National Limerick Day – 12th May

Observed annually on May 12th, National Limerick Day celebrates the birthday of English artist, illustrator, author, and poet Edward Lear (May 12, 1812 – Jan. 29, 1888).  Lear is known mostly for his literary nonsense in poetry, prose, and limericks.

N2W National Limerick Day poster.

The day also celebrates the limerick poem. Limerick poems were popularized by Edward Lear’s book “Book of Nonsense” in 1846. A limerick is a very short, humorous, nonsense poem. Within a limerick, there are five lines. The first two lines rhyme with the fifth line and the third and fourth line rhyme together.

The Limerick also has a particular rhythm which is officially described as anapestic trimeter. 


There was a Young Lady whose chin
Resembled the point of a pin;
So she had it made sharp, and purchased a harp,
And played several tunes with her chin.

Edward Lear

While Lear is credited with popularizing the Limerick, the poetry style existed long before the publication of his book. Even so, the Limerick celebrates fun turns of phrase, rhythm, and humour in short form. It also plays with words and peoples’ expectations.

There was a Young Lady of Ryde: Edward Lear


According to National Day Calendar, they are unable to find the creator of this poetry day. However, the day has been observed since at least 1984.

WQWWC – Mother

This week Writer’s Quotes Wednesday Writing Challenge takes a look back at beauty and Mother’s Day. Remember you can take this beautiful topic anywhere you want to take it. To check out the prompt visit Marsha @ TCHistoryGal.Net

In honour of Limerick day I have had a go written a Limerick about mothers:

There was a day dedicated to mothers
A day celebrated by many others
All lived in good cheer,
celebrating year after year
Everything that they do for us!

KL Caley

Not too bad but I prefer this one:

A girl came across a huge spider
The creature suspiciously eyed her
She let out a scream
Then felt very mean
As the hoover captured the creature beside her

KL Caley

My grandfather was amazing at them, although many of his would have been unrepeatable and probably shouldn’t have been said in front of little ears but I thought they were pure joy, told with the charm of the Irish.

Over to you….I’d love to see any of your limerick creations.

Please leave me a link if you write any.

Much Love


19 thoughts on “National Limerick Day – 12th May

  1. I responded to a comment on a blog I was reading earlier today which asked:

    Dad had a last line for a limerick, but could never complete it;
    “And shattered her(or his) personal best!”
    Any assistance would be gratefully received.

    My response:

    A sprinter whose tummy was stressed
    appeared in a race as a guest
    Whilst running, alas,
    he had to pass gas
    and shattered his personal best

  2. What a fun post, KL. Happy National Limerick Day. Thanks for sharing these on Writer’s Quotes Wednesdays. What a delight!

    National Limerick Day!

    In the year eighteen-forty-six
    Edward Lear learned limerick tricks
    Mamas read them to us
    On the seats of the bus
    Humor. rhymes and rhythms do mix.

    My mind seems like mush on a stick
    I’m hoping that something will click.
    Tap my fingers and press
    Makes a lexicon mess
    Of sentences; phrases so slick
    Copyright 2021 Marsha Ingrao

  3. How interesting to combine a post on National Limerick Day and Mother’s Day. This was fun. I remember learning that it was National Limerick Day and thinking about posting a limerick on my blog, but I lost my opportunity. I’m glad you had a limerick post. 🙂

    1. Thank you for the lovely comment Frank. My grandfather used to tell me a few but when I think back now I think they were probably mostly rather rude, I thought they were hilarious. Not tried my hand at writing my own until this post. KL ❤

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