Celebrate National Limerick Day With These 20 Funny Limericks

[May 12, 2021: Josh Shavit]



Today is National Limerick Day. It is believed that limericks date back to the 14th century, and originated in the Irish town of Limerick. Limericks were popularized in the 19th century by the British humorist Edward Lear, although limerick examples are found in the works of authors as diverse as William Shakespeare and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.


As a refresher, a limerick is a five-line poem that consists of a single stanza, an AABBA rhyme scheme, and whose subject is a short, pithy tale or description. They are most often comedic and clever but can also be sharp, sarcastic or crude.


Enjoy a laugh with these contemporary and classic examples of the fine art!




A magazine writer named Bing;

Could make copy from most anything;

But the copy he wrote,

of a ten-dollar note,

Was so good he now lives in Sing Sing.



There was a young lady of Niger

who smiled as she rode on a tiger;

They returned from the ride

with the lady inside,

and the smile on the face of the tiger.



There was a young fellow of Crete,

Who was so exceedingly neat,

When he got out of bed,

He stood on his head,

To make sure of not soiling his feet.



There once was a runner named Dwight,

Who could speed even faster than light.

He set out one day,

In a relative way,

And returned on the previous night.



The incredible Wizard of Oz.

Retired from his business because,

Due to up-to-date science,

To most of his clients,

He wasn’t the Wizard he was.



An amoeba named Max and his brother

Were sharing a drink with each other;

In the midst of their quaffing,

They split themselves laughing,

And each of them now is a mother.



There was an Old Man in a tree,

Who was horribly bored by a bee.

When they said “Does it buzz?”

He replied “Yes, it does!

It’s a regular brute of a bee!”



A wonderful bird is the pelican;

His beak can hold more than his belican.

He can hold in his beak

Enough food for a week,

Though I’m damned if I know how the helican!



There was a young belle of old Natchez

Whose garments were always in patchez.

When comments arose

On the state of her clothes,

She replied, “When Ah itchez, Ah scratchez.”



There was a young fellow from Belfast

That I wanted so badly to tell fast

Not to climb up the stair

As the top step was air

And that’s why the young fellow fell fast.



A flea and a fly in a flue

Were imprisoned, so what could they do?

Said the fly, “let us flee!”

“Let us fly!” said the flea.

So they flew through a flaw in the flue.



There was an old girl of Genoa

And I blush when I think that Iowa;

She’s gone to her rest,

It’s all for the best,

Otherwise, I would borrow Samoa.



Hickory dickory dock,

the mouse ran up the clock;

the clock struck one

and down he run;

hickory dickory dock.



There once was a lady named Ferris

Whom nothing could ever embarrass.

‘Til the bath salts one day,

in the tub where she lay,

turned out to be Plaster of Paris.



There was an old man of the Cape

Who made himself garments of crepe.

When asked, “Do they tear?”

He replied, “Here and there,

But they’re perfectly splendid for shape!”



The star violinist was bowing;

The quarrelsome oarsmen were rowing.

But how is the sage

To discern from this page:

Was it piglets, or seeds, that were sowing?



Do nothing but eat and make good cheer,

And praise God for the merry year;

When flesh is cheap and females dear,

And lusty lads roam here and there,

So merrily, and ever among so merrily.



There once was a girl named Irene.

Who lived on distilled kerosene.

But she started absorbing,

A new hydrocarbon,

And since then has never benzene.



A bather whose clothing was strewed.

By breezes that left her quite nude,

Saw a man come along,

And, unless I am wrong,

You expect this last line to be lewd!



A forgetful old gasman named Dieter,

Who went poking around his gas heater,

Touched a leak with his light;

He blew out of sight—

And, as everyone who knows anything about poetry can tell you, he also ruined the meter.


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