Limerick: There was a young lady named Riddle...

Discussion in 'English Only' started by annetta286, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. annetta286 New Member

    italian
    Hi everybody,

    I need your help to understand the meaning of this limerick
    There was a young lady named Riddle
    Who had an untouchable middle.
    She had many friends
    Because of her ends,
    Since it isn't the middle you diddle.

    I got the sexual references and I think there must be a comparison between the female body and the darts, but I can't tell excactly what "her ends" are and why she should have many friends because of them.

    Thank you in advance
    Anna
     
  2. cyberpedant

    cyberpedant Senior Member

    North Adams, MA
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    I don't get your reference to "darts," anetta286. That said, the rest of this limerick is pretty banal and incomprehensible.
     
  3. Biffo Senior Member

    England
    English - England
    There was a young lady named Riddle
    Who had an untouchable middle. (she wouldn't let people touch her stomach)
    She had many friends
    Because of her ends,
    Since it isn't the middle you diddle (because it isn't the stomach that you play with)

    "to diddle"
    Female masturbation. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=diddle
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  4. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Elsewhere
    English English
    "There was a young lady named Riddle, who didn't allow people to touch her stomach. Still, she allowed people to touch the parts of her on either side of her stomach, so she had a lot of friends, because no-one really wants to touch [diddle / have sex with] stomachs anyway."

    A limerick paraphrased is a limerick slaughtered.
     
  5. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    There once was a limerick to be slaughtered.
    It was not understood so it was ordered.
    The slaughterer-to-be
    Was our own Ewie
    And slaughter it he did, but was not lauded.


    :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D



     
  6. annetta286 New Member

    italian

    Well, maybe I have overinterpretated it. I thought the middle was the middle of the dartboard and the ends the outer rings. And also in the glossary of darts I found the expression "diddle for the middle" (which means: A throw of a single dart to determine who throws first in the game by means of being closer to the bullseye).

    Moreover when I found the limerick on a website (this one: http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/dartssite/rugeleymensdarts/poemsfolder/limericks-rude.htm ) there was a picture of the dartboard next to the text, so it was kind of a confirmation of my theory.
     
  7. Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    How apt that you have exactly 6,666 posts Packard. :D
     
  8. pwmeek

    pwmeek Senior Member

    SE Michigan, USA
    English - American
    Could darts be a typo for parts?
     
  9. Biffo Senior Member

    England
    English - England
    Double meanings in English didn't finish with Shakespeare annetta! There are very few limericks that don't have a salacious meaning hiding behind an apparently innocent one.

    The word 'diddle the middle' (darts) and 'diddle the skittle' (female masturbation) are being used as a play on words. Darts and skittles are the two most popular traditional games in British pubs. It's quite a clever rhyme actually.

    P.S. Did you notice the title of the page? Very Rude Limericks - BE WARNED! I think that's a clue to the real meaning. ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  10. annetta286 New Member

    italian
    Yes I know. I just wanted to know if there's this reference or if an english speaker think about it when he reads the limerick.
    As I told before I got the sexual references, but as I have to translate it I have to know what image the reader gets reading the text.
     
  11. Biffo Senior Member

    England
    English - England
    A rude one! After all most jokes start with an everyday meaning and then surprise us with a twist at the end. That's what makes us laugh.

    If you wish to translate it I wish you luck. I would say you would do better to rewrite it completely and make it funny in the target language. It is usually impossible to translate puns.
     
  12. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Elsewhere
    English English
    I'm very dubious about the female masturbation thing ~ after all, how would that win her friends?:confused:
     
  13. Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    Victorians were a strange specious ewie. :rolleyes:

    Still, I wonder about the female masturbation angle, couldn't diddle merely mean ''idiot'' but in a light-hearted way; what we in Ireland would call an ''eejit''? If that is the case, then we're driven back to ascertaining what ''ends'' might refer to. :confused:
     
  14. Biffo Senior Member

    England
    English - England
    You'd be surprised what goes on nowadays Ewie, let's not go into details.
    I merely refer you to the redoubtable Urban Dictionary http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=diddle
     
  15. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    This has all the earmarks of a rude ("dirty") limerick, not least of which the title of the page it comes from. These limericks don't have to make sense. They have to scan, they have to rhyme and they have to be salacious.

    The poor lady's torso could not be touched for reasons not given. This didn't matter, though because it's not the torso that is used for sexual intercourse. "The ends" probably refer to top and bottom, mouth and genitals. The "friends" are the men who "diddle" her. "Diddle" means casual sexual activity.

    Don't really see any difficulty (or much interest, personally) here.
     

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