I wrote these for the Omnificent English Dictionary in English Form, a magnificent, ambitious, and slightly insane attempt to write a limerick for every word in the English language, one letter group at a time. You can see my additions and revisions there, but I like to keep them here as well; the menu below leads to permanent pages for each letter group. You can also see some co-written pieces, an area especially aimed at OEDILFers, and a page of limerick biographies of famous artists.
I’m a mushroom--yeah, baby, I’m hot.
I’m a toadstool, girl--deadly, or what?
Every woman adores
My profusion of spores.
I’m a really fun guy, am I not?
I’m the mould on your mouldy old dough.
I’m the yeast in your Marmite, whoa-oh.
For my lady tonight--
I’m a really fun guy, doncha know?
I’m the truffle you dig from the ground,
And I’m various enzymes you’ve found
In detergents and drugs.
You’ll be likin’ my hugs--
I’m a really fun guy. See ya round!
There are millions of species of fungus amonggus.
By reciting his spell, Harry’s mission
Is to reach every wizard’s ambition:
Make herbaceous plants scarier.
He chants, “Scrophularia!”
Yep, he’s Figworts School’s finest magician.
Figwort is the common name for around 200 species of herbaceous flowering plants of the genus Scrophularia, found throughout the Northern hemisphere.
To instill fear/uncertainty/doubt
(FUD), spread some rumors about:
They had deadlines and missed ’em;
There are bugs in their system;
And your app is soon coming out.
Traders shorting the dollar—the nerve!
Call the guys at the Federal Reserve.
They’ll buy more—or they’ll sell—
To be frank, I can’t tell.
I give banking and finance a swerve.
When he talks of brown algae, I cough.
“You’ve just mispronounced it,” I scoff.
“The genus of Fucus
Rhymes, clearly, with mucus.”
I’m wracked when he says to fuc off.
Fucus includes some of the most common seaweeds found in the British Isles, such as bladder wrack, toothed wrack and spiral wrack. But wracked isn’t just a seaweed pun. Many people think it incorrect in phrases such as wracked by guilt, and that it should be racked, but it’s actually an old word meaning “collapse and destruction” (hence wrack and ruin), with even older senses relating to revenge and punishment. It was also used figuratively to refer to shipwrecks, and (coincidentally or possibly figuratively) to the seaweed that wrapped around them.
To fold up a napkin, pay heed:
Take a corner—yes, one’s all you need—
Lift it slowly, and then
Bring it over; again,
Take another, and lift... watch your speed...
Rapid folding is extremely dangerous. You could break your napkin.
“You don’t know of Falco?” I frown.
“An Austrian star of renown.
Here, allow me to play us
His ’Rock Me Amadeus’...
Sad der Kommissar isn’t in town.”
Austria’s best-known pop export of the 1980s sadly died in a car accident in 1999, while planning a comeback. His first international hit “Der Kommissar” was the first seven-inch single I ever bought.
“It’s the funfair! Let’s head on inside!
Look, a ghost train! Let’s go for a ride!”
Dad was over the moon
For the whole afternoon.
Jenny screamed. I was sick. Timmy cried.
Children, classical architecture’s solemn.
Would you please, if you plan to extol ’em,
Show the Parthenon’s features
Respect, like your teachers—
Not say, “Phwoar, get a load of that column!”
Given so many Greek gods abound,
Their key features are useful, I’ve found.
Hermes’ fleetness of foot
Meant, with speed, he could put
First his left foot, then right, on the ground.
I’ve garnered some valuable clues
From the Big Top: these two flappy shoes,
Size nineteen; this red nose;
And this wig. I suppose
There’s a chance they’re the killer’s, but whose?
CRITIC: Whose work is this on the wall?
PAINTER: Mine. CRITIC: Ha! What a scrawl!
PAINTER: Scrawl? This is art!
(FX: THUNDEROUS FART)
CRITIC: There, my review says it all.
A sensitive portrayal of the modern art world, coming soon to BBC Radio 4.
Uncle Oliver Overton cried,
“Bring me buckets of chicken wings, fried!
Cooked in extra-hot grease,”
To his long-suffering niece.
