Samuel W Barnum.

A vocabulary of English rhymes arranged on a new plan online

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Entered according to act of Congress, in the j'ear 1870, by

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.

Copyright, 1904, by


Inasmuch as a new edition of the Vocabulary of
English Rhymes has become necessary in spite of
the fact that during much of the time since its pub-
lication comparatively little effort has been made to
bring the work into general notice, it is proper to
make a brief statement, such as the author would
gladly have made before, in regard to the origin of
the book.

The late Leonard Case, Jr., of Cleveland, Ohio,
Founder of the Case School of Applied Science,
and a poet whose gift won wide recognition in his
anonymously published "Treasure Trove," under-
took to make for his friend, Dr. Alleyne Maynard of
Cleveland, a rhyming dictionary * ' arranged without
regard to spelling, but according to the vowel sounds
in the accented syllables of the rhymes." The result
of Mr. Case's labor was embodied in a beautiful manu-
script volume containing perhaps half of the words in
this present Vocabulary. He found difficulties in the
details of arrangement, however, which he could
not settle to his satisfaction, so he proposed to his
college friend, Samuel Weed Barnum, that he should
undertake to work out the idea. Mr. Barnum de-
voted two years and a half to the work, Mr. Case
paying him generously for his time, defraying all the



expenses of publication, presenting the author with
the books, plates, and copyright, but characteristic-
ally insisting that his own connection with the mat-
ter should be carefully concealed. This wish was
scrupulously respected while Mr. Case lived, but
now it is right to take this opportunity not only to
acknowledge his share in the conception and execu-
tion of this work, but also to make grateful mention
of one of those generous acts with which he quietly
filled his life.

In this edition the few typographical errors which
have been discovered have been corrected, but no
attempt has been made to add the small number of
words available for rhyming which have come into
our language since the book was first published. It
has been thought best on the whole to have more
ample margins than before and a different binding.
The unique binding and small page of the former
edition were desired by Mr. Case in order to make
as compact a volume as possible for pocket use.

The test of experience during these years on the
part of those best qualified to judge has seemed to
prove true the claim made in the former preface,
that this Rhyming Vocabulary is far better for its
purpose than any other known work.

January 1O, 1896.


In 1775 Walker's "Rhyming Dictionary" was
published, and in 1791 his "Critical Pronouncing
Dictionary and Expositor of the English Language "
appeared. For about half a century the latter was a
leading authority in its department wherever the
English language was spoken ; but it was long ago
superseded both in the United States and in Great
Britain. The "Rhyming Dictionary," however, of
which the author's last revised edition was published
in 1804, has now been for a century the only ex-
tended and well-known work of its sort in our lan-
guage. Originally published with definitions, it has
also been abridged and published without them.
Yet one may easily show that the attempt to use
this dictionary for rhyming purposes must often be
an utter failure. It says of itself : " As in other
dictionaries words follow each other in an alphabeti-
cal order, according to the letters they begin with, in
this they follow each other according to the letters
they end with." This principle of arranging the
words solely according to their orthography makes
it necessary to separate those which rhyme with one
another, but are not spelled in the rhyming part with
the same letters ; and again, to insert together words
which end with the same letter or letters, but have
little or no likeness in sound and no rhyming affinity.
Thus "a," which stands at the very beginning,
rhymes with "play," "obey," "prey," and other
words scattered through the last fourth of the work,
while "neigh" and words of like orthography are
near the end of the first third; and so "die" is in


the first fourth, but it rhymes with "eye" and
"nigh" in different parts of the second fourth, and
with "try" and "buy" near the end. Again, the
first three words are "a," "baa," and "abba"; the
last three are "mizzy," "whiz," and "buzz;" while
almost every opening of the book will disclose words
placed together, which have no closer relationship for
rh} r ming than "be" and "babe, "or "valour "and
"flour." One who knows just what he wants may
find it in Walker's "Rhyming Dictionary"; but the
unfortunate and weary versifier, who is at a loss for
a word to rhyme with what he has, may find his own
word (as "potato" or "fulgency") without another
in the book to match it, or the desired word may
have half the book between it and the word with
which he starts, as in the case of "spite" and
"right." It maybe added, that, if Walker's "Criti-
cal Pronouncing Dictionary and Expositor" is too
meager and antiquated for the present day, the same
is true of his "Rhyming Dictionary," which con-
tains less than 30,000 words, hundreds and even
thousands of them without any rhyming companion,
and many others entirely obsolete, while other mul-
titudes of words in good use can not be found in it
at all.

