Famous Limericks:  When Only the Most Familiar Limericks Will Do!

If you have spent any time with us, you already know that famous limericks date back to the 14th century, were passed down by word of mouth, were a source of merriment in drinking establishments in Ireland and other parts of Europe, etc. etc.


As with many other Irish sayings, limericks were frequently used to shine a humorous light on difficult or uncomfortable topics.

If you would like to know more about these witty little poems and where they came from, visit our section on Irish limericks.

In the meantime, let's have a look at some of the most famous of them!

Simple Famous Limericks

Many of the older limericks are very simple and straightforward with the subject of the first line basically repeated in the last line. While they aren't necessarily the most creative examples, they are easy to remember (and easy to create!)


There was an Old Man of Kilkenny

Who never had more than a penny

He spent all that money

In onions and honey

That wayward old man of Kilkenny.


There was an old person of Down

Whose face was adorned with a frown

When he opened the door, for one minute or more

He alarmed all the people of Down.


There was an Old Derry down Derry

Who loved to see little folks merry

So he made them a book

And with laughter they shook

At the fun of that Derry down Derry.


There was an old person of Dundalk

Who tried to teach fishes to walk

When they tumbled down dead, he grew weary, and said

“I had better go back to Dundalk!”


There was a young man of Killarney

Who was chock full of what is called blarney

He would sit on a stile

And tell lies by the mile

Would this dreadful young man of Killarney.


Famous  Limericks:  The Next Level

The next level of quality in a limerick (in our humble opinion) is the one where the subject of the first and the last line are DIFFERENT, but related in a clever way. Here are a few examples:


There once was a young man named Sean

Whose wish came from a sly leprechaun

To be surrounded by dough

Was what he wanted so

In six months he was born as a fawn.


A man while drinking Light Bud

Crashed his car with a sickening thud

The car that he hit

Had a warlock in it

Now he lives as a frog in the mud.


Humor from Sensitive Topics

Finally, our favorite famous limericks combine the core structure of these little poems, with a creative approach and an irreverent attitude. Have a look a these:


You’ve conquered the aging disease

That brings lesser men to their knees

You’re a vigorous man

And you’ve proved you still can

Blow your candles with only one wheeze.


I am sorry to hear, Smiling Jill,

That your birthday’s no longer a thrill

All your friends think you’re great

And should still celebrate-

You’re not old, you’re just over the hill.


Want More Information on Famous Limericks?

You've come to the right place!

We have many, many more examples - and you can gain access to all of them in our section on Irish Limerick Poems.

There you will find hundreds of examples of limericks organized into useful categories, making it simple to find what you are looking for.

What Comes Next?

Well, if you have spent much time on this site, you know this is the part where we invite you to connect with us!

Have an idea to share?  A question or a request?  Story to tell?  Use our contact form to pass it along, or connect with us on Facebook.  We respond in person to every contact.

Or you can simply click on a link above, and continue exploring your Irish side with Irish-Expressions.com!


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