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How To Write A Limerick

Updated on February 15, 2014

How to write a limerick

How to write a limerick
How to write a limerick | Source

A New Limerick

There once was a guy in the States

Who wanted to chat to his mates

He created a 'book'

And we all took a look

And he now keeps his money in crates

How To Write A Limerick want to write a limerick ? Great keeps your mind active and it's a fun way of passing the time.

Let's get on with the basics !

Structure of the Limerick

  1. You need to prepare to write 5 lines in what we'll call a AABBA form. Lines 1,2 and 5 are to consist of 8 or 9 syllables and they must rhyme with eachother and they will be called your 'A' lines. Lines 3 and 4 will consist of 5 or 6 syllables and they must rhyme with eachother...we'll call them the 'B' lines
  2. The usual ploy is to start the first line with 'There once was a' though you can have variations
  3. Just be sure to employ the AABBA pattern and you can't go wrong
  4. Within the limerick it's good to exploit puns and wordplay and to add a slice of humour with a twist or pay-off line for the final 'A'
  5. Limericks are generally bawdy and naughty

The Structure

A = 8 or 9 syllables B = 5 or 6 syllables
A = 8 or 9 syllables B = 5 or 6 syllables | Source

This brings us to our finished limerick


The History of the Limerick

The history of the 'limerick' as a form of poetry is obscure and can't be pinned down...but it is thought to have originated in the UK and, in particular, in Ireland, as a form of story-telling. This would fit the bill for the Irish connection because the social demeanour of the Irish culture was very much held together by story-telling and social narrative poetry.

The limerick was widely popularised by Edward Lear in his 1845 Book of Nonsense which contained 72 limericks...but even Shakespeare had written limericks approximately 250 years before that

Limerick, Ireland

Nobody really knows for sure why this form of poetry is specifically called a 'limerick' or if it is actually named after Limerick in Ireland....producer of famous sons and daughters including Jimmy Carr (comedian), Terry Wogan (tv presenter), JP McManus (entrepreneur and philanthropist), Catherine Hayes (opera singer), Kate O'Brien (author) and Dolores O'Riordan (singer with pop band The Cranberries)

So there you have it...have fun making limericks folks....I'll leave you with another example:

There was a bad singer from Britain

Who gathered some songs he had written

He made up a band

(Nothing special or grand)

And he called them 'Unlucky Fried Kitten'

So...let's see some of your limericks

Limerick Poll

Who do you prefer for your light entertainment?

See results


I would love to hear your thoughts on this if you have any opinions to offer...or experiences or examples to share...please put them in the 'comments ' section below.

Perhaps you have your own story to tell ?

What do you think ?

How do you feel ?

What is your opinion ?

Are you working on something similar ?

I will respond to all comments and I look forward to hearing from you

Thank You




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