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

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
 
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    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.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, 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.
    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



     

    annetta286

    New Member
    italian
    I don't get your reference to "darts," anetta286. That said, the rest of this limerick is pretty banal and incomprehensible.

    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.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Well, maybe I have overinterpreted 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.
    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:

    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.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    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.
    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.
     

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    I'm very dubious about the female masturbation thing ~ after all, how would that win her friends?:confused:
    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:
     

    Nunty

    Modified
    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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