Tuesday, 14 May 2013


Berhyme, Rhyme, Poem, The Bloody Orkneys, Captain Hamish Blair
The flag of the bloody Orkneys


Verb trans. Also berime. Late 16th century.
[from BE- + RHYME verb or noun]

Compose rhymes about; lampoon in rhyme.

In fairness to the Orkneys and Orcadians, the author of the poem below, Captain Hamish Blair, sounds like a (bloody) miserable git. Apparently posted to the Scottish islands during World War II, it's fair to say that he never really settled in and spent most of his time trying to watch old movies and getting rebuffed by the local women. He did, however, find time to lampoon the islands, their people and their local government through the medium of rhyme and therefore gives us a stellar example for the verb berhyme.

The Bloody Orkneys
by Captain Hamish Blair

This bloody town's a bloody cuss -
No bloody trains, no bloody bus,
And no one cares for bloody us -
In bloody Orkney.

The bloody roads are bloody bad,
The bloody folks are bloody mad,
They'd make the brightest bloody sad,
In bloody Orkney.

All bloody clouds, and bloody rains,
No bloody kerbs, no bloody drains, 
The council's got no bloody brains
In bloody Orkney.

Everything's so bloody dear,
A bloody bob for bloody beer,
And is it good? - no bloody fear,
In bloody Orkney.

The bloody 'flicks' are bloody old,
The bloody seats are bloody cold,
You can't get in for bloody gold,
In bloody Orkney.

The bloody dances make you smile,
The bloody band is bloody vile,
It only cramps your bloody style,
In bloody Orkney.

No bloody sport, no bloody games,
No bloody fun, the bloody dames
Won't even give their bloody names
In bloody Orkney

Best bloody place is bloody bed,
With bloody ice on bloody head,
You might as well be bloody dead,
In bloody Orkney.

Unimpressed with the Captain's somewhat biased depiction of their beloved islands, there is an apocryphal Orcadian stanza floating around too:

Captain Hamish 'Bloody' Blair
Isna posted here nae mare
But no one seems to bloody care
In bloody Orkney.

Ouch! Touché! Consider yourself berhymed, Captain! Clearly the pencils were sharpened for that little zinger. If you have any favourite examples of berhyming, or if you'd like to compose a little rhyme yourself, do feel free to do so below (there will be one bajillion points to anyone that can successfully rhyme something with Lexicolatry - I tried and I failed horribly).


  1. If Orkney caused him such distress
    He could have moved to Inverness

    1. Inverness? Hmm. I'm taking notes
      But better still would be John O'Groats

  2. I've searched on Google, Yahoo, Bing,
    Even Lexicolatry.
    It doesn't matter where I look,
    I still can't sex my Manitee.

    ( it rhymes if you squint)

    1. Whoever this is (and I assume it's Clueless), I've tried squinting, grimacing, gurning and sitting on a pencil - I still can't make this work.

    2. Oddly enough, you've just described an alternative treatment for diabetes.

    3. I suppose, morally, I really ought to mention to your readers that I supply natural healing pencils, which also help treat unsightly warts and pathological gullibility. If any are suffering, please forward them my details. Ask them to include payment (a fraction of the cost of pharmaceutical pencils) and to state the severity of their ailment on a scale from H through to B, HB being average of course.

    4. I bet Tom Lehrer could come up with a good pairing. Among other things, he's a master of around-the-corner rhymes which lesser songwriters would never dare attempt. For instance, his march "Smut" opens with:

      Smut! Give me smut and nothing but!
      A dirty novel I can't shut
      If it's uncut
      and unsubt

      And "The Folk Song Army" contains:

      The tune don't have to be clever
      And it don't-matter-if-you-put-a-couple-extra-syllables-into-a-line.
      It sounds more ethnic if it ain't good English
      and it don't even gotta rhyme
      ...excuse me, rhyne!

    5. I'm in awe at this man's berhyming Nick!

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