What is a Limerick?

A limerick is a short and fun five-line poem with a distinctive rhythm. The first, second and fifth lines are longer than the third and fourth lines. The rhyming pattern is AABBA. The longer A lines rhyme with each other and the shorter B lines rhyme with each other.

  • Line 1: 7-10 syllables A
  • Line 2: 7-10 syllables A
  • Line 3: 5-7 syllables B
  • Line 4: 5-7 syllables B
  • Line 5: 7-10 syllables A

26 Funny Limerick Poems

  1. 1. A Wonderful Bird Is The Pelican

    This well known Limerick is often misattributed to other famous poets such as Ogden Nash. Dixon Lanier Merritt (1879–1972) was an American poet, editor, historian and humorist

    A wonderful bird is the pelican,
    His bill will hold more than his belican,
    He can take in his beak
    Enough food for a week
    But I'm damned if I see how the helican!

    Another version:

    A funny old bird is a pelican.
    His beak can hold more than his belican.
    Food for a week
    He can hold in his beak,
    But I don't know how the helican.

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    Latest Shared Story

    I can see my dad's face and hear him reciting this poem as soon as he saw a pelican...every time. Sparks joy in the midst of grief. I miss him so much. Making a memorial space with a pelican...

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  3. 2. Limericks By Edward Lear

    Collection of Limericks by Edward Lear (1812-1888). Most are from A Book of Nonsense published in 1846.

    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!'

    There was an Old Person of Ischia,
    Whose conduct grew friskier and friskier;
    He dance hornpipes and jigs,
    And ate thousands of figs,
    That lively Old Person of Ischia.

    There was an Old Man in a boat,
    Who said, 'I'm afloat, I'm afloat!'
    When they said, 'No! you ain't!'
    He was ready to faint,
    That unhappy Old Man in a boat.

    There was a Young Lady of Hull,
    Who was chased by a virulent bull;
    But she seized on a spade,
    And called out, 'Who's afraid?'
    Which distracted that virulent bull.

    There was an Old Person of Ems,
    Who casually fell in the Thames;
    And when he was found
    They said he was drowned,
    That unlucky Old Person of Ems.

    There was an Old Man who said, 'Hush!
    I perceive a young bird in this bush!'
    When they said, 'Is it small?'
    He replied, 'Not at all!
    It is four times as big as the bush!'

    There was a Young Lady of Russia,
    Who screamed so that no one could hush her;
    Her screams were extreme,
    No one heard such a scream,
    As was screamed by that lady of Russia.

    There was an Old Person of Ewell,
    Who chiefly subsisted on gruel;
    But to make it more nice
    He inserted some mice,
    Which refreshed that Old Person of Ewell.

    There was an old man in a tree,
    Whose whiskers were lovely to see;
    But the birds of the air,
    Pluck'd them perfectly bare,
    To make themselves nests on that tree.

    There is a Young Lady whose nose
    Continually prospers and grows;
    When it grew out of sight,
    she exclaimed in a fright,
    "Oh! Farewell to the end of my nose!"

    There was an Old Person of Dean,
    Who dined on one pea and one bean;
    For he said,
    "More than that would make me too fat,"
    That cautious Old Person of Dean.

    There was an Old Person of Dover,
    Who rushed through a field of blue Clover;
    But some very large bees,
    Stung his nose and his knees,
    So he very soon went back to Dover.

    There was an Old Man of Peru,
    Who watched his wife making a stew;
    But once by mistake,
    In a stove she did bake,
    That unfortunate Man of Peru.

    There was a Young Lady whose bonnet,
    Came untied when the birds sate upon it;
    But she said: 'I don't care!
    All the birds in the air
    Are welcome to sit on my bonnet!'

    More On This Poem

    Latest Shared Story

    Those birds will just nest anywhere! Of course they need to build a home for their young-uns. Our dad told us a story that when he was young he would help gather the clothes off the clothes...

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  5. 3. Candy Tree Shops

    As I enjoy reading and writing limericks, it was a delight to see that limericks are one of the four poetry forms in the 2019 Summer Poetry Contest. Children love poetry with some humour and a rhythmic beat. I hope to have gotten that right in these limericks I've written for children to read and hopefully enjoy. Five Limericks, each having a line syllable count of 10,10, 5, 5, 9.

