a kind of short, witty poem that has strict rules governing its construction
A word with two dactyls, such as COUNT-er-in-TEL-li-gence or PAR-lia-men-TAR-i-an; also, a modern form of light verse consisting of two quatrains with two dactyls per line. The first line is a hyphenated nonsense word, often "higgledy-piggledy," the second line is a proper name, and the sixth line is a single double dactyl word. The fourth and eighth lines are truncated, lacking the final two unaccented syllables, and rhyme with each other, as in the following example: Higgledy-piggledy Doctor D. Livingstone Scottish explorer of Note, but of whom Chiefly we know by the Anticlimactical Greeting by Stanley, who said, "I presume." -- rgs
a light verse form, invented by Anthony Hecht and John Hollander, sometimes used in flats. A double dactyl is an eight-line poem in two stanzas. Each line is two dactyls except the fourth and eighth, which are each a single dactyl plus one stressed syllable and are the only rhyming lines. Traditionally, the first line is "Higgledy-Piggledy" or another nonsense (or, sometimes, topic-related) phrase; the second line identifies the subject of the poem (as, "National Puzzlers' League," "Edward M. Kennedy," etc.); and the sixth line is a single double-dactylic word. Also called a Higgledy-Piggledy.