Sunday, 20 December 2020

Lyrics for Singable Patter-Satire: Tom Lehrer sings "REDUPLICATIONS A to K"


ORIGINAL SONG: "The Elements", Tom Lehrer, 1959.

PARODY COMPOSED: Dr. G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio, 2015. This song is the seventh of nine in the series on Word- Pairs. You can find the links to the lyrics of the previous songs at the bottom of the post. 

EXPLANATION:  For a  discussion of reduplications, check an earlier post on this blog-site by clicking here. This post also honours our previous venture of Feb 15, 2017 entitled 'Abracadabra' to 'Zoom-zoom': possibly the world's largest compendium of reduplications'. 

UKULELE and GUITAR-FRIENDLY LINK: Our whole series of songs can be found in a friendly format for ukulele (and guitar)-players on our sister blog  "SILLY SONGS and SATIREwith chord-charts and helpful performing suggestions. Click here to proceed to this site. But note that as it is a 'private blog' you will need to arrange access, if you don't already have it. Leave a comment on this post if you want to access the musically informative version. 

This post is a follow-up to "The Reduplications: A Lesson"

  This collection of fascinating phrases has been modified somewhat since its original posting on the site Thanks are due to Al Silver, Becky Hurwitz and Uncle Paul for suggesting several examples which were incorporated into the current version. 

 WARNING!  Do not attempt to sing this lesson at the pace of a patter-song. The management of this blog will take no responsibility for any injuries sustained.

Many of these words have fascinating stories of their origin and subsequent use; the hotlinks highlight those with instructive or amusing information available on the web.

A mini-lesson found on the Internet

There’s achy-breakyartsy-fartsybigwigBB, and aye-aye
And Bora Bora, beriberi, (good) bees knees, and (bad) boo-boo
And bonbonbuddy-buddybunga-bungacan-can, and choo-choo

There's crackerjackcouscous, and chili, chugalugchin-chin, cocoa 
And clap-trap, culture vulture,  chit-chatchock-a-block,  cluck-cluck, dodo 
And dilly-dally, deadhead, dum(b)-dum(b), dingle-dangle, and clip-clop 
And easy-peasy, even Steven, fifty-fifty, and flip-flop.

There's flim-flam, fiddle-faddle, fuddy-duddy, fat cat, funny mon-
And four-door, ga-ga, goody-goody, golden-oldy, and hotshot
And go-go, gibber-jabber, hurly-burly, honky-tonk, hotspot. 
And holy moly!  hoity-toityhip-hop, heeby-jeebies, oy!
And hullaballoo and hokey-pokey, hotpot, hoodoo, and hobo
And handy-dandy, hari-kari, Henny-Penny and heigh-ho!

Hell’s bells! there’s hanky-pankyhootchie-kootchie, hobnob and hoo-haw
Hush-hush! knock-knock, NewYork NewYork, (its zip is fixed twixt MA and PA)
Ill will, and itsy-bitsy, heyday, juju, bass-ackward blackjack
And jingle-jangle, jeepers-creeperskow-tow, kiwi, and knick-knack

Ta-Dah !!!

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Immersible Bird-Verse: WATERFOWL #5


PARODY COMPOSED: Dr. G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio (registered pseudonym), 2019/2020, a continuation of prior blogposts about waterfowl. 

  Readers who enjoy poetry describing the natural world around them with illustrative images and informative text, might also enjoy these blog-offerings, each a collage of verses on a wider topic...

Verses about Geysers, Sep '18
Verses about Frogs, Jan '19
Verses about Trees, Apr '19
Verses about Reptile, Jun '19
Verses about Waterfowl, June '19
Verses about Waterfowl (part #2), July '19
Verses about Trees (part #2), Aug '19
Verses about Waterfowl (part #3), Apr '20
Verses about Reptiles, (part #2), May '20
Verses about Waterfowl (part #4 - Loons, Cormorants), Aug '20.


