Thursday, October 3, 2013

How to Find “That Word”

By Kenneth A O'Shaughnessy

So you’ve written a few lines that really grabbed you, and you know exactly where your poem is going, but to get there you need a word that rhymes with “bottle” or that starts with the letter V. Suddenly your mind is blanker than the paper you’re staring at. What do you do?

The two best resources I've found so far for finding a word that starts with a specific letter are and Both divide the list by word length. Scrabblefinder lists the words in columns, and Word By Letter lists them in blocks - which you prefer will depend on personal viewing preference.

Next we'll look at a couple of rhyming resources.

Rhymer is a nice online tool for finding words. Besides the basic rhyming dictionary, it allows you to search for five other syllable combinations as well:

  1. End Rhymes (blue/shoe)
  2. Last Syllable Rhymes (timber/harbor)
  3. Double Rhymes (conviction/prediction)
  4. Beginning Rhymes (physics/fizzle)
  5. First Syllable Rhymes (carrot/caring)

Rhymer can help you find exactly the right word to fit that rhyme scheme and meter.

Rhymezone is my most used word tool. Besides rhymes, from the same search term I can find near rhymes, synonyms and antonyms, definitions, quotes and more - even anyplace that Shakespeare used the word! I've gone there before to look for a rhyme and come away with a new inspiration.

Do you have a favorite place to go to find "THAT word"? Please share it with us in the comments - you can never have too many sources of inspiration!

What do you do when you come up dry?
Do you dive down deep until you touch land
And grab a handful of water-wet sand?
Or do you instead climb high?
Raising yourself over hand over hand
Perspiring, until you fly.

Kenneth A O'Shaughnessy is a freelance writer and poet living in the upstate of South Carolina with his wife and four children. To find his daily poetry entries, log onto:

or find him on Amazon here:

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