But on what principles should a new work in this
department be constructed ? Should it have defini-
tions, like Walker's own work? No: these would
make it much more bulky and expensive, without
any corresponding addition to its real value, so long
as other excellent dictionaries are or maybe at hand.
Should the words be arranged according to their
rhyming adaptations or sounds? Certainly; but
how ? The intricacies and differences in both orthog-
raphy and pronunciation must be encountered and

Somehow systematically settled or exhibited or ig-
nored; authorities, often clashing with one another
and sometimes inconsistent with themselves, must
be consulted, compared, and allowed their due
weight ; words must be obtained and disposed of, by
varied research, examination, introduction, rejection,
insertion with others, reference from others, &c.;
and the work as a completed whole must be charac-
terized by simplicity, uniformity, compactness, and
practical utility. Such, in brief, have been the pro-
cesses and the aim; the book itself as published
brings before others the results. The degree of skill
shown in the execution of its plan, and its value as
exhibiting the analogies and structural forms of our
language or as guiding through mazes of orthogra-
phy and pronunciation, will, no doubt, be variously
estimated : but it has certainly more than doubled
and, in effect, by its references, perhaps quadrupled
its venerable predecessor's number of words, dis-
criminated the whole according to their adapta-
tions for rhyming, and arranged them in groups
where they can be readily found when they are
wanted ; while it has, to a great extent, omitted ob-
solete and rhymeless words, and added multitudes
that are new and important, it has not intentionally
rejected any that promise usefulness now; so that
this Rhyming Vocabulary is confidently claimed to
be far better for the particular purpose intended than
any other known work. It will aid poets and versi-
fiers, it is hoped, to do their work better and more
easily; and thus it will assist in the cultivation of
good taste and feeling, the improvement of litera-
ture, the promotion of human welfare, and the glory
of Him who is Lord of all.
NEW HAVEN, CT., July 20, 1876.



In arranging words by their sounds, it seems best
to regard one particular letter or character or com-
bination of letters as standing for each particular
sound; to select the characters, as far as needed,
from Webster's Dictionary (quarto editions of 1804
and afterward); and to make the notation and ar-
rangement as clear and simple as possible. The
following Key shows the letters and characters used
in the arrangement and their order. The letters here
italicized in any one sentence are equivalents in
sound, silent letters which are combined with the
proper equivalents being italicized with them in or-
der to represent more clearly to the eye the pronun-
ciation and the general principle of arrangement by
sound which is the characteristic of this Vocabulary.

a [including e], as in mate, apparatus (?), mam,
straight, gaol, may, pla^d, re, rein, eight, prey,
pr<^d, break, gauge, dengM? ; French fete, charge? ,
e\eve, crochet, ay, as in sommeil (?), Isa/ah (see
y). In verbs ending in "ate" the ii is usually very
distinct, but in nouns and adjectives in "ate" the fi
is often obscure, even taking the sound of e or i.

a, as in fat, bade, plaz'd; regularly in verbal,
Christian, &c., colloquially pronounced with ii.

a [including e], as in fare, fa/r, Ayr, prayer,
where, their (?), eyre, hear, e'er, connoisseur (?). The
dictionaries generally represent this a to be a modi-
fied by the following r ; and this may be regarded as
the standard pronunciation in parent (?), e'er, con-
noisseur, and a few other words (see ar, p. 11] ;
but most words marked with a and its equivalents
in our dictionaries are pronounced in America, as


well as by many in England, with the sound of a
prolonged and modified by the following r.

a, as in far, apparatus (?),. haunt, heart, guard,
calf, halm.: regularly in vulgar, monarchy, &c.,
which are colloquially pronounced with u. For the
French octroi, <fcc. , see remark under w.

a, as in staff, fast, pass, asp. In this class of
words the pronunciation varies from a to a ; hence
rhymes of them with one or both of these extremes
are sometimes allowable (see ath, p. 39 ; compare o
in long, &c., p. x). For octm, &c., see the French
oi or oy under w.

a [including o], as in fall, talk, war, oft (?), nor,
George, pause, auffJit, jaw, awe, broad, bought; reg-
ularly in error, vigor, labor, &c., which are usually
pronounced with u. For devour, &c., see under w.