Still, she did get the house when he died.
Evolution’s first feathered creation
Was a dinosaur. Then, evolation
(i.e., flying away)
Saw them turn, day by day,
Into masters of long-range migration.
An obscure term for the act of flying away.
Uncle Hamish asked, “Whit is wrang, lassie?”
Said Morag, “Mah tummy is gassy.”
Said Hamish, “That rumbling’s
A haggis’s mumblings.”
Wee Morag said, “Dinnae be assy.”
London Zoo’s full of fabulous fellows.
Not the feathered kind: those who shout hellos.
So intent to impress,
They all add FZS
To their names. Hear their glorious bellows!
The fylfot, an old kind of cross,
Flew from many a castle and schloss,
But once Hitler got hold of it,
That’s all that got told of it.
His swastika’s gain was our loss.
On movies, where scripts have FX,
It indicates special effects:
For example, a death-ray;
Or CGI breath, say.
Doug Trumbull’s were better than sex.
Douglas Trumbull’s pioneering special effects work included Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.
Fwd: Check out this staggering list!
FWD Yes, all these people exist!
FW: Found this on Facebook!
Fw: Lemurs in space, look!
I fear it’s too hard to resist.
If you walk round a corner and see
A vehicle emblazoned “FV”,
Then unless you’re in armour
Or rather a charmer,
The sensible option’s to flee.
The British-made FV (“fighting vehicle”) series of tanks, armoured cars and armoured trucks are used predominantly by the British Army, but have also been sold to various other countries.
Your pastor hates pasta? I’ll bet he
Hates Monsters of Flying Spaghetti.
No true Pastafarian
Finds noodles scary, an’
Doubting their glory is petty.
The Church of FSM worships an omniscient bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Those who have been touched by His noodly appendage refer to themselves as Pastafarians. Those who haven’t refer to them as smartasses. Such doubters clearly haven’t considered the appeal of an afterlife full of pirates carousing around a beer volcano.
Our Labrador’s gone out to play
On the streets of our city today.
She’ll be out on the run,
Having four-legged fun,
Till our dad takes her T-bone away.
The length of this Colchester st.
Is many Imperial ft.
If a Roman had put
His imperial ft.
On this st., we would call it jes’ nt.
Colchester was once the capital of Roman Britain. The Roman foot, at around 29.6 cm, was slightly shorter than an Imperial or US foot of 30.48 cm.
The digital native’s supposed
To understand puters the most,
Just by being born later.
Suggests it’s a dubious boast.
The digital immigrant, meanwhile,
Is supposedly rather less keen while
But most oldies are fine:
They’re just busy, or learning, not senile.
The labels digital native and digital immigrant were coined by Marc Prensky in 2001 to capture young people’s ease with information technology (akin to native speakers of languages) and older people’s discomfort with it. Although the terms remain popular with the media, researchers have shown that the realities of digital literacy across different age groups are far less black-and-white than they suggest. Puter is 21st-century slang for those new-fangled electronic doohickeys.
In a moment of anapest seizure,
I’m struck by a thought that’ll please ya:
You can use FSM
To denominate them!
The Federated States of Micronesia!
Hear that chorus of ribbits and choking?
That’s the sound of amphibians croaking.
Our creation of smog
Spells the end for the frog.
That’s why Kermit is so antismoking.
“I’ll... just freshen up,” says Aunt Mabel,
Looking ever-so-slightly unstable,
And everyone poises
For terrible noises
To follow her flight from the table.
When you write about radio, you
Will use frequency frequently. Do
You like saving a letter
Or two? Even better:
Waive seven, by typing fq.
The motion of pictures is reckoned
In terms of their frame rate. Per second,
The frames have flown past
Viewers’ eyeballs so fast
The illusion of movement has beckoned.
Of electoral systems, the most
Problematic is first-past-the-post.
Get a single vote more
Than the others, and you’re
Declared winner: a dubious boast.
FPP treats an election as a race to the highest number of votes in any particular seat, no matter how many candidates take part. Depending how many people run against you, you can win a seat with as little as thirty, twenty, or even five percent of the overall vote. This can sit uneasily with any claim that you have a popular mandate to govern.