- For the Irish city of the same name, see Limerick
The limerick -- believed by most scholars to be named for the town of Balymghoughlick, Ireland -- is a form of poetry similar to the Japanese haiku and tanka. Just as the haiku must include a seasonal reference or imagery (the cherry blossoms of spring, the carp-flinging dances of summer), so the limerick traditionally includes a person's name or home town, filth and/or sex, and a strict AABBA rhyme scheme.
- There once was a cretin named Jack
- Whose buttcrack ran right up his back.
- Said he with a leer,
- "Toilet paper, my dear?
- I use a whole roll at one whack."
or this one
- There once was a knight named James Lancelot,
- Who looked at Miss Bailey askance a lot.
- So whenever he'd pass,
- That beautiful ass,
- The front of his pants would advance-a-lot.
The above poem adds internal rhymes and extra-filthy imagery, but serves as a reasonably concise example of the form. Here is another:
- According to Uncyclopedia
- (The only reliable media)
- Some limericks are pure
- But those ones are fewer;
- The others are quite a lot seedier.
A few scholars believe that the true origin of the limerick lies with a wandering medieval magician called Eric who could turn people into fruit by reciting poetry at them. According to this theory, Eric would turn people into bananas by reciting a bananerick, into raspberries by reciting a raspberick, and into pineapples by reciting a pinaplerick. However, only the limerick, once used by Eric to turn his enemies into green citrus, has survived to the modern era. This is probably just as well.
In any case, limericks were ancestral to the sonata, which use a similarly rigid rhyme scheme.
- 1 Limerick Variations
- 1.1 The General Form
- 1.2 The Squeaky Clean
- 1.3 The Unconventional
- 1.4 The Pretentious
- 1.5 The Aldulterous
- 1.6 The Subtle (and also pretentious)
- 1.7 The Limeraiku
- 1.8 The Haikick
- 1.9 The Gibberish Limerick
- 1.10 The Lazy Limerick
- 1.11 The Lazier Limerick
- 1.12 The Idiot's Limerick
- 1.13 The melancholy, ironic (bad) Limerick
- 1.14 The Bob Dylan (Bad) Limerick
- 1.15 The in-joke
- 1.16 The Bob Dylan (Good) Limerick
- 1.17 The Oscar Wilde Limerick
- 1.18 Chuck Norris Limerick
- 1.19 Higher Love Limerick
- 2 Limericks by Famous Poets
The General Form
- Nu nu nu nu nu nu nu nu
- Na na na na na na na nu
- Ni ni ni ni ni
- Ne ne ne ne ni
- No no no no no no no nu.
The Squeaky Clean
- Cummings, Thomas, all that rot
- None of their lines are very much hot
- Some limericks are gaudy
- Often dirty, often bawdy
- But others are not.
- First, two lines that rhyme
- Are required all of the time
- Then two more
- Lines three and four
- The last rhymes with nothing.
the limerick is a kick i dont know what to say this poem is bad i am sad this is not a limerick
- A mosquito was heard to complain
- That a chemist had poisoned his brain
- The cause of his sorrow
- Was 4-4 dichloro-
- There once was a woman named Becca
- Whose cunt had more pilgrims than Mecca
- While her man was outside
- Ol' George took a ride
- And now all she wants is his pecca
The Subtle (and also pretentious)
- There was an old man out of York
- Who always ate soup with a stick
- For he said "Since I eat
- Neither fish, fowl, nor flesh
- I would finish my dinner too soon."
- Combine the two kinds
- Five syllables in odd lines
- Even have seven
- Not twenty, not eleven
- Now your poem shines
- There was an old man
- From Peru, whose lim'ricks all
- Look'd like haiku. He
- Said with a laugh "I
- Cut them in half, the pay is
- Much better for two."
The Gibberish Limerick
- do do do do do do do do
- blug blug blug blug blop
- ploo ploo ploo ploo plop
- rah rah rah rah rah rah rah Bob Dylan
The Lazy Limerick
- There once was a man from Peru
- Whose limericks stopped at line two.
The Lazier Limerick
- There once was a man from Verdun
The Idiot's Limerick
- There once was a fellow so purple,
- That...oh crap, this isn't going to work!
The melancholy, ironic (bad) Limerick
- The government's tryin' to get me
- And my cat keeps threatening to vet me
- So I went to the bank
- And then I drank
- So they just take out their bills and then debt me
- I HATE MR WHISKERS
- I HATE THE BANK
- I WOULD HATE THE GOVERNMENT TOO...
- IF I WASN'T SO WANK!
The Bob Dylan (Bad) Limerick
- He once was a man from Minnesota
- But His voice carried better in North Dakota
- So he complained about life
- And he learned how to play the fife
- And now I return to the coda. OOOOHHHH! (dc al coda)
- There are those who say Uncyclopedia
- is a parody of wikipedia.
- Those in the know
- know it just isn't so;
- disagree? To the kittens we'll feed ya!
The Bob Dylan (Good) Limerick
Imagine William Shatner singing the "Bob Dylan (Bad) Limerick"
The Oscar Wilde Limerick
- There once lived a man of superlative wit
- There was never a pun that he could not hit.
- He smacked down Churchill,
- left him in the lurch, ill,
- and completely destroyed him, the twit. ~ Oscar Wilde
Chuck Norris Limerick
- There once was a guy named Chuck Norris
- Who landed on the ground before us
- Would he give us a good flick?
- Or try a roundhouse kick?
- In the end he decided to destroy us.
- A growing young lad called Mike
- Was aroused by riding his bike.
- His confessor said: "Peddle faster.
- You'll be seized by your Master.
- And be loved by your Lord on your bike!"
Limericks by Famous Poets
Many of the great poets tried their hands at limericks.
- By the shores of Gichee Gummee
- An Indian maiden once knew me
- She wanted Hiawatha
- Not a silly paleface brotha
- No matter how I begged her to chew me.
- ~Longfellow, Hiawatha
- He clasps the crags with his crooked bird hands
- On echoing cliffs he motionless stands
- The distant sea crawls
- He folds his wings, falls,
- And like a thundermug he lands.
- ~Alfred "The Lord" Tennyson, The Eagle
- There once were two roads in a yellow wood
- I looked down one as long as I could
- I could not travel both
- (It might have stunted my growth)
- And besides, they were slippery with mud.
- ~Robert "Freeze-Face" Frost, The Roads Not Taken