Limericks For No Particular Occasion

    (in alphabetical order by last word of first line)
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  1. Marseillaise: France's national an-thum
    Is a tune that all day you could hum
    Though Le Pétomane's said
    To have not used his head ...
    For the sound came straight out of his back!
  2. It often does appear
    If you've drunk lots of beer
    That what you see
    Looks quite blur-ree
    And when you walk you veer!
  3. No zebras did board Noah's ark
    Only horses, two white, and two dark
    But for forty black nights
    There were no bedroom lights
    Which caused zebras galore to disbark!
  4. Two colonels, between desert bases
    Once ordered their men: "Stop — oases!" ...
    Informed entourages —
    Who knew these mirages —
    With glee, watched them both sand their faces!
  5. A young fugitive, Paddington Bear
    Once escaped to west London by air
    Where the Browns were all conned
    By a shrewd Michael Bond
    To provide him with permanent care!
  6. An extraterrestrial being
    Had noses adapted for seeing
    And smelled with an ear
    But used eyeballs to hear
    What folks screamed up his nostrils while fleeing!
  7. There was once an explorer called Burke
    Whose lamp died in the jungle's night murk
    So he said to his band:
    "Men, all raise your right hand" ...
    And it shone — many hands make light work!
  8. An eight-nostrilled man in Cancun
    Blows his nose-organ nicely in tune
    Till the ragweeds first bloom
    When he suffers from rheum
    So he plays a mouth-organ in June!
  9. An Englishman, name of Carruthers
    Would often say, "Had I my druthers" ...
    But given his way
    He'd choose only delay —
    He just rather'd the druthers of others!
  10. Said the Hare to the Tortoise, "Dear chap,
    I can catch you with ease, so I'll nap" ...
    Round a bend, Tortoise crept
    While the Hare overslept —
    And then lost, 'cos he can't read a map!
  11. An eagle whose wings had been clipped
    From the clippings made quills, which he dipped
    In indelible ink
    On the door of the bird clippers' crypt!
  12. Were a brain salesman's prices confused? ...
    "Einstein's: 25 cents," he enthused
    "For this pol's: twenty grand" ...
    No, those prices were planned —
    The politico's hadn't been used!
  13. An Austrian boa constrictor
    Whose victim said "Ich bin ein dichter"
    Agreed he'd unwind
    To hear limericks opined ...
    And so verse made his victim the victor!
  14. Once a chemist I knew, Molly Cule
    Taught atomic collisions in school
    Bouncing hard colored balls
    Off rectangular walls ...
    Now she's tripled her pay, playing pool!
  15. Murphy's Limerick Law I define:
    You've decided your limerick's divine ...
    Since it can't be improved
    To your website it's moved —
    Then you think of a much better line!
  16. A cockroach who left a deposit
    Had just vanished into the closet
    But later emerged
    And was instantly purged ...
    Well, that was the same one, right? ... or was it?
  17. A dysfunctional diarist called Depys
    Didn't log deeds in years that were leaps ...
    Thus three fourths of his acts
    Became widely known facts —
    While a fourth of his secrets he keeps!
  18. It's an old academic dispute:
    What's the number with pi for square root? ...
    While math profs have declared
    That the answer's pi squared
    Engineers say, "It's 10 we compute!"
  19. Why'd the hat feather dandy Yank Doodle
    Wore over his kit and caboodle
    For riding a pony
    Get called macaroni? ...
    It lured young coquettes to ca-noodle!
  20. Once two goatherds, who ever did dote
    On each other, when wed, signed a note:
    "To mix herds would be wrong" ...
    Thus their love lasted long —
    Because neither one got either's goat!
  21. When Pythagoras suffered bad dreams
    He saw roof beams collapse at the seams
    And crash down on his proof
    That the square of the roof
    Is the sum of the squares of its beams!
  22. I saw roofers up fixing the eaves
    At the bank, while a gardener raked leaves
    And a plumber found fault
    With the pipes near the vault ...
    Oh, now wait — you don't say I saw thieves?
  23. Technology's way of enhancing
    Philosophy's means of advancing:
    A lens to zoom in
    On the head of a pin
    To count how many angels are dancing!
  24. I once knew a hermit called Esau
    Who built his whole house on a seesaw ...
    If guests wouldn't leave
    He could make his house heave
    Until soon I a hermit at peace saw!
  25. An intergalactic explorer
    While sleeping, was such a loud snorer
    Astronomers heard
    Her and wrongly inferred
    A new radio-wavelength aurora!
  26. Despite HMS Pinafore's fame
    Captain Corcoran's losing the game
    Till his true rank is known
    To be Buttercup's own
    While his daughter's and Ralph's are the same!
  27. If the last line's the same as the first
    Edward Lear thought, whenever he versed
    Then you needn't spend time
    Finding three words that rhyme
    'Cos the last line's the same as the first!
  28. I once knew a pig who could fly (*)
    From the abattoir back to his sty
    He was such a sharp dasher
    He never made rasher
    Nor ever became a pork pie!
  29. A clairvoyant in Kansas, See Far
    Said, "I'll go for a spin in my car" ...
    When, soon after, a twister
    Descended, his sister
    Said, "My — how prophetic you are!"
  30. "Hey, waiter, my soup's got a fly in!"
    "No — two, three, and fast multiplyin'!" ...
    "Diner, Caesar's instead? ...
    All the flies will be dead —
    Our salads contain malathion!"

