What’s the best rhyme for the word JAIL?

Headed to play basketball a few weeks ago, listening to Styles P, talking shit, Paniro (and Jada) rapped:

I know a few dudes doin life bids in jail
And they way smarter then the white kids in Yale

The rhyme is simple as hell but it got me thinking about just how perfect of a rhyme that is.  The whole structure of it is based on opposites (and much of the song plays to this idea).  The real power of the line comes from the ‘Yale/Jail‘ rhyme with the ‘life bids/white kids‘ used to build the multi and add a layer of description to the rhyme.

There exists linguistic tools out there to measure the relative closeness of words based on the WordNet database.  So, the words Car-Bike would be much more closely related than Car-Phone (almost two times more ‘similar’, actually).

So, what I did was take the word ‘Jail’  and found all the 1-syllable exact rhymes for it and used the WordNet Similairty tool to find the ‘relatedness of the words’. Data Below:

ail -  0.0588
ale -  0.0556
bail - 0.0556
bale - 0.0833
braille - 0.0667
dail - 0.0526
dale - 0.0769
fail -  N/A
flail - 0.1
frail - 0.0909
gael -  0.0667
gale - 0.0556
grail -  0.0833
hail - 0.1
hale - 0.0714
jail -  1.0
kail - 0.0667
kale - 0.0667
mail - 0.1
male - 0.0833
nail - 0.0833
pail - 0.0909
pale - 0.0909
quail - 0.0667
rail - 0.1111
sail - 0.1429
sale -  0.0625
scale - 0.0909
shale - 0.0625
snail -  0.0667
stale - N/A
tail - 0.0909
tale -  0.0667
trail - 0.0909
vale - 0.0833
veil - 0.0909
wail - 0.0556
wale - 0.0909
whale - 0.0769
yale - 0.1429

It turn out,the words JAIL-YALE, in the whole rhyming list, ARE THE TWO MOST RELATED WORDS COMPUTATIONALLY.  So, Styles P (and Jada, I guess) chose the absolute most related words to rhyme (1-syllable, perfect rhymes).  Important because it shows that ‘lyrical’  isn’t about using huge rhymes or whatever.  It’s about being limited to a small space word-wise and still being clever and good.

Doing the same thing with the word ‘PRISON’ (finding a rhyming list and cross-referencing with the similairty scores) we get a score of 0.1429 for the rhyme:

PRISON – PRINCETON

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3 thoughts on “What’s the best rhyme for the word JAIL?

  1. Mephistopheles Santiago says:

    So WordNet, a database on the Princeton website, concludes that “Princeton” is the rhyme most related to “prison”, and that “Yale” is the rhyme most related to “jail”.

    I wonder if it rhymes “cell” with “Cornell”.

  2. […] wrote a little while ago about WordNet, a dictionary that works on a lexical hierarchy (or w.e).  What it means is that […]

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