Antiheteronymic poetry is my name for poetry where the first line ends with a word which isn't spelt like it's said. The remaining rhymes are made up of other words misspelt to match.

The origin of the name is as follows. An heteronym, according to Wikipedia, is "a word that is spelled in the same way as another but that has a different pronunciation and meaning, such as bow of the ship and bow and arrow." What we are using is exactly the opposite - i.e. "a word that is spelled differently to another but has the same pronunciation and meaning". Hence, antiheteronym. Combine that with the limerick form of verse and you get antiheteronymericks.

I got the idea for these, and coined the neologism, back in June 2004, although the form itself has been around for longer. This was my original inspiration:

An animal trainer called Niamh
Had successes you wouldn't beliamh
She once trained a biamher
To work as a wiamher
(Though why, I just cannot conciamh).

And here is my response:

An actor from Kent named Featherstonehaugh,
Was renowned as a terrible baugh,
He conversed with some featherstone,
Three young Germans named Heatherstone,
'till they sank comatose to the flaugh.

In the comments on the blog post, Stuart Ballard got inspired and came up with the following three:

A porter from Gonville and Caius
Turned the thermostat down ten degraius
A student, Siobhan,
Looking rather forlhan,
Said "Plaius turn it up, or I'll fraius!"
A driver whose surname was St. John
Had a car with a powerful t. John
It was so very fast
That when Saturn whizzed past
It barely was worthy of Mt. John
A factory worker named Featherstonehaugh
Was cutting some wood with a beatherstonedhaugh
His boss, Herr Clouseau
Said "You're cutting too sleau"
He said "Going as fast as I ceatherstonehaugh!"

In 2012, this gem by Dorothy Sayers was submitted to me:

There was a young student of Caius
Who passed his exams with a squaius,
Ere dissecting at St. Bartholomews
Inward St. Partholomews, such as St. Heartholomews
To discover the cure of disaius.

And in 2014, some additions from Nick Matavka:

She frowned and called him Mr.
Because he fondly kr.
And so for spite
That very night
That Mr. kr. sr.
A girl who weighed many an oz.
Used language I dare not pronoz.
For a fellow unkind
Pulled her chair out behind,
Just to see, so he said, if she'd boz.
A fellow who lived in New Guinea
Was known as a silly young nuinea.
He utterly lacked
Good judgement and tacked,
For he told a plump girl she was skuinea.
A charming young lady named Geoghegan
Whose forename was far less peoghegan
Will be Mrs Knowles
Very soon at All Ksowles
But the date, for now, is a veoghegan.
An old couple living in Gloucester
Had a beautiful girl but they loucester.
She fell from a yacht
And never the spacht
Could be found where the cold waves had toucester.

Have a go yourself and email me the results; if they are any good, I'll put them up here :-)

There's one other page of these, preserved by

Original URL: