List of mnemonics

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This article contains lists of mnemonics used to remember various objects, lists etc.


Most Vegetables Eat More Juice So Usually Never Pee[1]
obsolete (per the IAU definition of planet):
My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Potatoes[1]
Many Vicious Elelphants Met Just Slightly Under New Pineapples[1]
Oh Be A Fine Girl/Guy, Kiss Me Right Now, Sweetheart![2]
  • Revised stellar classification sequence: O B A F G K M L T Y
  • Old, Bald, And Fat Generals Kiss More Ladies Than You[3]


  • To remember the order of taxa in biology (Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species, [Variety]):
    • "Dear King Philip Came Over For Good Soup" is often cited as a non-vulgar method for teaching students to memorize the taxonomic classification system.[4][5] Other variations tend to start with the mythical king, with one author noting "The nonsense about King Philip, or some ribald version of it, has been memorized by generations of biology students".[6]
    • Do Kings Play Chess On Fine Green Silk?[7]:69
    • Dumb Kids Prefer Cheese Over Fried Green Spinach[7]:69
    • Do Kindly Place Cover On Fresh Green Spring Vegetables[7]:69
    • Damn Kernel Panics Crash Our Family Game System[8]
  • To remember the processes that define living things:
    • MRS GREN: Movement; Respiration; Sensation; Growth; Reproduction; Excretion; Nutrition[7]:135[9]
  • To remember the number of humps on types of camels:[7]:67[10]
  • To distinguish color patterns between the harmless king snake and the poisonous coral snake
    • Red next to black is a friend of Jack. Red next to yellow will kill a fellow.


To recall the names of the first 20 elements in the periodic table:

Harry, he likes beer by cupfuls, not over frothy, never nasty mugs allowed. Since past six closing, are kegs cancelled?
(H, He, Li, Be, B, C, N, O, F, Ne, Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, Ar, K, Ca.)


  • For the EIA electronic color code, Black(0), Brown(1), Red(2), Orange(3), Yellow(4), Green(5), Blue(6), Violet(7), Gray(8), White(9), Gold(5%), Silver(10%), None(20%)
Big brown rabbits often yield great big vocal groans when gingerly slapped[11]
Bad boys run our young girls behind victory garden walls[12]
B .B Roy [of] Great Britain [has] Very Good Wife.
  • A mnemonic to remember which way to turn common (right-hand thread) screws and nuts, including light bulbs, is "Righty-tighty, Lefty-loosey"; another is "Right on, Left off".[7]:165


  • Boring, Average Politics Can Become Very Corrupt. People Everywhere Get Used Sometimes
  • Super Heroes Must Eat Oats
  • The principal factors affecting climate: LABDOWA
Latitude, Altitude, Build, Distance from the sea, Ocean currents, Wind, Aspect


  • Geological periods: Precambrian, Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, Paleocene, Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene, Recent (Holocene)
  • Pregnant Camels Often Sit Down Carefully, Perhaps Their Joints Creak? Possibly Early Oiling Might Prevent Permanent Rheumatism[7]:62–63[13]
  • Paleozoic to Cenozoic: Pregnant Camels Ordinarily Sit Down Carefully, Perhaps Their Joints Creak[14]
For Talc(=1) Gypsum(=2) Calcite(=3) Fluorite(=4) Apatite(=5) Orthoclase(=6) Quartz(=7) Topaz(=8) Corundum(=9) Diamond(=10)
  • Tall Girls Can Fight And Other Queer Things Can Develop[7]:64
  • TAll GYroscopes CAn FLy APart ORbiting QUickly TO COmplete DIsintegration[7]:64
  • Toronto Girls Can Flirt And Only Quit To Chase Dwarves
  • Terrible Giants Can Find Alligators Or Quaint Trolls Conveniently Digestible
  • Differentiating stalactites from stalagmites.[16]
    • The 'mites go up and the 'tites come down. When one has ants in one's pants, the mites go up and the tights come down.[7]:66 (In a strict scientific sense, a mite is not an ant, although "mite" in common speech can refer to any small creature.)
    • Stalactites hang tight, hang down like tights on a line; stalagmites might bite (if you sit on them), might reach the roof.[7]:66
    • Tights hang from the Ceiling, and Mites crawling around on the Ground
    • You need might to do push-ups (from the floor). You must hold tight doing chin-ups (off the ceiling).
    • Stalactites are on the ceiling. Stalagmites are on the ground.[7]:66
    • Stalactites cling tight to the ceiling; stalagmites might reach the ceiling.