  31. A goldfish whom circling frustrated
    Had from a good school graduated
    With hopes of high rank
    In an upscale fish tank ...
    For a bowl, he's just too educated!
  32. Once a knight, called Sir Menper, did go
    Through a lake to save damsels in woe
    Then he lit a huge fire
    For to dry their attire ...
    Horse is wet, Menper's pyre, ladies glow!
  33. Voluptuous Lady Godiva
    Made Coventry's menfolk saliva ...
    Her naked horse ride
    Had a tax nullified —
    But destroyed Peeping Tom's conjunctiva!
  34. A parrot called Alex the Great
    Is renowned for the size of his pate
    He knows different from same
    And all colors by name
    And is able to count up to eight!
  35. Once a marathon runner called Hart
    Ate a big can of beans at the start
    And for many a mile
    Had the most relaxed style ...
    Being powered along by his feet!
  36. An explorer, so cool under heat
    In a cannibal's pot, sang such sweet
    Bedtime songs, his guard dozed ...
    Till their roles were transposed —
    One man's poise 'n' another man's meat!
  37. A Florida boater called Hockney
    Saw mermaids on River Ochlockonee ...
    He didn't capsize —
    But he's blind in both eyes
    From their looks, and has permanent knock-knee!

  38. A Boston life saver called Hoover
    While doing the Heimlich maneuver
    Some food did dislodge
    With such force ... his death dodge
    Choked a fellow who yawned in Vancouver!
  39. Once a lumberjack, in a log jam
    Cussed the beaver who'd caused it: "Hell, scram! —
    You dumb varmint," bawled he
    "You're obstructing my tree ..."
    Yelled the beaver, "I don't care a dam!"
  40. A logomachist said, feeling jerks
    As he drove over potholes: "This irks
    Me to great stupefaction —
    The road's out of action ...
    But signs still inform me ROAD WORKS!"
  41. In a palace of glass stood Queen Joan's
    Royal seat, all adorned with fine stones ...
    Till a hurricane's zeal
    Did a moral reveal —
    Folks in glass houses shouldn't stow thrones!
  42. Once a pilot of choppers called Joe
    Had a lawn that he hated to mow ...
    Then a notion did dawn —
    Now he flattens his lawn
    Just by hovering over it low!
  43. Once a lisper, on tour in Khartoum
    Asked the Hilton to find him a room
    In his style — which, he said,
    Meant the room should be red ...
    Now a soon-to-be-mom calls him "Gwoom!"
  44. This wee bonnie Irish young lass (*)
    Who'd read Einstein as well as Laplace
    Used equations to prove
    That when leprechauns move
    They have no gravitational mass!
  45. Once a chap with a headache called Lee
    Took his car for a drive by the sea
    And returned without pain ...
    Said his wife, "Please explain"...
    "I had Mot'rin and water," said he!

