Tongue Twister Limericks

One of my favorite chapters in There Once Was a Limerick Anthology is the tongue twisters! As I explained in the chapter introduction, “The limerick’s limited real estate, intrinsic rhyme scheme, and penchant for puns invite tongue twisters.”

Here are a half-dozen selections. Two are by Carolyn Wells, who is tied with Edward Lear for the most limericks in the book. Her outstanding Book of American Limericks yielded many of the selections in my anthology. Also included is one of the the most popular tongue twisters, about a woodchuck, which has been adapted as a limerick.

A tutor who tooted the flute 
Tried to tutor two tooters to toot. 
   Said the two to the tutor, 
   “Is it harder to toot or 
To tutor two tooters to toot?” 
—Carolyn Wells

A canner, exceedingly canny, 
One morning remarked to his granny, 
   “A canner can can 
   Anything that he can, 
But a canner can’t can a can, can he?”
—Carolyn Wells 

A sawyer named Esau, from Dee, 
Saw a couple see-sawing; said he 
   To his girl, “Let us see-saw!” 
   Said she, “Oh no, Esau! 
See-sawing is vulgar. See! See!” 
—Edward Milligan 

A fly and a flea in a flue 
Were imprisoned, so what could they do? 
   Said the fly, “Let us flee!” 
   “Let us fly!” said the flea. 
So they flew through a flaw in the flue. 

A tailor of highest repute 
Made a suit for a suitor of Butte. 
   But when donned the suit parted; 
   The suitor then started 
A suit, for the suit didn’t suit. 

A woodchuck would chuck him some wood— 
He would chuck all the wood that he could; 
   But the question arose: 
   How much, d’ you suppose 
A woodchuck would chuck, if he should. 
Click here to buy There Once Was a Limerick Anthology from Dover Publications!

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