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.
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."
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 Laziest Limerick aka The Impossible Limerick
- Note: This limerick can not be said aloud nor written, as it is about a man from Lake Nero. Obviously, it ends on line zero.
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)
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.
Higher Love Limerick
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