nonsense verse


nonsense verse

noun

Definition of NONSENSE VERSE

:  humorous or whimsical verse that features absurd characters and actions and often contains evocative but meaningless nonce words

First Known Use of NONSENSE VERSE

1799

nonsense verse

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Humorous or whimsical verse that features absurd characters and actions and often contains evocative but meaningless words coined for the verse. It is unlike the ritualistic gibberish of children's counting-out rhymes in that it makes such words sound purposeful. It differs from other comic verse in its resistance to any rational or allegorical interpretation. Most nonsense verse has been written for children and is modern, dating from the beginning of the 19th century. Examples include Edward Lear's Book of Nonsense (1846), Lewis Carroll's “Jabberwocky” (1871), and Hilaire Belloc's Bad Child's Book of Beasts (1896). See also limerick.

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