Limerick license, poetic license, in the [was US] UK

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Sun Nov 1 15:25:38 UTC 2009

Thanks Joel.
We have Limericks (poems) securely named as currently defined from
1895. We have
1880 and 1881 US uses of "Limerick Rhymes" that may be the same poem type.
"Limerick Rhymes" in 1896 in UK reliably is the poem type. The US uses of
"Limerick rhymes" may have been tacked on to a plagiarized 1879 book set in
Qxford. So, maybe start with "Limerick Rhymes."
If you're still interested, maybe try "will/won't you come up (come up) up to
Limerick (town)" that we have in 1898ff as a claimed Limerick composition game
chorus and claimed years later by his son as 1880 in Oxford when the (CE)
Bishop of Limerick got an honorary degree, supposedly chanted (though not
necessarily with Limerick poems included, just the chorus).
I'd try "come to Limerick" (meaning "surrender," "get with the program," etc.)
Maybe exclude [Limerick(s)]: gloves, lace, fishhooks, tobacco.
Maybe Limerick(s) plus "there was an old/young..." or plus Oxford.
good luck,

PS IIRC Charles L. Graves, the Bishop's son, eventually wrote for Pink 'Un,
though later. Also Wilkes the owner of a NY newspaper (with 1863 poems) once
owned Police Gazette (the 1880 Limerick source), and similar to Pink 'Un.
Kipling was in the US when an 1895 letter from his publisher Heinemann
mentioned Limericks....

Quoting "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>:

> This Gale database is that which is called "19th Century UK
> Periodicals Online, 1800-1900" by Harvard.  I can access it next time
> I am within their walls, almost certainly within about 10 days.
> Stephen, can I assume that only direct hits on "limeric[k]" are
> desired;?  Or are there other search terms that may be useful, to
> find related material?
> Joel
> At 11/1/2009 06:39 AM, Stephen Goranson wrote:
>> 5) Gershon Legman guessed that the (UK) The Sporting Times aka the
>> "Pink 'Un"
>> might have early Limerick citations. According to Worldcat, the
>> Wellcome Library
>> page lists this serial as included in 19th century UK periodicals.
>> Series 1: new
>> readerships [Gale]. Is that accurate? I don't have access to that
>> database. If anyone has digital access to The Pink 'Un, please consider
>> searching and reporting any early "Limerick" use. Thanks.
>> Stephen Goranson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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