  • Chinese dynasties (simplified): Xia (Hsia), Shang, Zhou (Chou), Qin (Ch'in), Han, Jin, Southern and Northern, Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, Qing (Ching)
  • She Shamefully Chose Chinese Hand Jingles (and) SiNfully Sweet Tango Songs: "You (and) Me, Chickadee!"[13]
  • English dynasties (simplified): Norman, Plantagenet, Lancaster, York, Tudor, Stuart, Hanover, Windsor
  • No Plan Like Yours To Study History Wisely.[17]
  • Wives of Henry VIII (names): Aragon, Boleyn, Seymour, Cleves, Howard, Parr
  • All Boys Should Come Home Please[7]:103
  • Wives of Henry VIII (manner of death): Divorced, beheaded, died / Divorced, beheaded, survived.[7]:104
  • British nobility rank order (simplified): Duke, Marquis, Earl, Viscount, Barons
  • Do Men Ever Visit Boston?[13]



  • Adjective order in English: OSASCOMP (Opinion, Size, Age, Shape, Color, Origin, Material, Purpose)[18]
    • On Saturday And Sunday Cold Ovens Make Pastry
  • The verbs in French that use the auxiliary verb être in the compound past (sometimes called "verbs of motion") can be memorized using the phrase "Dr. (and) Mrs. Vandertramp":
devenir, revenir, monter, rester, sortir, venir, aller, naître, descendre, entrer, rentrer, tomber, retourner, arriver, mourir, partir[19]


Quadratic equation[edit]

The articulation of the quadratic equation can be sung to the tune of various songs as a mnemonic device.[20]

Mathematical operations[edit]

For helping students in remembering the rules in adding and multiplying two signed numbers, Balbuena and Buayan (2015) made the letter strategies LAUS (like signs, add; unlike signs, subtract) and LPUN (like signs, positive; unlike signs, negative), respectively.[21]
Order of Operations
Please - Parenthesis
Excuse - Exponents
My - Multiplication
Dear - Division
Aunt - Addition
Sally - Subtraction

Pineapples - Parenthesis
Eat - Exponents
Mangoes - Multiplication
During - Division
Autumn - Addition
Season - Subtraction


  • To remember the signs of a stroke:
    • Act FAST
      • Face (Has the victim's face fallen on one side?)
      • Arms (Can the victim raise both arms and keep them raised?)
      • Speech (Is the victim's speech slurred? Can they repeat a simple sentence?)
      • Time (It is time to contact emergency services.)
  • To remember the 10 organ systems of the human body:[22]
    • NICER DRUMS (Nervous, Integumentary, Circulatory, Endocrine, Respiratory, Digestive, Reproductive, Urinary, Muscular, Skeletal)
  • Intrinsic muscles of hand[23]


Thenar (lateral to medial-palmar surface):

Abductor pollicis brevis
    Opponens pollicis
    Flexor pollicis brevis
    Adductor pollicis

Hypothenar (lateral to medial-palmar surface):

Opponens digiti minimi
    Flexor digiti minimi
    Abductor digiti minimi
Some Lovers Try Positions That They Can't Handle
She Looks Too Pretty Try To Catch Her
So Long To Pinky, Here Comes The Thumb
Simply Learn The Positions That The Carpus Has
Send Louis To Paris To Tame Carnal Hungers
Stop Letting Those People Touch The Cadaver's Hands
  • Differential Diagnosis
List of mnemonics for the cranial nerves, their respective type and foramen
NERVE: Olfactory nerve Optic nerve Oculomotor nerve Pathic (Trochlear) nerve Trigeminal (dentist) nerve Abducens nerve Facial nerve Vestibulo-cochlear (Auditory) nerve Glosso-pharyngeal nerve Vagus nerve Spinal Accessory nerve Hypoglossal nerve
Ophthalmic Maxillary Mandibular
(for nerve)[24]
OLd OPen OCeans TROuble TRIbesmen ABout Fish VEnom Giving VArious ACute / SPlitting Headaches
TYPE: Sensory Sensory Motor Motor Both (sensory + motor) Motor Both Sensory Both Both Motor Motor
(for type)[25]
Some Say Money Matters, But My Brother Says Big Brains Matter More
FORAMINA: Cribriform plate Optic canal Superior Orbital Fissure Superior Orbital Fissure Superior Orbital Fissure Foramen Rotundum Foramen Ovale Superior Orbital Fissure Internal Acoustic Meatus Internal Acoustic Meatus Jugular Foramen Jugular Foramen Jugular Foramen Hypoglossal Canal
(for foramina)
Cleaners Only Spray Smelly Stuff Right On Smelly Idiots In Jumbled Junkyards Juggled High
Carl Only Swims South. Silly Roger Only Swims In Infiniti Jacuzzis. Jane Just Hitchhikes.



