Sometimes in songs or poetry we are set-up to expect a rhyming word but instead another word is supplied. An example is the Killers song Mr Brightside:

Now they're going to bed.
And my stomach is sick.
And it's all in my head.
But she's touching his chest

To my recollection I've heard these called several different things in the distant past.

So what are these anticipated but missing rhymes (or the works that contain them) called?

2 Answers 2


It's a mind rhyme. From Wikipedia:

the suggestion of a rhyme which is left unsaid and must be inferred by the listener.

Wikipedia gives this example:

There was a young farmer who took a young miss
to the back of the barn where he gave her a lecture

  • Thanks, yes, I'm pretty sure that's one of the terms I had heard.
    – Glen_b
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 2:13
  • I'll leave a little time before trying to award the tick in case further answers show up
    – Glen_b
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 2:20

With the help of Laurel's answer I managed to find a couple of alternate names via Google:

It's sometimes called a subverted rhyme or a teasing rhyme.

Subverted rhyme was the one on the tip of my tongue.

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