    Limericks Poems For Kids About Sweets

    If ice cream could be grown on the tree top,
    Tiny tummies would be liking it lots.
    Any fruit flavour
    For all to savour.
    Do stop by at the ice cream tree shop.

    If only the trees could grow lollipops
    With a sharp tangy taste of lemon drops.
    Lolly licky-lick
    With a zingy twist.
    Come along with a skip and a hop.

    If chocolate heaven grew on tree leaf,
    Bountiful, tempting, delicious to eat,
    A smooth, silky, treat
    In a chocy feast.
    If only they weren't so out of reach.

    If bubblegum grew upon trees that blew
    Bubbles in the air, to catch and to chew.
    Be nimble, be quick;
    Remember the trick.
    Don't swallow, because gum sticks like glue.

    All are welcome at the Candy Tree Shops.
    Feast your eyes on all the goodies they've got.
    There are enough treats
    For all down the streets,
    So come and join the jiggery-jog

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    Latest Shared Story

    Thank you for the congratulations on my winning the Summer Poetry Contest, Brother John. Winning was an unexpected surprise. To my mind, all of the entries were worthy winners. Yours I...

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  6. 4. The Ball Up High

    I wanted to write something children can read and relate to about the sun, so I thought I'd try limericks, and this came up. I hope you like it.

    Limericks About The Sun

    Once I did hear my brother call
    The sun a giant fire ball.
    How can that be?
    For what I see,
    Is something up high so small.

    I see it at the break of dawn,
    When it announces the day is on.
    Its brilliant gold,
    A joy to behold,
    And being outside is so much fun.

    John might be right, for I must say,
    The sun is not so cool at midday.
    Its shining light
    Is just so bright,
    I have to pull my eyes away.

    Evening comes and it's so strange
    How the sun still appears to change.
    No longer small,
    A bigger ball.
    Its tone, now a lovely bright orange!

    This curious ball hanging up high,
    For me, raises many questions why.
    But when it shines,
    Then life is fine.
    Thank God the sun is in the sky.

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    Latest Shared Story

    The poem written in simple colloquial language expresses the genuine thoughts of an innocent child who admires nature.

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  7. 5. Harvey The Hippo

    This poem is in the limerick form, and it is unusual because limericks are carried through all eight stanzas. It is also an example of a rhyming poem. As for me, I am a retired university professor who enjoyed a tenure of 32 years at Chicago State University where my job was to prepare teachers for children with special needs.

    Limerick About A Hippo

    Harvey is a huge hippopotamus
    Who bathes in a bay that is bottomless
    HIs mouth is as large
    As a riverboat barge
    And he weighs ten times more than a lot of us

    Harvey wears a red cummerbund
    And sewn on the back is the number one
    He plays the tuba
    Not far from Aruba
    While dancing around in the summer sun

    Once Harvey met up with a crocodile
    Together they decided to walk a mile
    Near the shore they strolled,
    But the water got cold
    So they sat down to talk on the dock a while

    Eating Oreo cookies about four apiece
    They talked about matters of war and peace
    They discussed the economy,
    Art, and astronomy
    And the huge immigration of foreign geese

    Then walking back toward his new shiny house
    Harvey stopped for a chat with a tiny mouse
    Her name was Du Barry;
    They decided to marry
    And soon come a baby named Stanislaus

    A handsome young child was Stanislaus
    Dressed up in his fine silken Spanish blouse
    They all had made history;
    This was no mystery
    For Stan was the first Hippopotamouse

    Huge Harvey adored his sweet ladylove
    From her wee little feet to her head above
    He brought her some strings
    And other fine things
    Including a snowy white turtledove

    Harvey has grown really mellow now
    He seldom produces a bellow now
    But if you're down by the bay,
    You can still see him play
    This wondrous and gentle old fellow now

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    Latest Shared Story

    Hi Rita, thanks for the kind words about Harvey the Hippo. I've got about 20 otherr poems like Harvey. I can also furnish an illustrator. You go ahead and find a publisher, and we can be...

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  8. 6. Listen To Mum

    A limerick regarding my school days (or should I say fooling around playing truant days). It's only later on in life you realize a good education is the key to success.

    Limerick Poems About A Lesson Learned About School

    I remember when I was small and cool,
    I was always playing truant from school.
    My mum used to say,
    "You'll regret it one day
    When you grow up to become a fool."

    Now I'm old; the damage is done.
    How I wish I'd listened to Mum.
    If I could turn back time,
    I'd study hard and toe the line
    Instead of acting foolish and dumb.