For pea, Ccpsar, quo#, see e ; for any, said, says,
head, Ddedalus, see e ; for Hawaii, aMe, ba#ou, see
I; for mam'age, chamberlain, bea^fin (?), see i; for
aune, ha^^boy, b^a^, b^at, see o ; for what, see o ;
for mia^l, sauer-kraut, see ou ; for bm^ty, meaw,
see u.

b, as in ^a^e, ebb, cupboard. For Mellium, see d ;
for dumb, see m ; for doubt, see t.

c hard [including -e and eh] is equivalent to k,
which see : c soft or c is equivalent to s, which see.
eh, as in much, niche, match; German ~Deutsch;
Italian cantatrice, Vespucci; and colloquially in
Chrisfo'an, Christianity or Christianity, quesfo'on,
righ^ous, mixture, natural, &c. (see t, u, y). For
cuirass, cap, kic&, sceptic, school, anchor, see k ; for
lacs, blacfe, aches, stomachs, see ks under k; for
facfr'on, see ksh under k; for drachm, see m; for
ceaseless, abscission, schism, see s ; for oc^an, acacia
or acacia, cretaceous, oceanic, gracious, specM, con-

viii KEY TO *HE

science, prescience or prescience, ^aise, sc/^ottiscfo,
see sh under s ; for victual, yac7i, ctenoid, see t ; for
sacrifice, discern, czar, see z.

d, as in dread, loved, bdellium, add, suggest (?),
mezzo(?). " Educate," " verdure, " &c., are regularly
pronounced ed'yu-kat, vurd'yur (? ; see u), &c. ;
but colloquially the d and y unite in the sound of j .
See g, j, u, y, z. For judgment, edge, soldier, adjure,
see j ; for handkerchief, see k ; for Wednesday,
see n.

e [including i], as in we, oases (?), pea, free, seine,
p^ple, key, C^sar, machine, chief, Crcesus, quay (?),
vz's-a-vls, turquois (?).

e, as in bed, any, said, says, head, D^dalus, heifer,
leopard, friend, asafrgtida, bwry, guess, gw^rdon (?).

For plo^d, re, rein, eight, prey, preyed, brmk,
dengue,- fete, eleve, crochet, see a; for prayer,
wh^re, their (?), eyre, hear, e'er (?), connoisseur (?), see
& ; for heart, see a ; for awe, see a ; for gneiss, heig?it,
pie, le^(?) orl^e, rye, eye, see 1; forbe<wfin (?), forfeit,
foreign, ~Bur\eig7i, alley, English, been, s^'eve, see t;
for bew, yeoman, sew, hoe, owe, see o ; for Dewtsch,
see oi; for sh<?e, man^wvre, see oo; for heauty,
meaw, feudal, feud, new, yew, adieu, view, due, hewed,
vieioed, rue, Europe, &c. , see u ; for does, see ti ; for
her, offer, g?/erdon (?), see u.

f, as In fed, stiff, laugh, ph\losop7iy, Sapphic. For
o/, see v.

g- hard or g, as in gag, league, ghost, gig, egg, sing
(see under n). gz [=gz ? or gs, or 5], as in lep-s,
e^s, e^ist." Suggest" (and so its derivatives) is pro-
nounced sud-jest' [or stij-est'] or sug- jest 7 . For
laugh, seef; for dungeon, judgment, edge, exagger-
ate, gaol, gem, giant, E#ypt, see j ; for hough, see
k ; for phle^w, see m ; for ^^at, see n : for


r, &c. , see remark under n ; for though, see 6 ;
for hiccough, see p ; for 6rironde, rouge, see zh under

h, as in 7iart, who, when [ = 7^wen]. For muc7*,
nic7^, mafc/i, Deufec/^, see ch ; for lau#7i, p7ii\osop?iy,
S&pphlc, see f ; for <7/iost, see g ; for liou^A, anc7ior,
Man, school, see k ; for dip7&tkong (?), see p ; for rhu-
barb, catarM, see r; for sc7iism, see s; for s/mn,
s7*aise, sc7iorl, see sh under s; for ^yme, ^?7^7dsic,
see t ; for 7iin, brea7i, withe, Matf^ew, p7^7dsis, see
th under t ; for 7ds, wi^7i, brea^, see tli under t.
See z.

