Reduplicationin linguistics is a morphological process in which the root or stem of a word (or part of it) or even the whole word is repeated exactly or with a slight change. (From: Wikipedia)
My word-play attempt (I’ve called it, quite arbitrarily, ‘Willy-Nilly’) at composing a few Nonsense Verses to link together – however tenuously – a number of the very many examples of reduplication in the English language.
My latest knick-knack Is a handy-dandy Criss-cross Walkie-talkie, With Wi-Fi; Better than snail-mail, It creates a real hubbub And gives me the harum-scarum Heebie-jeebies; But here goes, willy-nilly.
I’m an arty-farty Culture vulture I’m not hoity toity Nor am I a toy-boy; I love the pell-mell Hurly-burly And I don’t shilly-shally; But I’m really so easy-peasy. Okey-dokey?
So, let’s hob-nob And chit-chat; While the tick-tock Turns topsy-turvy And goes ding-dong And ding-a-ling We can talk clap-trap.
Don’t be namby-pamby Keep the bric-a-brac Ship-shape And we’ll have tip-top Tittle-tattle; No wishy-washy Fiddle-faddle.
No ping-pong No higgledy-piggledy Ding-dongs, No tom-toms On the helter-skelter, Just ship-shape Pitter-patter On the see-saw.
So Jeepers-creepers, Let’s do the hokey-cokey, The hip-hop The hootchy-cootchy and the boogie-woogie.
Let’s be goody-goody And super-dooper; Don’t dilly-dally Let’s get lovey-dovey And enjoy a little hanky-panky.
I’m not a nit-wit Nor a bit ga-ga, Well, maybe itsy-bitsy; I do yada-yada And blah-blah, But just a teeny-weeny bit.
Now cut the mumbo-jumbo Get to the nitty-gritty. When we pow-wow With the fender-benders, And have a happy-clappy Sing-song A razzmatazz On the hurdy-gurdy Wearing flip-flops; What a mish-mash And a hodge-podge, But still mumbo-jumbo And hocus-pocus.
I can Zig-zag And razzle-dazzle With the bee’s-knees And in the hurly-burly Cause double-trouble, ‘Cos I’m just an old fuddy-duddy.
So-so, Night-night! Bye-bye! Ta-ta! Must chop-chop! I’m off to a chick-flick – Called La-La Land, To listen to more flim-flam.
Known primarily as a novelist, Kurt Vonnegut (1922 – 2007) was an American writer. He published 14 novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five works of non-fiction. He is most famous for his darkly satirical, best-selling novel ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’, published in(1969.
I do like this short poem of his which I came across only recently. Apparently it was never given a title by Vonnegut and was discovered in a letter of 1961 sent by him to a friend. It has a delightfully simple and artless warmth which engenders such good feeling and optimism.
Two little good girls Watchful and wise — Clever little hands And big kind eyes — Look for signs that the world is good, Comport themselves as good folk should. They wonder at a father Who is sad and funny strong, And they wonder at a mother Like a childhood song. And what, and what Do the two think of? Of the sun And the moon And the earth And love.
Not to be confused with his more famous namesake who played such an important role in the early colonisation of North America, (1582 – 1618), Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh (1861 – 1922) was an English scholar, poet, and author. He was born in London, the fifth child and only son of a local Congregation minister. Raleigh is buried in the churchyard of the parish church of St. Lawrence at North Hinksey, near Oxford. His son Hilary edited his light prose, verse, and plays in ‘Laughter from a Cloud (1923). He is probably best known for the poem “Wishes of an Elderly Man, Wished at a Garden Party, June 1914”.
It is this poem, bitter-sweet and with its pessimistic view of mankind, but not without its wry humour, which I have chosen to remind my readers of today . . .
I wish I loved the Human Race
I wish I loved the Human Race; I wish I loved its silly face; I wish I liked the way it walks; I wish I liked the way it talks; And when I’m introduced to one, I wish I thought ‘What Jolly Fun’.
Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah (born 15 April 1958) is a British writer, poet and Rastafarian. He was included in The Times list of Britain’s top 50 post-war writers in 2008. Zephaniah was born and raised in the Handsworth district of Birmingham which he has called the “Jamaican capital of Europe”. He is the son of a Barbadian postman and a Jamaican nurse. A dyslexic, he attended an approved school but left aged 13 unable to read or write.
He now writes that his poetry is strongly influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica and what he calls “street politics”. His first performance was in church when he was eleven, and by the age of fifteen, his poetry was already known among Handsworth’s Afro-Caribbean and Asian communities.
To counterbalance my poem ‘On Ageing Disgracefully’, re-published last Wednesday, I now re-present my upbeat version of old age, previously posted by me on
‘Old Age & Youth’ … Pen and ink – WHB. 2017
ON AGEING GLORIOUSLY
Yes, I am getting older now; my prime has slipped away; But I’m beating off the Harpies who want to bring doomsday. But the benefits now brought about through all the new advances Have brought about a change in me, at least they’ve upped my chances.
For, mine eyes have seen the glory never found since I was nine; I ‘ve cast aside my spectacles reversing my decline. I’ve got new eyes now, darling, and the cataracts have gone, So despite my aged torso I will still keep staggering on.
And my new knees tell the story of my better prospects now; I’m going to try the Great North Run if only they allow, ‘Cos I feel as though I’m twenty four and kicking down the door. At least I’ll get a few years now before I need some more.
My metal hip has been replaced; I now have one in plastic; It’s been a great success, although the experience was quite drastic. I can hobble with the best of them and the stairs I cope with ease; Yes, walking is a doddle now and life is just a breeze.
My hearing aid’s a bonus, I know what’s being said on telly. My confidence I have regained, I’d rival Machiavelli; The end still justifies the means; these life aids serve their purpose, But instead of “Turn the volume up”, I’m wishing they were wordless.
My carpal tunnel surgery stopped my fingers feeling numb. I’m twice the man I used to be, an artist I’ve become; So now you see me in my prime reflecting on new marvels; My hands are fully functional now; I have not lost my marbles.
My lumbar corset gives me an efficient spinal brace. My posture’s as it should be now, no longer a disgrace. I stand upright and hold my place wherever I may be, Just the occasional little blip, one you’ll hardly ever see.
The wig I found provided me with a new lease of life; No longer bald and reticent – I’ve got a new-found wife. I’m wond’ring how surprised she’ll be when we get into bed, Perhaps she’ll want a payback when she finds she’s been misled?
They gave me my libido back with just a small blue pill; Revived my passion and my lust – be that for good or ill. I must say I’m enjoying those long lost thrills again, No longer from the Tantric Arts, do I have to abstain.
They now give me a freebie both for Christmas and tv Free bus and tube rides I can get, I’ve become a devotee Of touring round my city all the splendid sites to see Suits me to be busy now at the age of eighty three.
A pension I am grateful for, although it’s not enough, I paid my dues for forty years, I did think that was tough; Yes, the National Health helps me a lot, I get my medicine free, And if I want a pick-me-up, my nurse is good to me.
My mouth has been replenished with a set of new white teeth; I thought it best to have that done before they bought my wreath. I look forward to my time in Heaven, but perhaps it’s just as well, That I can still enjoy life now – in case I go to Hell.