    Now let that be a lesson to one and all
    That life is more than just having a ball.
    It was great having fun
    When I was young,
    But I wish I'd spent more time in the school hall.

    More On This Poem

    Latest Shared Story

    It's only now that I'm older I realise my school years were the best days of my life. If only I could turn back time.

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  9. 7. Confessions Of A Serial Plant Killer

    Limericks about not having a Green Thumb, This poem is written in limerick form. I enjoy writing humorous rhyming poems, and this one is based on my personal experience (or should I say, lack of experience) with indoor plants.

    Oh, I wish that I had a green thumb.
    All my houseplants are looking quite glum.
    I never can tell
    Why they're looking unwell
    Or why so many succumb.

    Have I failed to give enough water?
    Have I watered them more than I oughta?
    Are they getting too hot?
    Is this not the right spot?
    It's like sending poor lambs to the slaughter.

    The hard, undeniable fact is
    Many succulents, ferns and a cactus,
    A begonia, a fig,
    Many palms, small and big,
    Have been victims of my malpractice.

    I confess I'm a serial killer.
    Many end up as mulch or land filler.
    I kill far more plants
    Than snails, thrips or ants.
    Or an army of green caterpillar!

    Though houseplants are deemed beneficial,
    Should these perish, then it is official:
    I'll waste no more dough
    Just to watch 'em die slow,
    For my next plants will be artificial!

    More On This Poem

    Latest Shared Story

    Greetings, fellow Aussie! Yes, "the care we inflict"....well put. Thanks, Raelene, for the kind feedback.

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  10. 8. Rest In Peace Abraham Lincoln

    • By Neil
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems April 2014

    Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) was the 16th president of the United States until his assassination on April 15, 1865.

    There once was a fellow named Abe
    And today is the day he was slayed
    John Wilkes Booth took his life
    As he sat with his wife
    Who was visibly shocked and dismayed

    In Kentucky Abe Lincoln was born
    A State that would later be torn
    When a war was declared
    And a nation prepared
    For a lot of dead soldiers to mourn

    He moved the Hoosier State
    Where they always have corn on their plate
    In the law he was trained
    Much respect he attained
    Winning many a rousing debate

    In The Senate he later would serve
    With copious gusto and verve
    Then The White House he sought
    Which he won by a lot
    But many down south were unnerved

    As President, Lincoln decided
    That the law of the land was misguided
    And that slaves should be freed
    But the south disagreed
    And the country was badly divided

    What ensued was a horrible war
    Full of death and destruction galore
    The battles were heated
    The south was defeated
    But one aimed to settle the score

    Now one hundred and forty-nine years
    Have elapsed since his family and peers
    Put Abe Lincoln to rest
    In a hickory chest
    With their faces all covered in tears

    On the penny and five-dollar bill
    Lincoln's image is used to instill
    A sense of assurance
    And fiscal endurance
    Cashiers keep them locked in a till

    So today we remember a man
    Who was clearly no flash in the pan
    With his odd looking beard
    He was loved and revered
    But was not a big hit with the Klan

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  11. 9. Happy Mother's Day Limerick

    • By Neil
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems May 2014

    A limerick wishing mothers a happy Mother's Day

    There's a lady in each of our lives
    Who endured all the lows and the highs
    That her children went through
    Like the mumps or the flu
    Or the joy of a pleasant surprise

    She strengthened our family ties
    And wiped away tears from our eyes
    She forgave all our flaws
    And our social faux pas
    And she baked really great apple pies

    She saw through almost all of our lies
    And plied us with sodas and fries
    When our manners were good
    And we did what we should
    She was righteous and caring and wise

    So to Mothers, both present and past
    For the many good deeds you've amassed
    I honor you all
    With this verse on my wall
    And I hope that your day is a blast

    More On This Poem

    Latest Shared Story

    This is a poem almost everyone can relate to. I thank you for making this. I read this to my mom for Mother's Day, and she teared up a little!

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  12. 10. Me And Chemistry

    • By Faaizah
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems May 2019

    A limerick on Chemistry a subject that I'm not to fond of.

    There's this subject called chemistry
    how it works is a total mystery
    it is an atom
    says my madam
    but all I see is my misery

    More On This Poem

    Latest Shared Story

    The chemistry subject can be difficult at first, but it will really show you everything you need to know in the world, because this world itself is chemistry.

