The following puzzle first appeared in April 1998.
In English, duplication in word formations is usually associated with baby talk (mama, papa, googoo, choo-choo) and similar humorous coinages (boola-boola). The more typical English pattern is to repeat with modification, changing either the first consonant sound or grouping (e.g., helter-skelter), or the first vowel sound (e.g., wishy-washy). Illogically, this process is called reduplication. (Shouldn't that involve fourfold occurrence?)
List all the compound words you can think of on the helter-skelter pattern. (There are at least six examples in which the first element starts with h, which changes to p in the second element. In the great majority of all examples, both elements end in y.) Names of characters in fairy tales, nursery rhymes, etc., may also be listed.
hanky-panky, hasty-pasty, higgledy-piggledy, hocus-pocus, hodgepodge, hokey-pokey, hotchpotch, Henny-Penny, handy-dandy, harum-scarum, heebie-jeebies, helster-skelter, hobnob, hoity-toity, holus-bolus, holy-moly, hubble-bubble, hubbub, hugger-mugger, humdrum, hurdy-gurdy, hurly-burly, Humpty-Dumpty, itsy-bitsy, killer-diller, lovey-dovey, namby-pamby, okey-dokey, roly-poly, super-duper, teeny-weeny, teensy-weensy, willy-nilly, wing-ding, Ducky-Lucky, Foxy-Loxy, Georgy-Porgy, Goosey-Loosey, Turkey-Lurkey
Tagged golomb's gambits