List of electronic color code mnemonics
The first letter of the color code is matched by order of increasing magnitude. The electronic color codes, in order, are:
- Black brown red orange yellow green blue violet gray white.
Easy to remember
Some mnemonics that are easy to remember include:
- B B ROY Goes Bombay Via Gateway With Genelia and Susanne.
- Big boys race our young girls but Violet generally wins.
- Better be right or your great big venture goes west.
- Beetle Bailey runs over your general before very good witnesses.
- Buster Brown races our young girls but Violet generally wins.
- Better be Right or your Great Big Vacation goes wrong.
- Better be right or your great big plan goes wrong. (p=purple for violet)
- Back-Breaking Rascals Often Yield Grudgingly But Virtuous Gentlemen Will Give Shelter Nobly (with tolerance bands Gold, Silver or None)
- Black Beatles Running Over Your Garden Bring Very Grey Weather
- Bad Booze Rots Our Young Guts But Vodka Goes Well
A mnemonic that has attained some traction in recent years is:
Mnemonics that are used in Indian classrooms are:
- B.B. ROY of Great Britain has a Very Good Watch made of Gold Silver.
- B.B. ROY of Great Britain has a Very Good Wife.
- B.B. ROY Goes to Bring a Very Good Wife.
Mnemonics commonly taught in UK engineering courses include:
- Bye Bye Rosie Off You Go Birmingham Via Great Western
- Bye Bye Rosie Off You Go Bristol Via Great Western
- Bye Bye Rosie Off You Go to Become a Very Good Wife
Vacuum tube era
Popular in the days of vacuum-tube radios:
- Better Buy Resistors Or Your Grid Bias Voltages Go West (go west=die)
Offensive and vulgar mnemonics include:
- Black boys rape our young girls behind victory garden walls.
- Black boys rape our young girls but virgins go without.
- Bad beer rots out your guts but vodka goes well.
- Bad boys run our young girls behind victory garden walls.
- Bad boys rape our young girls but Violet gives willingly. (Get Some Now (refers to the tolerance bands Gold, Silver or None))
- Big Bad ROY Gang Banged Violently Great Women. (ROY stands for Red, Orange and Yellow respectively)
Since B can stand for both "black" and "brown", variations were formed such as "Black boys rape our young girls...". At the risk of adding racism to the mnemonic, "black" has the advantage that it stands for the color of the same name and helps to differentiate it from the other 2 colors that start with 'b'. Though most forms of those mnemonics include bad, boy and but in that order in which the second letter provides for the disambiguation:
- bad → black
- boys → brown
- but → blue
Humorous, offensive, and sexual mnemonics are more memorable (see mnemonic), but these variations are often considered inappropriate for classrooms, and have been implicated as a sign of sexism in science and engineering classes. Dr. Latanya Sweeney, associate professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon, a black woman, mentions the mnemonic ("black boys rape only young girls but Violet gives willingly") as one of the reasons she felt alienated and eventually dropped out of MIT in the 1980s to form her own software company.
A teacher in the UK was reprimanded by the General Teaching Council for alluding to and partial use of a racist and sexist version of this mnemonic in 2011.
- Color code Calc-Tutor for beginners
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