24. Black-crowned night herons
25. Juvenile night herons
26. American white ibis 
27. Wood ducks  
28. Little blue herons
29. Snow geese 
30. Hooded mergansers
31. Swan Lake S.C.  
32. Feral ducks
33. Roseate spoonbills

Saturday, 5 December 2020

Reversing Verse: Limericks About CLASSIC PALINDROMES, part #1

WORDPLAY post, Dec 5, 2020. 

SATIRE COMPOSED: Giorgio Coniglio (registered pseudonym) and Dr. G.H. have prioritized wordplay on this blog since its inception in 2016. The concept of 'goofy' variants on classical palindromes was honored as the topic of three blog-postings that you can link to here. A to H post#20 ; I to O post#29 ; P to Z post #40. Indeed, the goofy variants are often the key to teasing rhymes from this otherwise inflexible form of wordplay.
  Today's verses have also been published at
(Omnificent English Dictionary in Limerick Form), an online humor dictionary that has accumulated over 110,000 laboriously edited limericks, including over 450 that we have submitted. The OEDILFian code number for the verse and its status ('T' = 'temporary', not yet finally approved), is indicated below each of our slides. 

Incidentally, artwork, including photos, as well as poetry, are the creation of this blog's author-editors (i.e. G and G) unless otherwise indicated.  The original 'inventors' of the classic palindromes have generally not been reported, and are best regarded as having been lost in the sands of time.

T. Eliot's toilet
A Santa at NASA

Please note that beyond this point in the presentation, there will be an exclusive correlation between green italicized font and palindromes (phrases or sentences whose letters are ordered identically when they are read backwards as well as forwards)

1. Dennis sinned
2. Drawn onward
3Gnu dung
4. Yreka bakery
5. Lonely Tylenol
6. UFO tofu
7. Too hot to hoot
8. Never odd or even 

 Click here to learn more about Yreka CA.

The phrase UFO tofu is often mentioned as a 'classic palindrome'. To which, the author rejoins, "Not UFO: futon". 

Stay tuned for further posts that will bring you poetic discussion of more classic palindromes:
Scheduled for January 5, 2021 ... 
9. Sex at noon taxes
10. No 'X' in Nixon
11. A Santa at NASA
12. T. Eliot's toilet
13. Madam, I'm Adam
14. Sex of foxes
15. Able ere Elba
16. A Toyota's a Toyota

Scheduled for February 5, 2021 ...
17. Mr. Owl ate my metal worm
18. Emil's lime
19. To idiot: (The palindromic grouch)
20. A dim or fond 'No!' from Ida
21. No lemon, no melon (fruitless)
22. See bees
23. Ma is as selfless as I am
24. O stone, be not so (Roger Stone)

Scheduled for March 10, 2021 ...

25. Zeus sees Suez 
26. Step on no pets  
27. Do geese see God?  
28. Negation A: No 'D'; No 'L' -- London 
29Negation B: No! It is opposition 
30. The Palindromic Signpost: Yell Alley, Llama Mall, etc.
31. A man, a plan, a canal -- Panama 


Gnats Stang: Gnus Sung
Palindromes of Evil
Sin and Redemption
Leigh's Palindrome Workshop

Friday, 20 November 2020



ORIGINAL POEM and SONG: Dr. G.H. and Giorgio Coniglio, 2015, updated  2017.

... in a fallout shelter?
EXPLANATION: This poem, consisting of a lesson on types of reduplication, evolved as a musical parody using the template of "The Elements" by Tom Lehrer. Further exploration of this type of wordplay also progressed into the venture of 
Feb 15, 2017 entitled 'Abracadabra' to 'Zoom-zoom': possibly the world's largest compendium of reduplications.
   Eventually, this poem was set to music, using the framework of Lehrer's patter-song framework, and became an intrinsic part of a series of nine songs devoted to musical Word-PairsThis posting of The Lesson, and subsequent posting of a Lexicon of Reduplications contains a total of almost 300 examples of this fascinating and amusing linguistic form.

