the word purple as well, let’s see;

    Rhyme the word: Purple

    purple, hurtful, circle, worm hole, commercial, hurdle, turtle, curdle, per pill, learn slow, fur coat, kernel, virtual, burgle, whirlpool, cursed soul, gurgle, girl world, squirrel, firm
    hold, search all, squirt fill, work ill, were ya’ll, rehearsal, reversal, internal, eternal, external, infernal, thermal, herbal, gerbil, journal, fraternal, nocturnal, in urinal, maternal, Fern hill, churn coal, verbal, colonel, occur though, curve ball, church hall, terminal, Duracell, merciful, blurt out, burrow low, ergo, virgo, vertigo, personal, burn in hell, vertical, durable, hair pulled, scarecrow, etc. 59R

    As you start brain storming your own ideas, and slant rhyming different words together your vowel placements will slowly shift therefore extending unto you the opportunity to rhyme using other words with slightly variances in the vowel sounds that were not possible or that couldn’t audibly match at the beginning of the original rhyme scheme set forth. Pronunciation is important to maintain but sometimes bending it helps you emphasize the rhymes better.

    Here’s a list of slant multirhymes, lyricists, poets and rappers can force anyways to easily rhyme with the word oranges (pluralized only).

    Rhyme the word: Oranges

    Oranges, gorgeous, sorceress, sorcerers, core chip, horrocrux, fortress, turquoise, tortoise, sources, poor choice, Mormons, door step, foreign, boring quiz, assortment, victorious, notorious, morning dusk, inglorious, poorly gives, torment, born dead, Porsche red, porn sex, Morissette, tortured, stormed in, accordion, recorded, avoided, score bench, gorged flesh, forged in, Cortez’s, Gorgons, forced him, ignored ’em, snore slept, scorches, door hinge, absorbent, a fortune, pour it in, George’s, Lawrence, forest trip, floor ledge, storage bin, afford it, shore drift, coral ridge, more or less, corpses, yours is, portals, dorkus, porcelain, porch lit, organs, corked in, adorable kids, ouroboros, horse shit, horses, horrible tip, torn a rib, tore a limb, forwards, towards it, pork pig, forklift, morbid, horror flick, enormous, forfeit, foreskin, store swept, chores list, swordfish, for sure it, adornment, mortgages, orphanage, cordless, sore lips, corvettes, four inch, lordship, supported, rigour mortis, origins, performance, portions, important, abortion, extortion, vortex, corners, hornets, wore corset, orifice, endorphins, forehead,

    I’d sing the the rest of this song but I forgot how the Chorus went! 94R

    Rhyme the word: Apocalypse

    Apocalypse, sausages, hostages, bra and tits, your jaw is hit, mob profit, chocolate kiss, slaughtered ’em, saw off limbs, prophet predicts, often offends, call of the dead, providence, prophetess, tropical wind, awfulness, lawful sin, taught men to live, piranha fish, saucer spin, following him, provocative, strong defence, broccoli veg, possible and, moccasins, I’m the opposite, upon this ridge, preposterous, pompous prick, viral on the net, cough and twitch, unconsciousness, esophagus, sarcophagus, Bobby pins, shockin’ events, ostriches, on top of this, topless bitch, watch an eclipse, sponsorship, Baphomet, rot in a ditch, incompetence, hollowed head, toppled within, bothered again, floppy disk, hypothesis, geopolitics, dermatologist, lost Cargo ship, Washington press, cotton to pick, stalking it’s, prosperous, coffin cringe, launch and lift, a shopping trip, a proper fit, an honest fib, all marvellous, caution kids, promises, caught a glimpse, socketed, thought of it, accomplices, papa’s pissed, what sauce is this?, cannot resist, paused it since, raw pasta dish, astonishment, mocking diss, office biz, rock and fist, a horror flick, talking lips, walking limp, rocket ship, **** is stiff, constant tick, nauseous sick, locked within, father I’ve sinned, Boston chips, knocking sticks, socks are ripped, choppy tip, dolphin flip, soccer kick, Carls a dick, borrow your shit, etc. 94R (Sorry for offensive language) I could go on and on

    They are called multirhymes using partial fragments of sentences to rhyme with either core beginning, middle or ending slant rhymes within the bars of the verse. The consonants don’t matter it’s the vowels you audibly align and the syllables will auto rhyme the words for you.

    Once you master this technique you can learn to combine it with other techniques and you will then begin to create your own unique poetic style of algorithms that can’t be replicated. It’s how artists like Eminem and others do what they do so fluently!

    If I wanted to I could of used every word I listed as a slant multirhyme for ‘oranges’ and eventually merge it within the same rhyme scheme using all the other slant multirhymes listed for ‘apocalypse’ as well into one grand rhyme pattern. Did you notice “horror flick” was used for both?

    It’s fun and I enjoy it. I’d rather write lyrics and recite them memorize them securely to a YouTube instrumental and then I can entertain anyone anywhere if there’s wifi.

    No illusions of grandeur for record labels. I’m fascinated with the art of rap/rhyming not so much rap music itself, if that makes sense. There isn’t a word in the English language I personally can’t slant rhyme.

    To me, After you use slant rhymes so often the thought of using a perfect rhyme seems lazy and dull and I will never do it again. Like for example light with might, sight, fight. I just can’t do it, not challenging enough. I also don’t like to repeat words often, a variety is creative.

    Silver is another one of those words that doesn’t have many rhymes. Which is why I like the challenging words, the more syllables the more amusing it becomes.

    Rhyme the word: Silver

    Silver, children are, fielder, he’ll steer, sealed rear, lil’ deer, kill confirm, tiller, pilfer, pillar, Shield her, til fair, his error, mirror, feel fear, filter, Miller, will hear, quilter, kilter, Pilsner, milk curds, thriller, driller, Willard, bill year, builder, still birth, yield there, familiar, wielder, wheel chair, she’ll bear, chilled beer, ill heir, millionaire. 35R

    “The latter half of this verse doesn’t matter it it’s heard first.”

    It’s all about the slant multirhymes! Vowels are the clue! Nothing else matters. It’s about improving your rhyming skills with words in rap, poetry or lyrics in sentence structure.

    Written By “Kass Schmidt”
    Facebook ^ (Blue Eye Pic) Msg First

    I hope this helps you all understand the science behind the vowels. I can teach much greater if wanted personally then seek me out on fb and maybe this helps by me lending out the secrets I bestow by revealing my archived word lists. The vowels are the key not so much the words.