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Limerick competition

To celebrate Limerick Day on 12 May, we’ve decided to hold another limerick competition. We really enjoyed reading all your submissions to last year’s competition (which had a theme of Mother’s Day, as the two dates coincided), and you can read the winning limerick for inspiration.

This year you can win an iPad (4G, 16GB, Wi-Fi) by entering the competition – simply write a limerick and put it in the comments. You can vote for your favourites there; the final decision will be made by members of the Oxford Dictionaries team. The theme this year is your favourite word. Just make sure you follow the rules which characterize a limerick – an aabba rhyme scheme, with shorter third and fourth lines. For example…

If words are a joy and a treat
Then here’s a good chance to compete:
Pick the one you like best
And, if we’re impressed,
An iPad will land at your feet.

Hopefully that has given you a good idea of how to compose a limerick. The name for the poem is connected with the Irish county Limerick (and its county town, also named Limerick) and is said to derive from a chorus ‘Will you come up to Limerick?’ sung between improvised verses at a gathering. Limerick has also been used to designate gloves of fine leather, a particular bend or pattern of fish-hook, and a type of embroidered lace – all of which originated in Limerick. But your limerick can, of course, come from anywhere; the competition is open worldwide.

The competition will close on Thursday 29 May at 3pm BST, so get thinking and writing.

This competition is now closed. The winning limericks have been published in a separate post.

Please read the terms and conditions before entering.

Limericks will appear in the comment section when approved by an Oxford Dictionaries moderator. Offensive limericks will not be posted.

The opinions and other information contained in OxfordWords blog posts and comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Oxford University Press.