Anymore, nevermore, Koko Nor?

statue at E.A. Poe National Historic Site, Philadelphia, PA

statue at E.A. Poe National Historic Site, Philadelphia, PA

As part of an editing project I’m doing right now, I wondered about the current thinking on anymore vs any more, so I turned to Merriam-Webster for an opinion. The first pay-off of my search (after determining that anymore is widely used) was a sample sentence from Erma Bombeck that had me wanting to hunt down the reference and get the rest of the story: “every time we leave the house anymore, I play a game called “Stump the Housebreaker.”*

I also discovered that along with definitions and accounts of earliest use, the website provides rhymes. For anymore the list is impressively long, so I planned to include a curated selection, but then I realized, if you’re an aspiring poet and you’re stumped for such a rhyme, you might want this entire list. Either that, or you could see what you can borrow from Poe’s The Raven (“Quoth the Raven Nevermore” shows up a lot)–it’s awash in rhymes for “anymore.”

Illustration by John Tenniel

Illustration by John Tenniel

If nothing there fits the bill, there’s bound to be something in this extensive list. Some of these words seem to have more poetic potential  than others, and some seem like the sort you’d have to use on a dare. “Quick, write me a poem that uses cuspidor, hackamore, either-or and petit four. Go!

albacore, allosaur, alongshore, anaphor, archosaur, at death’s door, at one’s door, Bangalore, bargain for, Barrymore, canker sore, carnivore, carnosaur, close the door, Coimbatore, come in for, commodore, comprador, consignor, corridor, cuspidor, devisor, dinosaur, door-to-door, double door, Ecuador, either-or, Eleanor, elector, endospore, evermore, except for, forest floor, franchisor, from the floor, furthermore, general store, go in for, guarantor, Gwalior, hackamore, hadrosaur, hellebore, herbivore, heretofore, humidor, in line for, Koko Nor, komondor, Labrador, licensor, Lipitor, louis d’or, madrepore, Mangalore, man-of-war, manticore, matador, meteor, micropore, Minotaur, mirador, more and more, nevermore, not long for, omnivore, open-door, out-of-door, package store, parador, petit four, picador, pinafore, piscivore, pompadour, Pompadour, predator, promisor, pterosaur, saddle sore, sagamore, Salvador, semaphore, servitor, standard score, stand up for, stegosaur, stevedore, stick up for, superstore, sycamore, take the floor, theretofore, to die for, troubadour, tug-of-war, two-by-four, uncalled-for, underscore, unlooked-for, vavasor, warrantor

Even if the list doesn’t inspire you in a poetic direction, if you read it out loud, it’s got to make you want to move, or at least to chant. Maybe we can put a drum circle together to complement it. We’d do some editing, of course; I’d lose Lipitor, in-line-for, and maybe uncalled-for and unlooked-for. But many of the rest would work fine in a chant. (Minotaur, predator, stegasaur, tug-of-war, HAH!) I also foresee the stamping of feet. Let’s do this!



*Don’t you want to know more about that game? I’m not sure what’s involved, but it reminded me that when our kids were younger and launching for a long trip was somewhat chaotic, it felt like a challenge on arriving home to determine whether someone had broken in, or whether we had just left the house looking that way.

7 thoughts on “Anymore, nevermore, Koko Nor?

  1. Ha, Ha! Yes, the house upside down when one returns from a trip– all too familiar. I like the idea of the drum/rhyme circle. By the way, the so-called raven in that illustration looks a lot more like a gull!

    • You are so right. Trust a birdwatcher to spot that. I don’t imagine birds have changed much since the late 1800s, so we’ll have to assume that the illustrator, John Tenniel, got worn out by all the crosshatching in the rest of the picture, and got lazy when it came to bird detail.

  2. “Quick, write me a poem that uses cuspidor, hackamore, either-or and petit four. Go!”
    Love it. Challenge accepted:

    If you’re wanting to spit in a cuspidor,
    Or throw o’er your horse a hackamore,
    you must consider that either-or
    neither will get you a petit four.

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