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30 Funny Limericks Only Clever People Will Get

Fancy a quick laugh? These limericks will make you smile.

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Funny limericks that will get you laughing in no time

You may recall learning about limericks (or even writing a few of your own) in grade school. If you’re all grown up now and you love cracking short jokes and clever jokes, or writing funny poems and poems for kids, why not add a few funny limericks to your repertoire? You’ll be spitting out some poetry while your friends are spitting out laughs—a nice change of humorous pace compared with, say, love poems and short poems. And if you want to stump them while you’re at it, give them a few of these hard riddles to test their smarts.

What is a limerick?

It is believed that limericks date back to the 14th century and originated in the Irish town of Limerick. The limerick is a humorous five-line poem with two rhymes: one shared by the first, second and fifth lines, and the other shared by the shorter third and fourth lines.

Limericks were popularized in the 19th century by the British humorist Edward Lear, although limerick examples are found in the works of authors as diverse as William Shakespeare and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Because the limerick is such a flexible form of verse, limericks for kids can be just as funny as clever limericks. These funny limericks use their bouncy rhyme scheme to explore concepts like math, science and philosophy, and the twisty, punny verses will get you thinking—and giggling!

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1. A gasman named Dieter

A forgetful old gasman named Dieter,
Who went poking around his gas heater,
Touched a leak with his light;
He blew out of sight—
And, as everyone who knows anything about poetry can tell you, he also ruined the meter.

Some of these funny limericks might need a second read! Or you could try some of these funny poems instead.

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2. A young Cretan

There was a young fellow of Crete,
Who was so exceedingly neat.
When he got out of bed,
He stood on his head,
To make sure of not soiling his feet.

Read up on even more bad jokes you’ll just have to laugh at.

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3. A runner named Dwight

There once was a runner named Dwight,
Who could speed even faster than light.
He set out one day,
In a relative way,
And returned on the previous night.

A relative way, get it? This is the sort of funny limerick Einstein might come up with!

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4. We’re off to see the wizard …

The incredible Wizard of Oz,
Retired from his business because,
Due to up-to-date science,
To most of his clients,
He wasn’t the Wizard he was.

If you prefer something with even fewer than five lines, try these hilarious one-liners.

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5. An amoeba named Max

An amoeba named Max and his brother,
Were sharing a drink with each other;
In the midst of their quaffing,
They split themselves laughing,
And each of them now is a mother.

If you thought this limerick was funny, you’ll love these funny science jokes

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6. Mind the gap

There was a young fellow from Belfast,
That I wanted so badly to tell fast,
Not to climb up the stair,
As the top step was air,
And that’s why the young fellow fell fast.

Once you’re done chuckling at these funny limericks, check out these anti-jokes you can’t help but laugh at anyway.

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7. An old girl of Genoa

There was an old girl of Genoa,
And I blush when I think that Iowa;
She’s gone to her rest,
It’s all for the best,
Otherwise I would borrow Samoa.

Looking for something more uplifting? Check out these inspirational poems.

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8. Ornithology 101

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill holds 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.

For more feathery plays on words, try some of these bird puns that will quack you up.

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9. A lady named Ferris

There once was a lady named Ferris,
Whom nothing could ever embarrass.
‘Til the bath salts one day,
In the tub where she lay,
Turned out to be Plaster of Paris.

If you’re a word nerd, these grammar jokes will make you cackle.

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10. The star violinist

The star violinist was bowing;
The quarrelsome oarsmen were rowing.
But how is the sage,
To discern from this page:
Was it piglets, or seeds, that were sowing?

These pig puns will surely make you snort!

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11. Irene the scientist

There once was a girl named Irene,
Who lived on distilled kerosene.
But she started absorbing,
A new hydrocarbon,
And since then has never benzene.

If you want to feel at one with the earth, read these beautiful nature poems.

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12. A writer named Bing

A magazine writer named Bing,
Could make copy from most anything;
But the copy he wrote,
Of a ten-dollar note,
Was so good he now lives in Sing Sing.

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13. No gouda

One Saturday morning at three,
A cheesemonger’s shop in Paree,
Collapsed to the ground,
With a thunderous sound,
Leaving only a pile of de brie.