I [including y], as inpme, /die, choir, aisle, gn^'ss,
Haw^'i, ba^ou, \\eight, pie, guile, dr^, rye, ley (?) or
lye, eye, l>uy, tight, mdict.

i [including y and shortened e], as in pm, d/vi'na-
tion, elevation, English, b^n, n?!che, marr^ge, par-
l&raient, chamberlm, forf^rt, foreign, Rurleigh, alley,
sevenn?^7^t(?), s^ve, women, bi/sy, bmld, n^mpli,
plag^, tortoise (?), bmwfin (?), champ's (?).

For main, straight, vein, eight, see a ; for pl^'d, see
a ; for, fair, the/r(?), see a ; for smie, machme, chief,
turqu(?^'s(?), see e ; for s^^'d, liefer, f riend, see e ; for
Incfr'an(?), solder, see j ; for oil, see oi ; for ad/m,
view, viewed, jm'ce, frwt(?), puisne, see u ; for sir,
elixir, see u ; for f amikar, convenient, see y ; for
vi-s^'on, see zh under z.

j [including g- soft or g], as in jet, #aol, ^em,
judgment, plum/6, ^iant, E^ypt, edge, exaggerate,
solder, adjure ; and colloquially in educate (see TT),
verdure, grandeur, InrZmn(?). For hallelu/ah, see y;
for jalousie, see zh under z.

k [including c hard or -, -eh, and q], as in kick,
wacA^(?), leaA:, Man, ban&, handkerchief, cap, scep-
tic, cuirass, liougJt, anchor, sc7iool, li^or,


guest, acquit, sacque (see w). For know, see n ; for
nk, as in hank, &c., see under n. ks, as in lacs,
blacks, folks, stomacJis, aches, rakes, antiques, sacques,
vex. ksli, as facfo'on, famous, luxury (see u), com-
plexion, no#ous, hiccms docfr'us or hiccius doctfius.

I, as in let, fall, metal(?), victual, doub^, shovel,
devil, evil, shovder, shov^ing, sera^io, kiln, muscle,
episfe, twelvemontli(?). ly (both consonants), as in
million, seraglio, sommei^(?), survei^ance (? ; see y).

in, as in madam, small, lamm, dawp, drachm,
dumb, phlegm, hywtt. For accompt, &c., see under
on ; for comptroller, see under n.

II, asin^oo^, inn, mnemonics, gnat, know, raven,
even, heaven, often, ravin, reckon, We^^sday.
For ki^, seel; for hymn, see m. "Comptroller"
is pronounced like "controller" [kon-tro / lur, or col-
loquially kiin-tro'lur]. The Spanish n = ny, as in
ca?7on. n (or n), in the digraph nk and its equiv-
alents, nearly approaches ng in sm#, but is less
prolonged, as in bank, UTicle, a?z<chor, conquer, anx-
ious. "Anger," "anguish," "linger," "youngest,"
" congregation," &c., are pronounced ang^ur, ang r -
gwTsh, ITng'gur, yung^est, kong-gri-ga^hiin, &c.

o, as go, roll, oh, f<?ks, aune, hautboy, heau, yeo-
man, sew, boat, hoe, door, court, though, grow, owe,
Eootes [= bo-o'tez], Laoctfon [= la-ok'o-on].

6 [including a], as in not, what, hough, knowl-
edge, Laoco^n ; regularly in bishop, pistol, atom, and
the like, which are colloquially pronounced with u.
o, before ng, ss, st, and th, as in long, cross, cost,
broth, &c., also in off, scoff, cough, trough, God(?) 7
gone, forehead, and some others, has a sound inter-
mediate between o in "not" and 6 [= a] in "nor"
(compare a), and is then marked ] in the Vocabulary
(see pp. 121, 499, &c.).


