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3rd Annual Lefse Limerick Contest

Winner of the Lutefisk Limerick Contest wins this first in my line Glass-Honey Locust Rolling Pin.

Once again, I run the risk of offering a limerick contest, and this time the 3rd Annual Lefse Limerick Contest is actually the Lutefisk Limerick Contest. It’s time to give lutefisk its due. Can I have an AMEN?

So start cranking out the lutefisk limericks and send them my way. The Lutefisk Limerick Contest runs throughout the rest of the month of February until March 16, 2023. That means one month of oodles of doodles about our favorite love-hate topic, lutefisk.

Refresher on limerick writing:

  • Make sure you have seven to nine beats in the first, second, and fifth lines, with the last word in those lines rhyming.
  • Have five to seven beats in the third and fourth lines, with the last word in those lines having a different rhyme than the last word in the first, second, and fifth lines.

You will rise quickly in the ranks if your lutefisk limericks adhere to these rules, or you’re pretty close 🤓. Email your lutefisk limericks to

High Risk, High Reward

Let’s get back to the risk. Wikipedia defines a limerick as “a form of verse, usually humorous and frequently rude,” in five-lines. Again, the first, second and fifth lines rhyme, and the third and fourth lines, which are shorter, have a different rhyme.

The form originated in England in the 18th century and became popular in the 19th century. Wikipedia says, “Gershon Legman, who compiled the largest and most scholarly anthology, held that the true limerick as a folk form is always obscene … . From a folkloric point of view, the form is essentially transgressive; violation of taboo is part of its function.”

Wikipedia cites the following example is a limerick of unknown origin:

The limerick packs laughs anatomical
Into space that is quite economical.
But the good ones I’ve seen
So seldom are clean
And the clean ones so seldom are comical.

A Clean Lutefisk Limerick

So you see the risk of running a Lutefisk Limerick Contest. To be true to form, a lutefisk limerick, it appears, should be “obscene” and “frequently rude” and a “violation of taboo.” Oh, dear!

Well, following the exact form of a limerick will never do in here Lefse Land. We have our fun with lutefisk, but we are never rude or obscene. No, no, no!

And yet … and yet … it is possible to dance along the borders of the true limerick to create an entertaining lutefisk limerick. Check this out:

There once was a Norsky named Niles
He endured a rough month with the piles
Ate lutefisk — cured!
So please rest assured:
On lutefisk lovers, God smiles.

Gary Legwold

There, that wasn’t so bad! I dance along the border of the true limerick with mention of “piles” in the second line, but I never cross the line. You must admit, the limerick could have gone decidedly south after that. But it didn’t, and we end up with smiles.

One Limerick Leads to Another

For the Lutefisk Limerick Contest, again, you must write a limerick about lutefisk—love it or leave it. Here’s one I just made up, for example. That’s the thing about limericks: You can’t write just one when you’re having so much fun.

Be happy, my friend! Be glad! Be well!

Lutefisk helps, oh, this I do tell.

It tastes great, so delish

Don’t dare call it ish

Provided (ahem) you get past the smell.

Gary Legwold

Ok, your turn. Write your lutefisk limericks and enter the contest. Keep it clean, remember, but be bold and walk the line! Check out this site on how to write a limerick. Again, do your very best with having seven to nine beats in the first, second, and fifth lines with the last word in those lines rhyming. Then five to seven beats in the third and fourth lines, with the last word in those lines having a different rhyme than the last word in the first, second, and fifth lines.

Send your lutefisk limerick or limericks to Submit as many lutefisk limericks as you want until midnight on March 16. Winners will be announced in my March newsletter. Oh, winners will receive:

FIRST PLACE: the first in my line, the Glass-Honey Locust Rolling Pin. I experimented with this combination of glass and wood, and construction of the pin posed several challenges. But the outcome is beautiful. The sturdy glass handles sparkle and feel great in the hands, and the prominent waves in the honey locust make it clear why this wood is named after the color of honey. This is truly a functional piece of art. Use the pin with a steel rod and ball bearings for a smooth roll, and then display the pin after use. Just take care with the handles. The glass is sturdy, but it is glass.

OTHER WINNERS. If you don’t win first place, there is a chance your lutefisk limericks can still win one of the following three prizes:

The Santa Red Bowl for mixing lefse dough.
The Lefse: An Antidote For Lutefisk t-shirt.
The lefse hat that says it all: Keep On Rolling!

Now is the time for lutefisk limerick writers to rise up and put down bold and clever limericks about their favorite love-hate food. Enter the Lutefisk Limerick Contest by emailing limericks to You have until March 16, 2023. Good luck!

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