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leprechaun dancing on one leg   four-leaf clover   leprechaun dancing on one leg

No. of Players: 2+
Type of Game: spoken
What you need: nothing


To create a limerick with other players who contribute individual lines.

How to play

A limerick is a five-line poem whose first, second, and fifth lines rhyme and whose third and fourth lines share a different rhyme (i.e., the rhyming scheme is AABBA). In addition, the three A lines should have 7–10 syllables and the two B lines 5–7 syllables.

In this game, the first player makes up the first line of the limerick, the second player makes up the second line, and so on, until all five lines are made. Players who cannot think of a suitable line drop out of that round. A full game gives every player a chance to make up the first line. The syllable constraint can be relaxed somewhat to ease gameplay.


Alexander: There was a young man from York,
Byron: Who met a lady named Bjork.
Catherine: He asked if she'd like,
Dana: To ride on his bike,
Eleanor: She laughed: "Sir, you're a dork!"

Did you know?

There are 9 states in the US that have communities called Limerick. These are in Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

map of USA identifying Limerick in nine states

Of course the most famous – and by far the oldest – Limerick is the Irish city first founded by Vikings in 812. This city is popularly believed to be the birthplace of the rhyming poem which bears its name. But its definitive origins are actually unknown. Some historians, for instance, trace the roots of the limerick back to medieval France. Others argue that it properly orginates in England.

St Mary's Cathedral, Limerick, Ireland

St Mary's Cathedral, Limerick, Ireland

Despite this uncertainty, this humorous poetic form will forever be associated with the Irish city – an association first made by a Canadian newspaper back in 1880.

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