Archive for the ‘Wordplay’ Category

Humor Disharmony (Limerick)

Friday, September 10th, 2021

NOTE: While the last line of this limerick is true, it’s NOT a plea for sympathy. My real purpose in writing it was to play with the idiom “fall flat.”

My wisecrack failed right off the bat.
Not one “like!” Not one “LOL!” That was that!
’Twas a musical jest,
But I guess, not my best.
I feel low when my humor falls flat.

Know-It-All Limerick

Wednesday, September 8th, 2021

“I’ve proven you’re wrong! Now eat crow,”
Said a know-it-all fellow, named Joe,
Who could not help but howl
At the answer re fowl:
“I’m allergic to poultry, so NO!”

To-Two-Too Much (Limerick) by Madeleine Begun Kane

Monday, November 23rd, 2020

“Two” is larger than one; less than three.
“Too” replaces your “also” with glee.
“Too” means “overly” too.
It’s too much? I’m not through!
Go to “to” to be done … and you’re free.

Irked By Acronyms (Limerick)

Monday, May 13th, 2019

JOMO is’s Word of the Day, which prompted this acronym rant:

I’m annoyed by the acronym FOMO,
As well as its opposite, JOMO.
“Missing out” is MO’s meaning.
FO’s “fear.” Are you gleaning
That JO connotes “joy?” Kindly, NOMO!

(NOMO means “no more.”)

My Fickle Memory (Limerick)

Thursday, September 14th, 2017’s Word of the Day is mickle. Hence this limerick:

My memory’s terribly fickle;
Can’t recall what words mean. That’s a pickle!
And a big one, at that,
When you wear a scribe’s hat.
what the hell is the meaning of mickle?

Fun With Language (2-Verse Limerick)

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

Fun With Language (2-Verse Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Is there any original pun?
Is there wordplay that’s never been done?
With our language so strange
There’s unlimited range
To be playful, inventive, have fun.

We are homophone/homonym rich.
(Though ad hominem hits make me twitch.)
And later or sooner
The likes of Rev Spooner
Bewitch with the swull of a pitch.

I Don’t Mean To Be Sharp, But… (Limerick)

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

I Don’t Mean To Be Sharp, But… (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Though many still call it a “pound sign,”
I’ll bet “hashtag” becomes the renowned sign.
It’s the “number sign” too?
Plus an “octothorpe?” Boo!
And a “crosshatch?” My face bears a frowned sign.

Limerick Rut

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Limerick Rut
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A fellow was stuck in a rut.
It depressed him down deep in his gut.
So he vowed to reform
And conform to the norm–
He would curb all his groovin’ on smut.

Distaff Limerick

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

Distaff Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

If “distaff’s” a word you forget,
You needn’t search books or the net.
It’s a not-so-nice mention
Of gals. Comprehension
Is easy. Think “dissed half.” All set?

A Playful Quatrain

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

There’s wit that is lambent.
There’s humor that’s bent.
I’m feeling quite sheepish;
Had to search what “lambent” meant.

(Inspired by the Twitter #WordStew prompt: LAMBENT.)

View my Lambent quatrain image here.

Limerick Dry Run (The Evolution of a Limerick)

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

When I’m looking for limerick ideas, I sometimes visit idiom list sites, like this one. Then I’ll select an idiom that might work meter-wise and that ends with a common rhyme sound.

And so today, I challenged myself to write a limerick that contains the phrase “dry run.” Unconsciously inspired, perhaps, by the inept roll-out of Obamacare, I wrote these two lines:

A software firm held a dry run
But the coding, alas, wasn’t done…

I swiftly thought up an acceptable “B-rhyme,” but then got stuck at line 5. The best I could come up with was an ending that employed yet another idiom: “under the gun.” But I still couldn’t think of a line 5 that was even slightly clever.

And then I got an idea: create some wordplay by revising another line, adding specificity to the subject matter. Here’s the result:

Limerick Dry Run
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A software firm held a dry run,
But the arms-tracking code wasn’t done.
It failed test after test,
Till the owner confessed:
“I’m too stressed to work under the gun.”

Salute To Satire

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Salute To Satire
By Madeleine Begun Kane

yet insightful,
making people ponder
as it soundly zaps its targets.
subtle, pointed ammunition
aims, fires, amuses,
inciting us
to think.

(Author’s Note: This is a Butterfly Cinquain. The syllable count is 2, 4, 6, 8, 2, 8, 6, 4, 2. At least, I hope it’s a Butterfly Cinquain — I’ve never tried writing one before.)

