All terms

What is a Limerick?

A humorous poem consisting of five lines with a specific AABBA rhyme scheme.

Learn How to Write a Limerick: Rhyme, Rhythm, and Humor

Are you ready to unleash your inner poet with a bit of humor and a dash of quirkiness? Then, welcome to Limerick Land!

A limerick is a fun and playful poetic form that originated in Ireland. This humorous poem consists of five lines with a specific AABBA rhyme scheme where the first, second, and fifth lines contain eight or nine syllables while the third and fourth lines contain five or six syllables.

Let’s check out an example:

There was an Old Man with a beard,

Who said, “It is just as I feared!

Two Owls and a Hen,

four Larks and a Wren,

Have all built their nests in my beard!”

The limerick is known for its humorous creativity and often uses wordplay, puns, and unexpected twists in the final line. Though the form is simple, the rhyming and rhythmic structure can be complex, making it a favorite among poets and readers alike.

So, grab your pen and paper and give limerick writing a try! There are no strict rules, so experiment with different topics, tones, and styles until you find your perfect limerick.

Lim-up your Literature: Two Examples of Limerick in Literature

Limericks are often used in children's books, humorous poetry, and lighthearted fiction to add a cheerful and playful element to the writing.

The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl

This children's book features a limerick from a greedy crocodile who wants to eat other animals:

Oh the enormous crocodile grinned,

It's time that I got down to sin,

I'll fool these dumb guys,

With my clever disguise,

And I'll gobble them up with a grin.

Great Irish Tales of Horror: A Treasury of Fear edited by Peter Haining

This anthology of horror stories includes a limerick by Edward Lear:

There was a Young Lady whose chin,

Resembled the point of a pin:

So she had it made sharp,

And purchased a harp,

And played several tunes with her chin.