For gaol, see a; for nor, broad, oft(?), George,
bought, see a ; for people, Cr?sus, see e ; for leopard,
asatetida, see e ; for women, see 1 ; for feodal, see u ;
for son, does(?), luncheon, see u ; for worm, see u ;
for wolf, see u ; for choir, "one," see w ; f or " iron,"
"apron," see under r ; for oi, oo, ou, and their equiv-
alents, see the following.

oi [including oy], as in oil, boy, 'buoy or buoy
(? ; see under w), Dewtsch. For turquo^s (?), see e ;
for choir, see w&I; for tort0a'se(?), seel; f or por-
po^'se, see u ; for avoirdupois, see u ; for devour, &c. ,
see under w.

oo [including o"b and o and U; see u], as in
moon, move, buoy(?), mantmvre, crowp, rendezvous
or rendezvous (see z), bijoux, shoe. See ti, w. For
door, Bootes, Laocoon, see o ; for Laocoon, see o ; for
blood, see u ; for foot, see u.

ou [including ow], as in bownd, vow, mioM;
German sauex-kraut. "Accompt" is pronounced
like "account"; "accomptant" like "accountant."
For bought, see a; for cowrt, though, see o; for
lio^gh, see o ; for crowp, see oo ; for yowth(?), see u ;
for double, generoz/s, see ti ; for adjourn, see u ; f or
sho^d, see u; for zowave(?), see w.

p, as in prop, Jj&pp, upper, di^/thong(?), hic-
cough(?). For philosophy, S&pphic, see f ; for corps,
see r; for psalm, raspberry(?), see s; for ptarmigan,
plitJmic, see t ; for phthisis, see th under t ; for Ste-
pfien, see v ; for raspberry(?), see z.
. q is not used ; see k. See also under n, w.

r, as in reaf, err, nor, roaring, warring, rhubarb,
catarrh, wing, mortgage, corps. "Iron" with its
derivatives is pronounced I'urn; "apron "with its
derivatives is usually pronounced a'pftrn.

S [including c soft or 9], as in see, ce&seless, osse-


ous(?), Christmas, answer, abscission, sc7dsm, chintz,
ra*pberry(?) ; French facade; Italian mezso(?; see
z). For Deutsch, see ch; for lacs, blacks, folks,
rate, stomac7^s, acte, am%wes, see ks under k;
for le</s, eggs, see gz under g ; for has, scissors, see
z ; for ambros?'a or ambrosia, confusion, vision, os^'er,
abscission, pleasure, elysaan or elysian, see zh under z.
sh [including the French ch and German sell],
as in s7mn, ocean, nauseous, oceanic, cretaceous, os-
seous(?), acacm or acacia, nauseate or nauseate, Da-
ci'an, gracious, spec^'al, Gala&'an or Galaftan, con-
science, prescience or prescience, naftbn, addifrbn,
vi^ate or vitiate, cau&bus, Colossmn or Colossian,
dissenswn, mission, dissens^ous, censure, sugar, fis-
sure, c/iaise, sc/^ottisc/i or sc/iottisc/^e. For ksh, see
under k.

t, as in tent, butt, thyme, ctenoid, ^^armigan,
plithisic, yacht, victual, douft^, two, kicked, dwarfed,
chapped, chased, laughed, relaxed, mezzo (? ; see z).
For mac/j, Deutsch, see ch ; for faction, &c. , see ksh
under k ; for mortgage, see r ; for nafo'on, Gala^an
or Gala^ian, addi^'on, vifaate or vitiate, caufebus, see
sh under s; for transi^bn, see zh under z. " Christ-
ian," "Christianity," "question," "righteous,"
4 ' mixture, " ' ' natural, " &c. , are regularly pronounced
as if written kris^yan, krist-yan'i-ti or knst-yi-an'-
i-ti, kwest'yun, rnVyus, mikst'yur, nat'yu-ral, &c. ;
but are colloquially and commonly pronounced kris'-
chan or kris'chtin, kris-chan r l-ti or kris-chi-an'i-t!,
kwes^hun, rrchus, mlks'chur or miks^hur (see u),
nach r ur-al or nach'ur-al, &c. til sharp, as in ^7dn,
brea^/i, wi^e, Ma^^ew, ptithms ; til vocal, or tli, as
in ^is, brea^e, wi^.

