What do you call the "technique" of putting the right amount of syllables in a verse? I put techniques around quotes, because I am not sure if it's a technique, but anyway there should be a word for that, but I don't remember what it is.

For example, some poems need to have 8 syllables in each verse (or line in poetry), and I want to know the name of the "technique". If you don't know any word for it, you could come up with the word for the rule, or some related term, it could be helpful.

2 Answers 2


The pattern of syllables - how many to a line, whether they are loud or soft - is called metre (or meter in American English). Determining the meter from a written record is called scansion, and that is sometimes used to refer to the process of fitting words to a metre as well.

I'm not aware of a one-word term for making sure your words fit a metre, but one phrase for it is just "fitting X to the metre", like:

I have to fit the words to the metre.


I don't know of a single word, but I'd say "making it scan".

There was a young man from Japan
Whose limericks never would scan
When folks asked him why
He said with a sigh
It's probably because I try to fit as many words into the last line as I possibly can.

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