Monday, February 09, 2009

Dora the Explora

A Jeopardy! category tonight asking for "Dora" rhymes was obviously assuming an r-dropping or non-rhotic dialect. The clues they came up with yielded these responses (sans question-form):

Snora the explorer
Dora the restorer
Dora the floorer
Dora the scorer
Dora the corer

There's an odd one in there. One contestant offered up "Snora the Explorer" in response to the first clue and the judges accepted it (with a little warning for the contestants from Alex). I can't be sure if she actually intended the underlying pronunciation Snora (as represented in the captions) or if she was doing her best r-less Kennedy impression of Snorer. The tube was on mute so I didn't hear her pronunciation of explorer.

There are enough types of rhyme to allow all of these to be called rhyming pairs with or without word final rhoticity on the < -er> words. Assonance, slant rhyme, vowel rhyme, pararhyme...… Not all rhyme is perfect rhyme. That's fine. And fitting with the rhyme theme established by the cartoon that inspired the category, these responses make sense.

So let's play our own little game. Let's go for perfect rhyme in an r-ful dialect. Strict Jeopardy! rules apply.

Dora the ______

$100: Near the North or South poles, this little tike is sure to brighten your night-sky.

$200: This little friend was named after plants indigenous to a region, but not after the animals.

$300: Tired of ring-around-the-rosy? Do this little dance instead.

$400: If your syllable is too light, give it some weight by adding this little darling.

$500: This little seafarer is a gentle shark. She's a killer with a broken heart.

[Update: Nicely done Adrienne -- only one to go. Anyone? Also: It occurs to me that perhaps the clues were prompting responses that rhyme with the phrase Dora the Explorer -- in which case the Jeopardy! responses did conform to perfect rhyme. Does anyone remember the exact wording of the category? Either way the r-less r-ful issue is salient.]

[Update 2: And Mxrk takes the $500 clue. From one of my favorite Kids in the Hall bits. All the responses are there in the comments now. Of course you can still play at home before you check.]


  1. Are we meant to supply answers? I will do what I can.

    1. What is Dora the aurora?
    2. What is Dora the flora?
    3. What is Dora the hora?
    4. What is Dora the mora?
    5. Not sufficiently shark aware.

    This was clever! :)

  2. I want to say "Dora the Remora," but I feel this is wrong.

  3. there you go. i knew a true kids in the hall fan would get it.

  4. Double Jeopardy:

    This fried snack is common in South Asia.

  5. ah lovely. we've got a place walking distance from home. i like to load up on it smothered with palak paneer.


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