We have more brie-lliant cheese puns where this came from!

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14. Funny limericks as tongue twisters

A flea and a fly in a flue,
Were imprisoned, so what could they do?
Said the fly, “Let us flee!”
“Let us fly!” said the flea,
So they flew through a flaw in the flue.

If you’re looking for more tongue twisters, we have some of the hardest ones in the English language.

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15. An oyster from Kalamazoo

An oyster from Kalamazoo,
Confessed he was feeling quite blue.
For he said, “As a rule,
When the weather turns cool,
I invariably get in a stew.”

Mmm … stew makes you think of fall, doesn’t it? Bookmark these Thanksgiving poems to read at the table once the season comes around.

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16. On algebra

Is algebra fruitless endeavor?
It seems they’ve been trying forever,
To find x, y and z,
And it’s quite clear to me:
If they’ve not found them yet then they’ll never.

Math not your thing? Try these physics jokes

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17. Musically funny limericks

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.

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18. How to spell “potato”

How to spell the potato has tried,
Many minds, sometimes mine, I’ll confide.
Though it may have an eye,
There’s no E—don’t ask why!
Not until it’s been baked, boiled or fried.

If you liked this funny limerick, try out some of these food jokes.

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19. Should have used a bank

There once was a man from Nantucket,
Who kept all his cash in a bucket.
His daughter, named Nan,
Ran away with a man,
And as for the bucket, Nantucket.

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20. Ambitious young girl

There was once a young girl who said “Why,
Can’t I look in my ear with my eye?
If I put my mind to it,
I’m sure I can do it,
You never can tell till you try.”

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21. Tooting tutor

A tutor who tooted a flute,
Tried to teach two young tooters to toot.
Said the two to the tutor,
“Is it harder to toot, or …
To tutor two tooters to toot?”

This limerick is just plain fun to say!

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22. A disgruntled young Viking

A rather disgruntled young Viking,
Found plunder was not to his liking.
When they yelled “All ashore,”
He just threw down his oar,
And announced, “I’m not striking, I’m striking!”

If you’re a history buff, you’ll get a kick out of these history jokes.

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23. A girl in the choir

There once was a girl in the choir,
Whose voice rose up hoir and hoir,
Till it reached such a height,
It went clear out of sight,
And they found it next day in the spoir.

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24. Rhymes are hard

A crafty young bard named McMahon,
Whose poetry never would scan,
Once said, with a pause,
“It’s probably because,
I’m always trying to cram as many additional syllables into the last line as I possibly can.”

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25. A dear lady of Eden

There was a dear lady of Eden,
Who on apples was quite fond of feedin’.
She gave one to Adam,
Who said, “Thank you, Madam,”
And then both skedaddled from Eden.

Our hunt for funny limericks took us all the way to paradise and back!

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26. Getting out of bed

There once was a man named Ted,
Who just wouldn’t get out of bed.
He groaned, huffed and cried,
Then said, “I’ll abide,”
Only to stand up and smack his head.

Moral of the story: Stay in bed when you really feel like it.

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27. The hen and the goose

The hen and the goose went walking,
To see what was with all the squawking.
They strolled up the path,
To see chicks in the bath,
Splashing around and just talking.

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28. A helpful hand

Young Ben went a-knocking next door,
To help his neighbor with a chore.
He thought he would dust,
But turns out, he must,
Bathe the neighbor’s foul-smelling boar!

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29. “There was an Old Man with a Beard” by Edward Lear

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!”

If you like Lear’s funny limerick, check out others he wrote in A Book of Nonsense.

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30. “There Was a Young Lady of Station” by Lewis Carroll

There was a young lady of station,
“I love man” was her sole exclamation.
But when men cried, “You flatter,”
She replied, “Oh! No matter!”
Isle of Man is the true explanation.

Next, take a step back from the funniest jokes and check out these inspirational poems.

Additional reporting by Brandon Specktor and Kelly Kuehn.

Chloë Nannestad
Chloë Nannestad is a lifestyle writer covering crafts, holidays, beauty and amazing products for RD.com. When she's not scouring the internet or reading product reviews, she's planning her next backpacking trip and thinking about getting a dog.