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  13. 11. When I'm Old

    • By Michael Holding
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems July 2015

    A reflection on the passing years and of things to come.

    When I'm old and mankey,
    I'll never use a hanky.
    I'll wee on plants
    and soil my pants
    and sometimes get quite cranky.

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  14. 12. Homework Limerick

    • By Alyssa Tyler Ashely Lily Skylar Emily
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems May 2015

    This is a limerick about homework and why we don't enjoy it.

    Limerick About Too Much Homework

    Why do we have homework after school?
    This is so uncool.
    I so want to cry
    I want to deny
    All of this homework after school.

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    Latest Shared Story

    This is very funny and true. Nice poem. Keep it up!

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  15. 13. Wake Up

    • By Meena
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems August 2019

    This is a limerick about how carefree a child can be. Selecting a cookie from the cookie jar is the most important task of the day. How fun childhood can be!

    Limerick About Having Fun As A Child

    Time to wake up my sweet little one.
    It is time for you to see the rising sun.
    Stay awake, my superstar.
    Mum's left open the cookie jar.
    Wake up, little one, and have some fun.

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    Latest Shared Story

    WOW!!!! Very, very, very good. Simple but good.

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  16. 14. A Fish Who Could Talk

    • By Elizabeth Trang
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems May 2014

    Had to write this for my school. Everyone thought it was funny, and loved it. This was the first place in mind when I thought of sharing it.

    There once was a fish who could talk.
    He wanted to learn how to walk.
    He got out from the sea,
    Fell right onto me,
    And I nearly died from great shock.

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  17. 15. My Foolish Dog

    • By Kathlene Bouzek
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems January 2009

    I wrote this poem for a school poem and thought I'd enter it! Enjoy!

    My dog is quite hip
    Except when he takes a dip.
    He looks like a fool
    when he jumps in the pool
    and reminds me of a sinking ship.

    More On This Poem

    Latest Shared Story

    I thought the same about the poem. The dog in the pool is very cool.

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  18. 16. Poor Mrs. Peel

    • By Caroline Smith
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems November 2019
    Limerick About Thanksgiving

    There once was an old Mrs. Peel
    Who cooked till her hands could not feel
    A Thanksgiving feast!
    One nap, at least.
    Then she slept right through the meal.

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  19. 17. Boisterous Joe!

    The poem is about a mischievous young boy called Joe who loves fun and adventure in the snow. One day he sets off on a magical adventure through a snow-covered forest when something unexpected is about to happen...

    Limerick About Having Fun In The Snow

    There was a boisterous boy called Joe
    Who loved to play in the fresh falling snow.
    He went sledging one day
    On his wild husky powered sleigh,
    Tumbled tumultuously and broke his big toe.

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  20. 18. Happy Easter Limerick

    • By Neil
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems May 2014

    A cute limerick about Easter

    Easter weekend's a time when we feast
    On a turkey that's freshly deceased
    Or a slow roasted duck
    That has run out of pluck
    Or a lamb that's been recently fleeced

    Many places are holding parades
    With traffic cut off by blockades
    As folks line the streets
    And as cops walk the beats
    Of their city and town promenades

    Many candies and eggs will be hid
    So that many a cute little kid
    Can damage their teeth
    And their gums underneath
    In a sugary takeover bid

    As for me, I'll watch sports on TV
    While indulging in crackers with Brie
    Washing down with some suds
    Such as Molsons or Buds
    Then I'll empty myself when I pee

    So I hope you all have a good Easter
    As you sit in your den on your keester
    Or chill out with your chums
    Or be flapping your gums
    On the phone with your brother or seester

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  21. 19. The Man From Greece

    • By Skull
    •  Published by Family Friend Poems July 2010

    This was just a limerick I wrote in class for a project and I got a great grade. It is quite funny, just wanted to share it.

    There once was a man from Greece
    He was incredibly obese
    He rolled round the world
    crushing all boys and girls
    then fell into a vat of grease

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  22. 20. Statistics

    I love to laugh. I'm a husband and I'm the father of two young children. I find that bringing home a joke or a funny story is one of the most rewarding ways to balance our day and keep love alive.

    Having had just a bit too much wine
    the statistician opted to recline
    head in the Frigidaire
    feet out in the hot air
    On the average he was feeling fine

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1 - 20 of 26 Poems

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