Odd Holiday: National No Rhyme Nor Reason Day


BUCKHANNON — National No Rhyme Nor Reason Day is celebrated annually on September 1. The holiday encourages people to be playful with the English language, such as breaking into a song or a poem for no reason. It also encourages people to do something completely random thus helping people do something different without thinking.

The holiday received it’s name based on an idiom that has been in existence since the mid-15th century. Idioms are figures of speech that have a different meaning as opposed to the literal meaning of the phrase. And although it is not sure exactly where the idiom, “No Rhyme Nor Reason” comes from, it was first seen in a book published around 1460 titled “The Boke of Nurture” by John Russell.

The phrase was also used by William Shakespeare in “Comedy of Errors” and “As You Like It.” These two uses of the phrase would cause it to become a popular idiom. It’s since been used by billions of people all around the world and has now become a part of the name of this holiday.

Rhymes are words that sound similar. The acting of rhyming has existed for centuries and are often used by poets in addition to the writing of songs and ballads. “One of the earliest rhymes found is from the 10th century B.C., in China. It is known as the Chinese Shi Jing. And this may seem intriguing, but many religious texts also use rhyming words, for instance, rhymes are also used in some of the texts in the Bible,” said National Today.

It is noted that there are over 25,00 idioms in the English language alone. In the early 1900s, the idiom “break a leg” was first seen in print. And the phrase “close, but no cigar” became popular in the late 1900’s. “Close, but no cigar” is stated to have originated from carnival games where the prize was a cigar. Here is a brief list of the some of the most commonly used idioms in the English language today. 

• It’s as easy as pie.

• It’s a piece of cake.

• Kill two birds with one stone.

• Go back to the drawing board.

• Hit the sack.

• We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

• Time flies when you’re having fun.

National No Rhyme Nor Reason Day can be observed in a wide variety of different ways. People can make up some free verse to share with friends and family members, can throw a rhyming contest, or invent their own idiom. People can also use the hashtag #NoRhymeNorReasonDay to spread the word about this holiday all over the internet as noted by holidayscalendar.com. It is also fun as you can spend the time playing games with friends and family while increasing your vocabulary and finding words you have never heard before.

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