The aphorism “the nose knows” is a classic example of a homophone pair, two adjacent words that have the same sound. The soccer score “two to two” is a homophone triplet. Words and phrases with repeated sounds are called dittograms. Although many sentences contain dittograms (“A table for four, please.”), the trick is to see how many dittograms you can get into one coherent sentence. Let’s start with a few simple examples and slowly get more ambitious.
Roadkill Rick usually took carrion carry-on when he flew.
On breezy days Gale couldn’t find stationary stationery for his novel novel.
In the Vatican, a popery potpourri comes from sealing ceiling art.
For a Roma aroma, the popery sent the potpourri scent.
When playing his trombone, Count Sheep read red notes but blew blue tunes.
The new ewe knew you.
Although she can’t cant, Shirley surely can can-can.
A noise annoys the principle principal.
Lulu had had a notion that that herd heard a grisly grizzly.
The rude roomers rued rumors.
Cliff Hanger could bear bare bear barely.
Would wood be before four iron?
A calligrapher is a write wright who can write right after submitting to the right write wright rite.
While growing marijuana, the more weed due, the more we’d do.
My son read bread beats sun-red bred beets for nutrition.
Paul Bunyan threw a gnu whole through a new hole.
The next several are complete dittograms:
Do due does doze?
One idol heroine won idle heroin.
Turn a round dear tern around deer.
We knew wee new hair hides hare hides.
Foursome dears meet for some deer’s meat.
That hour, we knew that our wee new wood parish would perish.
Most dittograms are of little interest, like weight wait and fir fur, while others, like flees fleas and buries berries, have obvious meanings. But some offer clever or humorous meanings, a sampling of which are shown below. Dittograms employing proper nouns, like Philly filly, are excluded from this list.
Ate eight is a falling off a diet.
An Awful offal is roadkill with ketchup.
Bawled bald is what baby did.
A barren baron is a heirless breed.
A birth berth is a place for labor day.
A bolder boulder is the rock of rocks.
A bridal bridle is a wedding ring.
A cash cache is a piggy bank.
A caws cause is a scarecrow.
A cereal serial is a grainy picture.
A chance chants is a random noise.
A claws clause is a pet shop disclaimer.
A climb clime is scaling weather.
A coarse course is a vulgar education.
A compliment complement is a "same to you".
A cursor curser is a unhappy PC user.
A damn dam is a beaver business.
Daze days are a lost weekend.
A dear deer is a hart with heart.
A dual duel is a double header.
A due dew is a missed mist.
A fairy ferry is a imaginary boat.
A faux foe is a the opposite sex.
A faze phase is a teen years.
A feet feat is a hundred yard dash.
A foul fowl is a dirty bird.
A gaff gaffe is a sailing blunder.
A gays gaze is a look of love.
A hare hair is a critter cover.
Heals heels is what a podiatrist does.
A heroin heroine is a female narc.
A heard herd is a stampede.
A hoarse horse doesn't speak well for itself.
A humorous humerus is a funny bone.
An idle idol is an unsung hero.
A lien lean is a foreclosure.
A lone loan is a one-time offer.
A made maid is a wealthy housekeeper.
A maize maze is crop circles.
A major major is big brass.
A manor manner is good behavior.
A mean mien is bad behavior.
Meddle metal might be brass knuckles.
A mettle medal is a silver star.
A missed mist is long over dew.
A mooed mood is feeling low.
Morning mourning is a good grief.
A naval navel is a belly of the ship.
A night knight is a The Shadow.
Our hour is a quality time together.
A packed pact is a something for everyone.
A packed pact is a something for everyone.
A patient's patience is ill-natured.
A peace piece is a timeout.
One who peddles pedals is bike salesperson.
A popery potpourri is a religious odor.
A principle principal is a the main man.
A private private is a shy soldier.
A produce produce is a bring in the harvest.
A profit prophet is a fortune teller.
Prose pros are poet laureates.
Roomers rumors are the talk of the townhouse.
A second second is tock.
A seen scene is a public spat.
Sex sects are fraternities and sororities.
A sight site is a scenic turnout.
A sore soar is a ill eagle flight.
A sweet suite is a room with a view.
A tale tail is The End.
A thrown throne is a abdication.
A timbre timber is a sounding board.
A tracked tract is an ATV playground.
Trussed trust is building confidence.
A vice vise is extortion.
Waist waste is love handles.
A waiver waver is an insurance salesman.
Ware wear is a tool belt.
A weak week is a seven day flu.
A whole hole is a all of nothing.
Comprehendible dittograms of triple and quadruple homophones are much rarer. Can you think of any not given below and supply a meaning?
bored board bored — tired of holey wood
do doodoo — go
hale hail hail — very cold greeting
kneed knead need — call for an unorthodox masseuse
lays laze leis — puts down relaxing necklaces
male mail mail — armor catalog
mall moll maul — gangster’s girl mishap at shopping center
ore or oar — rock and row
pear pair pare — double a peel
rain reign rein — umbrella handle
sense cents scents — smell the money
two to two, too — similar soccer scores
towed toed toad — mutant frog dragged
tutu to two — encyclopedia spine title
vain vein vane — sign of futile mining