Macaronic verse is an entertaining form of wordplay that mixes two languages, usually Latin and a vernacular, and often entails bilingual rhymes or puns. Wikipedia has a fairly good article with numerous examples, though they also include many items that don’t truly qualify as macaronics. Surprisingly, they don’t include the most famous macaronic of all, a set of quatrains that begins with the following (often cited by itself):
Prope ripam fluvii solus
A senex silently sat;
Super capitum ecce his wig,
Et wig super, ecce his hat.
The full version of that macaronic, along with A. D. Godley’s widely-known example “Motor Bus,” can be found on John Cowan’s blog.
A Google search for more examples yielded a puzzle-game called Crambo on the bibliophiles’ website LibraryThing.com; each round of the game appears to have a different theme (or sometimes no theme at all), but in one round of the game, the moderator gave all his responses in the form of English-Latin macaronic verse. It’s remarkable that he was able to do so on the fly, addressing whatever guesses were provided by the other players.
Writing macaronic verse is a delightful, and difficult, exercise in language and wordplay. The best I’ve done so far is the following quatrain:
Saskatchewan had one premier
Who thought his verbum was the lex;
The gens made their objection clear,
And thus Regina lost her rex.
I think it’s pretty good, but I invite and encourage my loyal readers to do better.