a humorous short poem, with two long lines that rhyme with each other, followed by two short lines that rhyme with each other and ending with a long line that rhymes with the first two See related entries: Poetry Culture Limericks are very popular in Britain and are sometimes quite rude. Limericks first appeared in print in 1820 and were later made famous by Edward Lear in his Book of Nonsense (1846). Lear usually used the same word to end the first and last lines:
“There was an Old Man of the Border,Who lived in the utmost disorder;He danced with the Cat,And made tea in his Hat,Which vexed all the folks on the Border.”Modern limericks use a different rhyme at the end:
“There was a young lady of Crewe,Who dreamed she was eating her shoe.She woke in the night,In a terrible fright,And found it was perfectly true.”Word Origin late 19th cent.: said to be from the chorus “will you come up to Limerick?”, sung between improvised verses at a gathering.