What Are Some Starters For Limericks?

by Amy

Limericks are a delightful and humorous form of poetry, known for their catchy rhythm and playful language. If you’re looking to write your own limericks but need some inspiration to get started, this guide provides useful tips and examples to spark your creativity.

Introduction to Limericks

A limerick is a five-line poem with a specific rhyme scheme (AABBA) and meter. The first, second, and fifth lines typically have three metrical feet, while the third and fourth lines have two metrical feet. The opening line is crucial as it sets the tone, introduces the subject, and establishes the rhythm.

Tips for Creating Limerick Starters

1. Focus on Characters:

Start with an interesting character, often from a specific location, to create a strong narrative foundation.
Example: “There once was a man from Peru…”

2. Use Vivid Imagery:

Incorporate descriptive language to paint a vivid picture and engage the reader’s imagination.
Example: “In a house by the sea with a view…”

3. Set Up the Story:

Introduce a situation or problem in the opening line that can be humorously resolved.
Example: “A cat with a terrible cough…”
Examples of Limerick Starters

Character-Based Starters

“There once was a girl from Madrid…”
“An old man who lived in a shoe…”
“A sailor who sailed on the Nile…”

Situation-Based Starters

“A monkey who knew how to dance…”
“A baker who lost all his dough…”
“A dog with a penchant for hats…”

Location-Based Starters

“In a small town up north in Quebec…”
“On an island far out in the sea…”
“In the jungles of old Timbuktu…”

Building on Limerick Starters

Starting with a strong opening line, you can develop a complete limerick. Here are examples showing the progression from starter to finished poem:

Starter: “There once was a girl from Madrid…”

Complete Limerick:

There once was a girl from Madrid,
Who loved to play tricks as a kid.
She’d hide in the park,
And scare after dark,
But laughed at the fright that she did.

Starter: “A baker who lost all his dough…”

Complete Limerick:

A baker who lost all his dough,
Was upset and did not know where to go.
He baked through the night,
With all of his might,
And woke up to find it was snow!

Encouragement and Creativity

Writing limericks is a fun and creative exercise. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different characters, scenarios, and twists. The key is to enjoy the process and let your imagination run wild. Here are a few more tips:

Be Playful: Limericks are meant to be light-hearted. Have fun with wordplay and absurd situations.

Personalize: Add unique details or personal experiences to make your limericks stand out.

Practice: The more you write, the easier it becomes to come up with clever and entertaining limericks.

See also: What Is Special About Limerick?


Limericks are a fantastic way to express humor and creativity in a compact form. By starting with engaging characters, vivid imagery, and interesting situations, you can craft delightful and memorable poems. Use the provided starters and tips to inspire your writing, and enjoy the playful art of limerick-making.

FAQs about Limericks

1. How to start a limerick?

Starting a limerick involves crafting an engaging and rhythmic first line that sets the stage for the poem. Here are some tips:

Introduce a Character or Place: Begin with an interesting character or a specific location to ground your limerick.

Create a Scenario: Set up a humorous or intriguing situation that can be developed in subsequent lines.

Use Rhyming Words: Ensure the first line rhymes with the second and fifth lines.


“There once was a man from Peru…”
“In a village by the sea…”

2. What are limerick starting sentences?

Limerick starting sentences typically introduce a character, place, or situation that will be developed humorously in the poem. Here are some examples:

“There once was a girl from Madrid…”
“A cat with a hat on its head…”
“In a town near a large bay…”

These starters create a foundation for the rhyme scheme (AABBA) and set the tone for the poem.

3. What is a 5 line limerick?

A 5-line limerick is a type of poem with the following characteristics:

Structure: It consists of five lines.

Rhyme Scheme: The rhyme pattern is AABBA, where the first, second, and fifth lines rhyme with each other, and the third and fourth lines form a separate rhyming pair.

Meter: The first, second, and fifth lines typically have three metrical feet (usually anapestic or amphibrachic), while the third and fourth lines have two metrical feet.


There once was a fellow named Sam (A)

Who loved to eat green eggs and ham. (A)

He ate them all day, (B)

In every which way, (B)

And now he won’t touch any jam. (A)

4. How did limericks start?

Limericks originated in the early 18th century in England. They became popular as a form of light verse and were often used in taverns and pubs to entertain patrons with their humorous and often bawdy content. The name “limerick” is believed to be derived from the Irish city of Limerick, possibly from a tradition of adding a refrain “Will you come up to Limerick?” to the end of extemporaneous verses.

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