Limerick Ode To a Vigorous Old Lady

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Limerick Ode To A Vigorous Old Lady
By Madeleine Begun Kane

An old grandma with spring in her walk
Moved so quickly that people would gawk.
When asked if a gym
Was the source of her vim
She said, “No — Jim, Kim, Henry and Hawk.”

(Posted at this spring prompt and at Poetic Asides’ spring prompt.)

UPDATE: July 23 is Gorgeous Grandma Day.

Inseparable From Silliness

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

As you can see from this verse, I’m inseparable from silliness:

ventriloquist and dummy
joined at the quip.

honeymooning newlyweds
joined at the lip.

masochist and sadist
joined at the whip.

gambler and his bookie
joined at the tip.

compulsive gambler and debt
joined at the Strip.

the hop and the jump
joined at the skip.

Jewish moms and their children
joined at the guilt trip.

(Written for Writers Island’s inseparable prompt)

Itching To Write A Limerick

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

When I heard that the February 27th prompt over at One Single Impression is vellicate, I knew I was in trouble. Why? Cuz I had no idea what it meant and how it’s pronounced. And even after I’d Googled the damn word, it still didn’t feel assimilated. Plus it just didn’t tickle my funny bone.

But though I was irritated by its unfamiliarity, I was itching to write a limerick. So here it is:

Itching To Write A Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Often poetry prompts can enrich.
But they sometimes can be quite a bitch.
Sunday’s vellicate prompt
On my brain cells has stomped.
The mere thought of that word makes me twitch.

Hot Crossed Limerick (Updated)

Monday, August 30th, 2010

I hope you’ll join me in writing a limerick with this first line:

A man who was known for his buns…

Here’s mine:

Hot Crossed Limerick
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A man who was known for his buns
Attracted most gals — even nuns.
How those dames would delight
In his ass oh so tight,
Ignoring his poor half-baked puns.

Please feel free to write your own limerick using the same first line and post it in my comments. And if you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll join my friends in that same activity in my Limerick-Offs.

Update — Note: I will soon start announcing these Limerick-Offs via private email instead of FB messaging, because FB group messaging anti-spam policies are making it very difficult for me to send legitimate messages out to groups of twenty. (My Facebook Straits recounts just some of my difficulties with FB’s anti-spam controls.)

So if you’d like to receive private email notices letting you know I’ve posted a new Limerick-Off first line, please send me a private email to with the subject line “Limerick-Off Announcement Request.” Thanks very much!

The Poetry Of Dating (Limerick & Haiku Prompt — through June 5th)

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Today’s limerick and haiku theme is dates and dating. First, my limerick:

The gal was enjoying her date
Till her escort became quite irate.
He assaulted a waiter,
Then said, “See ya later.”
I suppose it was something he ate.

And now my dating-related haiku:

His seeing eye dog
Led the man to her table:
A double blind date.

Now, of course, it’s your turn. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to write a limerick or haiku (or both) about dates and dating. When you’ve posted your verse, please return here and add a direct link to your themed poetry, using Mr. Linky. There’s no rush, by the way, because you have two weeks to post it.

(Note: My limerick was inspired in part by Sunday Scribblings’ “quitting” prompt.)

Limerick and Haiku Prompts Participants  

1. Sherry
2. sister AE
3. Crafty Green Poet (Over 40 Shades)
4. Linda – Nickers and Ink
5. Lilibeth
6. lissa
7. Noah the Great
8. Noah the Great
9. Granny Smith
10. Connie
11. Bevie
12. Felix Morgenstern

UPDATE: Mr. Linky is now closed, but you can still add links to your dating verse in the Comments. And if you’d like to participate in a new poetry prompt, you can always find my latest one here.

Weathering The Weather (Haiku)

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

Wind gust assaults me
As I hurry home on foot.
Weatherman blew it.

(Inspired by this weather related poetry prompt, over at Read Write. And speaking of prompts, I’ve posted a new prompt whose theme is time. I hope you’ll give it a try.)

Toying With Kites

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

Toying With Kites (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The sight of a kite in the sky
Is delightful and lovely, so why
Is it quite impolite
To say, “Go fly a kite!”
This idiom just doesn’t fly.

Don’t forget to celebrate Go Fly A Kite Day every June 15th. (It’s believed to be the anniversary of Ben Franklin’s 1752 kite experiment.)

(You can find more of my outdoor sports humor here.)

Some Dishy Verse

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Some Dishy Verse
By Madeleine Begun Kane

“We’re discussing our favorite dish,”
Said the gal. “Please chime in if you wish.”
“You mean Paris and Trump
And that singer’s big rump?”
“Oh my no, sir! Our topic is fish.”

(You can find more of my food and drink limericks and humor here and my Donald Trump humor here.)