  46. A Methodist preacher called Leslie
    Discovered a phrase in John Wesley:
    "The rock of the church" ...
    Now on Sundays he'll lurch
    In the pulpit to music of Presley!
  47. Limerick quality varies a lot
    Some are clever, and others are not
    Some are hits, others miss
    Some are boring, like this ...
    And the worst ones of all have no plot!
  48. A mathematician called Madder
    Whose snake scared his wife up a ladder
    Was asked by her, "Pray —
    Can you take it away?"
    But replied, "No, I can't ... it's an adder!"
  49. Desdemona, a virtuous maid
    Loved Othello, whom Iago betrayed
    When he caused him to think
    That his girl was a fink ...
    Now one's strangled, one's dead, and one's slayed!
  50. A practical joker, McCarty
    In life had been healthy and hearty ...
    "I'm shocked," friends all said
    At his wake, "that he's dead" —
    Then he rose, and said "Thanks for the party!"
  51. The best part is right in the middle (*)
    Whatever you do, what you did'll
    Seem worse, fore and aft —
    Which is why the dog laughed
    'Twixt the dish and the cat with the fiddle!
  52. "The best part is right in the middle," (*)
    King Alfred said, dousing the griddle ...
    "The bottoms and tops
    Of my cakes are burnt flops
    But the rest you can eat — well, a liddle!"
  53. A mechanic who misunderstood
    Used his dipstick to prop up the hood
    While he fixed an old wreck ...
    Then he did an oil check ...
    Now his head hurts far more than it should!
  54. A contemplative life is a monk's
    He's alone every night as he bunks
    But consoled by a thought —
    He's at least not distraught
    By performance-anxiety flunks!
  55. "My love to you three," wrote Narcissus
    "Dear husband of my very missus,
    Dear sister's sole brother,
    Dear son of my mother —
    I lavish on all of you kisses!"
  56. A mathematician called Newton
    While under a tree that was fruitin'
    Got hit by an apple —
    Which forced him to grapple
    With gravity needin' computin'!

  57. What did Einstein, while driving one night
    At a speed so much faster than light
    In his mirror observe
    That near caused him to swerve? ...
    His very own headlights, on bright!
  58. Sighed a vintage wine drinker called Norm
    While confined by a gale to his dorm:
    "Since my old wine's run dry
    And it's not safe to buy
    I'll drink new — any port in a storm!"
  59. The Guardian and the Observer
    Supply Britain's liberal fervor
    The Telegraph, Times
    Echo old Tory chimes
    And the Sun is the day's pin-up server!
  60. An anonymous poet online
    Was a couple, not out to malign
    But who since College Trig
    Hadn't rhymed with a sig
    'Cos they cringed to hear "sign" or "cosign"!
  61. Once a rooster, who's such a night owl
    Was so tired of his job, he would scowl ...
    Now he crows before bed
    At a distant cliff head
    And the echo at dawn wakes his fowl!
  62. In a movie called Wizard of Oz
    Tin Man's joints and emotions are froz
    Till they oil every part,
    He discovers his heart ...
    And the witch who is wicked, now was!
  63. There's a question designed to perplex: (*)
    Why giraffes have such very long necks!
    Is it mainly to see?
    Or eat treetops for tea? ...
    Or have more room in dating for pecks?
  64. Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer
    Were a nun and a captain one summer ...
    Till kids' song inspired love,
    Nazi push came to shove
    And they marched to the refugee's drummer!
  65. Mathematics: of sciences, queen
    Electronics: technology's dean ...
    Yet each bows in great awe
    When it meets Murphy's Law —
    Still the ruler of earthly routine!
  66. Mathematics — of Sciences, Queen —
    Loathed to add or subtract as a teen ...
    So she fell with both arms
    For Technology's charms
    And begat the computing machine!
  67. A nearsighted cleric from Queens (*)
    Cribbed his sermons from old magazines
    Hid beyond focal length
    Where he read but a tenth
    Of the words ... so he ad-libbed the scenes!
  68. A nearsighted cleric from Queens (*)
    Was frequented by rich libertines
    Fearing scandal released
    If absolved by a priest
    Who could see through confessional screens!
  69. A nearsighted cleric from Queens (*)
    Confiscated souls' lewd magazines
    O'er which later he pored ...
    Till a bolt from the Lord
    Smashed his specs into small smithereens!
  70. Once a snail doffed its shell for a race
    And wore paint as disguise in its place ...
    With no shell on its back
    It outdistanced the pack —
    But got fined for not keeping snail's pace!
  71. Will the letters of NEW DOOR re-meld
    So precisely ONE WORD can be spelled?
    Rearrange, NOW REDO ...
    What — O, WONDER! — it's true
    Neither borrowed NOR OWED, but upheld!

    (My response to a colleague who sent the following email message: Can you rearrange the letters in NEW DOOR to make one word?)

  72. An unfortunate rooster called Rex
    With two goose genes on chromosome X
    Has to honk at first light ...
    But don't laugh at his plight
    'Cos the other gene codes for his pecks!
  73. If in traffic I'm stuck, on the road,
    I see guys lose their patience a load
    But while they blow their stacks
    I just calmly relax
    And I think up another bad ode
  74. Once a mathematician who said
    "Well, at Cambridge my prospects seem dead"
    And instead worked on beer
    Found a Guinness career
    Was the way to be getting a head!

    (Story here)

  75. A recaptured malfeasant called Sam
    Told the judge his escape was no scam
    'Cos he'd now reformed fully ...
    The judge said, "Sounds woolly" —
    Said Sam, " Well, I've been on the lam!"
  76. Once an ass who liked sonnets, I saw
    Go "hee-haw" in fourteens, without flaw
    But another donkey
    Liked the limerick, and he
    Went "haw-haw," then "hee-hee," and then "haw"!
  77. Watching April in Paris on screen
    Don't you wonder if Putnam's so green
    'Cos the scarecrow he was
    In The Wizard of Oz
    Left some straw where just brains should have been?
  78. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea:
    Science fiction from last century
    In which author Jules Verne
    Could so clearly discern
    Submarines would one day come to be!
  79. Twenty thousand leagues under the sea
    On the Nautilus, prisoners three
    Were Conseil and the prof
    And Ned Land ... till hurled off
    Nemo's sub by the maelstrom's debris
  80. Twenty thousand leagues under the sea
    Play their soccer games Sundays at three
    To a chorus of "Ref! ...
    Can't you hear? ... Are you deaf? ...
  81. Twenty thousand leagues under the C
    Known as middle — as deep as can be —
    Paint Your Wagon's best bar
    Song, called Wanderin' Star,
    Was intoned by a Marvin called Lee!
  82. A grammarian challenged: "What sense
    Hath the future pluperfect past tense?
    Will you find it? — Nowhere!" ...
    But I answered his dare:
    Grandma's will had had orders for hence!"
  83. Johnny Carson's most famous late show
    Has Ed Ames do a tomahawk throw
    Though his scalping in fact
    Leaves the top skin intact
    When Ed aims, his foe's scalped from below!
  84. A nubile young Finn who went skiing
    Raced boyfriends down hill ere agreeing
    To any proposin' ...
    Now dozens lie frozen —
    While she's still an un-attached being!
  85. A nubile young Finn who went skiing
    Stark naked, has courts disagreeing
    One judge is for jail ...
    But another — a male —
    Is for crime reconstruction, then seeing!
  86. A Scotsman in kilt and with sporran J-
    ock Tavish by name, said: No foreign J-
    ohn Bull English poet
    Can best me, I know it ...
    'Cos I can make words rhyme with orange!
  87. A jokester had only just started
    His mule, when it broke loose and darted
    Away out of sight
    'Cos the rope wasn't tight ...
    A mule from his funny's soon parted!
  88. A philosopher, finding a stone
    Posed the question: How far was it thrown? ...
    Though he couldn't decide
    He deduced it implied
    He existed — and wasn't alone!
  89. Once a mumbler, who wanted to stop
    Dropping letters and such, booked an op
    With, he thought, "a neurologist" ......