u [a diphthongal sound, made up of i and oo, or i
and u], as in c^be, mwte, twM, fuchsia (?), pm'sne,


heauty, meaw, feodal, feud, new, adieu, view, due,
hewed, viewed, ]UICQ ; also in yew(?), yowth(?), ywle(?),
rwde(?), r^e(?), frm't(?), tlirough(?). In the last seven
and their cognates most orthogpists omit the initial i
sound, retaining only the oo part of the u ; but Dr.
Webster himself (more correctly, as the author of
this Vocabulary and many others think) pronounced
them all with u. In accordance with this latter
view, hrew, due, new, rue, view, yew, are arranged to-
gether under u ; but do, coo, two, are placed together
under oo ; brewed, feud, rude, viewed, are grouped
under ud ; while brood, food, rood, have their place
under ood, &c. Those, however, who regard "do"
and "rue" as rhymes, and pronounce "rude" pre-
cisely like "rood," can find them all by examining
both u and oo, ud and ood, &c. "Europe," "ewe,"
"union," "nature," "natural," "educate," "ver-
dure," "grandeur," "seizure," &c., are pronounced
yii'rup, yu, yiin'yiin, nat'yur [colloquially na'chur
or na'chur], nat'yu-ral [colloquially nach'ii-ral or
nach'ur-ul], ed^u-ktit [colloquially efii-kat or
ej'u-kat], vurd^yur [colloquially vur x jur or vuVjur;
see u], grand' yur [colloquially gran r jiir or gran'-
jdr], sez/yQr [commonly sezl^ur or sezh'ur], &c.
See d, t, z.

ii [including 6], as in but, arquebt/se, son, does
(verb), blood, double, generous, gallo?fs(?); collo-
quially in verbal, Christian (see a), bishop, pistol,
atom (see d), luncheon, porpoise, cupboard, and many
other unaccented syllables.

u [including also tt before r, with e and 1], as in
cur, hz^rry, worm, "buhrstone, connoisseur (?), ad-
jo?^rn, avoirdupois ; colloquially in monarchy, vulgar
(see ii), offer, elixir, error, zephyr ; also in lier, earth,
guerdon (?), sr, m^rrh, &c., which are marked with


6 or I [e=l], and made by some high authorities in-
termediate in sound between & and u. Most orthoS-
pists, however, agree that the vowel sound in these
last, if different at all, is closely allied with u; and
many of the best speakers of English, like all un-
educated people, make no distinction between them.

u [including ob and o], as in Ml, swgar, foot,
should, wolf.

For gauge, deng ue, see a ; for haunt, guard, see
!l ; for pause, aught, bought, see a ; for b^ry, gw^r-
don (?), guess, see e ; for guile, buy, see I ; for bea u-
fin(?), busy, bw'ld, plaguy, see I; forlim>r, antique,
sacque, see k ; for antiques, sacques, see ks under k;
for aune, hautboy, beau, court, though, see o ; for
hough, see o ; for bwo#(?), D^tsch, see oi ; for croup,
manflwvre, see oo; for boi^nd, miaul, sauer-kraut,
"accompt,'' Arc., see ou; forgwano, csdrass, bwoy(?),
hwisher, angwisli, perszmde, z#wave(?), qwest, acquit,
see w.

v, as in tain, do#e, of, Stephen. For tweive-
month(?), see 1; for sevenniglit, see n.

\\ , as in wet, reheard, war, gwiniad, guano, cwirass,
bwoy(?), h^isher, angwish, persuade, zo^ave(?),
qwest, acq?/it, choir. AVft, as in war, b?<0y(?). The
French oi or oy, as in octro?', devour, reservoir, \oy-
ageur, pat0fc, sang-froid, feu-de-joie, bourg^#('0>
bourgeoisie, is variously pronounced as wa, or W T O, or
wa, or wa, or even wa. " Buoy " is pronounced boi
orbwoolor bwoi; <4 one" (with its derivatives) is
pronounced wfm. For jaw, awe, see a; for who,
when, see h ; for sew, groic, owe, see o ; for knowledge,
see o ; for vow, see ou ; for ^?'ing, see r ; for an^zcer,
see s ; for two, see t ; for meaw, new, view, hewed.,
viewed, yew(t), ewe(?), see u ; for gallo^s(?), see ti.

X is not used. For the equivalent of soft x or j,


as in exist, see gz under g; for the common or sharp
x, as in vex, see ks under k ; for luxury, complexion,
noxaous, see ksh under k ; for xylography, see z.

y [consonant], as in young, beyond, familiar, con-
vement, grandeur (see d, j, u), hallelu/ah, surveil-

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