Word Origin & History
nonsense verse of five lines, 1896, perhaps from the county and city in Ireland, but if so the connection is obscure. It is usually attributed to a party game in which each guest in turn made up a nonsense verse and all sang a refrain with the line "Will you come up to Limerick?" Or perhaps from Learic,
from Edward Lear (1812-88) English humorist who popularized the form. Earliest examples are in French, which further complicates the quest for the origin. First record of the word is in a letter of Aubrey Beardsley. The place name is lit. "bare ground," from Ir. Liumneach, from lom "bare, thin."