    Alas, an urologist
    Heard "litters" — and so he went chop!
  90. If your light turns to red and you stop
    You won't care who hides back of a shop
    But if you race on through
    Your next light may be blue
    Flashing "Stop!" on the top of a cop!
  91. A judge of immense superstition
    Believing months' names have a mission
    In March, hiked each day
    Gave permissions in May
    And in August showed stately condition!
  92. Why were cops very quick to surprise
    Hungry burglars who ate corn and fries? ...
    'Cos wherever they'd been
    They'd been heard and been seen —
    Corn has ears, and potatoes have eyes!
  93. A lecture on love by two swamis
    So raptured two kissing gouramis
    Whenever they pucker
    They make such a sucker
    Their fish tank's engulfed by tsunamis!
  94. Once an archer called William Tell
    Aimed his bow at an apple so well
    That he sliced it in two ...
    Then his son a tree grew —
    On his head, 'cos that's where the pips fell!
  95. Some friends of a spendthrift, Teresa
    Rechristened her Tower of Pisa
    'Cos the lean on the wall
    Of the tower is small
    When compared to the lien on her Visa!
  96. To procrastinate steals all your time
    Caution those who believe it's a crime ...
    Yet it's often agreed
    That more hurry's less speed —
    Not much reason, a whole lotta rhyme!
  97. Enjoying a trip on "Titanic" (*)
    If only 'twere more Puritanic
    Might have lasted more hours —
    After all, the Mayflower's
    Famous voyage was transoceanic!
  98. There's a nip in the air, love, tonight (*)
    Fiddler crabs have evolved powered flight
    Hear their violins screech
    As they soar down our beach ...
    And beware, 'cos they fly at butt height!
  99. A tongue-twister tweaker termed Twoles
    Served six seasick sheikhs saucy soles
    Said the sixth seasick sheikh:
    "Saucy sole is sure chic ...
    But I choose to chew rolls, eschew shoals!"
  100. What's the difference 'twixt old fogey Vic
    And the passion to multiply quick
    In an Irishman's blood? ...
    One's a stick-in-the-mud —
    And the other's the stud in a Mick!
  101. What's the difference — one guy's volunteered
    To peel onions, the other's been sheared
    Of his locks on the side? ...
    One's become teary-eyed
    And the other's become tidy-eared!

  102. There once was a fly on a wall
    Whom brave Humpty Dumpty saw fall
    Down to save her, he leapt ...
    But that leap was inept
    'Cos he won't reassemble at all!
  103. I often see signs for MEN WORKING
    Surrounded by managers shirking
    While one lonely guy
    Must his labor apply ...
    Wouldn't MAN WORKING signs be less irking?
  104. Bon Noel: en anglais: Happy Yule
    C'est magnifique: en anglais: Real cool
    Honi soit, mal y pense:
    Evil thoughts, evil wants ...
    So few gains, from my French pains in school!
  105. While swimming across the Zambezi
    Two crocs played a game of parcheesi
    By moving cig butts
    Round their teeth to their guts ...
    But the winner felt terribly queasy!
  106. While swimming across the Zambezi
    A croc met St. Frank of Assisi
    Said Frank, "From my hand
    You may eat — understand?" ...
    Now he wishes he spoke Crocodisi!

© 1996–2005. All rights reserved.
(*)   indicates a first line suggested by Toast Point Limerick Contest. To return to the top of the page, click here.

Verse and Word Play