 UKULELE and GUITAR-FRIENDLY LINK: Our whole series of songs can be found in a friendly format for ukulele (and guitar)-players on our sister blog  "SILLY SONGS and SATIRE", along with chord-charts and helpful performing suggestions; click here to proceed to this site. But  as it is a 'private blog' you will need to arrange access, if you don't already have it. Leave a comment on this post if you want to access the musically informative version. 


1) Introduction
I’m so enthralled with lyrics – their inherent musicality;
I love the words I’ve heard, for both their quantity and quality.
And so I’ll share with you this recent lexic revelation –
My favorite word-device goes by the name ‘reduplication’.

This humble term is used for killer-diller innovations,
Some recent lulus – chick flickboy-toy – marvellous creations. 
For others, spoke with reverence, their birth can date back centuries
Like hully-gullyboogie-woogieriff-raff, and hurdy-gurdy.

These fuzzy-wuzzy friends are formed by vocal repetition,
With wi-fi you might find them in Wiki’s current edition;
The three important sub-types you will wiki-wiki* learn about
Are known as Rhyming, Exact, and the oddly German-named Ablaut *.

2) Rhyming Reduplicates
Hear hear! some fine examples start with “H”, like helter-skelter, see!
Hodge-podgehumdrumhubbubhillbilly, and higgledy-piggledy.
Although the showing’s not so glowing for some, like the letter “D”
Just ding-aling and Double-Bubble, and surname of H.-Dumpty.

3) Exact Reduplicates
As toddlers we knew quite precisely what pee-pee and yum-yum meant
They’re constituted by exact repeating of each element.
Extension into adult life – tsk-tsk!  it doesn’t matter
For mahi-mahirah-rahhubba-hubbanight-nightyada-yada.

4) Ablaut Reduplicates
Linguistic term that might put off, but don’t throw in the towel
To form the second part you merely change a single vowel.
Criss-crosssplish-splashKing Kongmish-mash provide the explanation;
Though tidbitboob-tubewhipper-snapper show some variation.

5)  Borrowings from Other Languages
Some foreign words sound quite absurd, and might be greeted with yuk-yuks,
Like chi-chitututête-à-têteand tse-tsemuu-muu and mukluks

6) 'Shm-Reduplicates'
And many word-shmords are employed by speaker-shmeakers of Yiddish,
Like fancy-shmancychoosy-shmoozy, horseradish(mmh!), gefilte-fish.

7) Related Forms e.g. collocation
Dream Teams of paired words get primetime - in rhyming collocation;
These catchy terms, like kitty-cat, aren’t true reduplications. 
Tut-tut! for many wild-child words, there's no accord on how they're grouped,
Like fuddle-duddleWalla Wallavoodoowiseguyshula-hoop.

8) Conclusion
The lesson's sung, my cha-cha's done, we’ve reached our termination.
(Boo-hoo!) True blue, and through and through we’ve viewed reduplication;
But while we bid our fond ta-tas, I leave this final message – “HI!”
These phrases love to start with “H”, and their initial vowel – “I”.

Ta-Dah !!!

* German= "off-sound", word coined in the 16th century to indicate a systematic change in the vowel of a word-root to convey a difference in meaning; rhymes with shout

Hawaiian for quickly or  bus !!

9) Add-On: A Singable Lexicon of Reduplicates
See subsequent posts.

10) Another Add-On: A Tribute in Verse 

(OEDILF #T515171)

Prof's "Language as Music" oration
Delved deep into (re)duplication,
(A repeated morph word)—
He revealed he preferred
Hanky-panky to grads' dissertation.
grad: 'graduate', usually of an advanced program; also, 'graduate student'

Reduplications as they are best known, sometimes  also called duplications, are language forms (morphs), usually for nouns, in which an element of the word is repeated with little or no change; they figure prominently among the most musical elements in English and in other languages. To this author, the more commonly used term seems redundant. Many examples begin with the letter 'h', e.g. hanky-pankyharum-scarumhelter-skelterhillbilly, and hubba-hubba.