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Some words do rhyme like 'mate' and 'hate' or 'boot' and 'shoot'. But there are other words whose spelling suggests that they should rhyme, but they don't. Examples include: 'hull' and 'pull', 'blood' and 'brood', 'but' and 'put' etc.

I have been wondering about these words a lot recently. Is there any specific name for these words?

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    Out of interest where do hull/pull or but/put not rhyme? Both those pairs rhyme here (Scotland). – Toby Speight Mar 5 at 21:02
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    I'm from the midwest US and to me hull/pull completely rhyme, but but/put don't. ('but' rhymes with putt, mutt, and cut, but 'put' has a different vowel sound that rhymes with soot and foot, which is going to be real confusing to anyone in the british isles.) – Darth Pseudonym Mar 5 at 21:53
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    @TobySpeight et al: southern BrE speaker here. Neither of those pairs rhyme for me. But/put are exactly as Darth states (/ʌ/ and /ʊ/, I think); for hull/pull, "hull" has the same vowel as in "but" /ʌ/ - but that vowel may well be a different one for northern BrE speakers! Meanwhile, "pull" has the same vowel as "book" or "foot" /ʊ/. – Steve Melnikoff Mar 6 at 17:18
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    @SteveMelnikoff - All we need now is a Lancastrian with loook & boook rather than luck & buck & we've got the set;) I'm Yorkshire, but living in London for 30 years I still find it slightly odd that people here can rhyme cup with hat :P – gone fishin' again. Mar 6 at 17:25
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They are called eye rhymes (or visual rhymes or sight rhymes). Other examples are Sean Bean (pronounced Shawn Been), love and move, wood and food, come and home, bough and though mind and wind (movement of air) etc.

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    I just understood why they are called "eye rhymes". It is because they look like rhymes to the eye but actually they don't rhyme. – Meh Mar 5 at 12:48
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    Love and move used to rhyme in early middle english but the vowel shift got to 'em and love changed into luv. – Darth Pseudonym Mar 5 at 21:55
  • @DarthPseudonym: 'Love' used to be written lufe, the 'u' was changed into 'o' due to minim confusion. – Void Mar 6 at 3:04
  • The trouble with this phrase is, you may well have to explain what it means. – Fivesideddice Mar 6 at 12:05

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