New Limerick Contest
$300 First Prize
For The Best Limerick Definitions Of Commonly Encountered Words In
editors are always on the lookout for new contest ideas and one came
to us from a recent article in the Associated Press. It was entitled
“Definition Mission: A Rhyming Limerick For Each English Word”. The
article described the efforts of a US resident from Illinois who has
undertaken the task of writing a limerick definition for each word in
the dictionary. It started as a joke but has now become a serious
effort involving multiple collaborators.
limerick, according to Dictionary.com is a kind of humorous verse of
five lines, in which the first, second, and fifth lines rhyme with
each other, and the third and fourth lines, which are shorter, form a
The idea described in
the article is to write a limerick that weaves a joke into an accurate
explanation of a word’s meaning. For example, one definition of the
word “adult” in this dictionary is:
As a kid, I was wild and a clown
As a teen, I would dash about town.
Now adult, I shall go
Very cautious and slow.
Goes to prove: what grows up must calm down.
launching a similar mission to define frequently used words in
epidemiology using a limerick. Examples of the definitions we are
interested in are those for words such as risk, association, variable,
cause, prevalence, incidence, statistically
numerator, intervention, cohort, case-control, disease, health,
denominator and many other commonly used words.
Readers are encouraged to create a humorous limerick
definition for any word of their choice which is commonly used in
epidemiology. Contestants will have ample time to submit as many
definitions as they would like, either for the same word defined
differently or for different words in each submission. Any explanatory
footnotes pertinent to the definition are welcome.
The definition judged to be the most clever, humorous,
and still "accurate" will receive a $300 prize and will be
appropriately named and honored on the pages of a future monthly
deadline for submitting entries to us at
firstname.lastname@example.org is March 30, 2018. All entries must be original
entries not obtained from other published sources. Contributions from
friends and colleagues are permitted and should be acknowledged in the
To stimulate your creative thinking, we reprint below a few of the
definitions already included in the Limerick Dictionary. Good luck to
everyone! We are sure you can do better than these!
healthy, your life is a breeze.
But it's hard when you constantly sneeze,
Harbor parasite worms
And some flesh-eating germs ...
'Tisn't easy to live with disease.
One event's an
For another one's realization:
Those events would connect
As a cause and effect—
Their relationship's one of causation.
The grades would be
posted — he waited.
His status on campus? Ill-fated.
His cohorts in college
Disdained gaining knowledge
From anything textbook-related.