  • Mnemonics are also used in remembering guitar string names in standard tuning.[26]
  • Every Average Dude Gets Better Eventually
  • Eggs Are Deliciously Good Breakfast Energy
  • Eddy Ate Dynamite Good Bye Eddy
  • Every Adult Dog Growls Barks Eats.
  • Every Acid Dealer Gets Busted Eventually
  • Even After Dinner Giant Boys Eat
  • Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears
  • Every American Dog Gets Bones Easily
  • Every Angel Does Good Before Evil
  • Eat All Day Get Big Easy
  • Eine Alte Dame Geht Bei Einkaufen (German: an old lady goes shopping)

Thus we get the names of the strings from 6th string to the 1st string in that order.

Conversely, a mnemonic listing the strings in the reverse order is:

  • Every Beginning Guitarist Does All Exercises!
  • Elvis' Big Great Dane Ate Everything
  • Every Big Girl Deserves An Elephant
  • Easter Bunny Gets Drunk At Easter


As for guitar tuning, there is also a mnemonic for ukuleles.

  • Good Cooks Eat A-lot
  • In the other direction it is Aunt Evy Cooks Grits

Reading music[edit]

  • Musicians can remember the notes associated with the five lines of the treble clef using any of the following mnemonics, EGBDF: (from the bottom line to the top)
  • Every Good Boy Does Fine.[27]
  • Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge (or Footie, Friendship, Fun, Fruit, etc.)
  • Every Green Bogey Deserves Flicking
  • Empty Garbage Before Dad Flips
  • Ernie Gave Bert Dead Fish
  • Every Good Bird Does Fly
  • Elvis's Guitar Broke Down Friday
  • The four spaces of the treble clef spell out (from the bottom to the top) FACE
  • The five lines of the bass clef from the bottom to the top
  • Good Boys Do Fine Always
  • Grizzly Bears Don't Fly Airplanes
  • Great Basses Dig Fine Altos
  • Goblins Bring Death For All
  • The four spaces of the bass clef from the bottom to the top
  • All Cows Eat Grass
  • All Cars Eat Gas
  • The five lines of the alto clef from the bottom to the top
  • Fat Alley Cat Eats Garbage
  • The four spaces of the alto clef from the bottom to the top
  • Green Birds Do Fly
Key signatures of C♯ major or A♯ minor (left) and C♭ major or A♭ minor (right)
  • The order of sharps in key signature notation is F♯, C♯, G♯, D♯, A♯, E♯, B♯, which can be remembered using the phrase
  • Father Christmas Gave Dad An Electric Blanket.[28]
  • Fat Cats Go Down Alleys Eating Birds.
  • Fidel Castro Gets Drunk And Eats Babies.
  • Fat Cats Greedy Dogs All Eat Bananas.
  • Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle.
  • The order of flats is B♭, E♭, A♭, D♭, G♭, C♭, and F♭ (reverse order of sharps), which can be remembered using the phrase:
  • Blanket Exploded And Dad Got Cold Feet.[28]
  • Before Eating A Doughnut Get Coffee First.
  • Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles Father.


  • THE LAD ZAPPA is a mnemonic for the first 11 (and most important) Ionian philosophers: Thales, Heraclitus, Empedocles, Leucippus, Anaximander, Democritus, Zeno, Anaximenes, Protagoras, Parmenides, Anaxagoras .
  • THE PLAZA PAD is another mnemonic for the first 11 (and most important) Ionian philosophers: Thales, Heraclitus, Empedocles, Protagoras, Leucippus, Anaximander, Zeno, Anaximenes, Parmenides, Anaxagoras, Democritus.


  • Sequence of colors in a rainbow or visible spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet):
"Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain"
Roy G. Biv is also used as a fictitious name


Characteristic sequence of letters[edit]

  • I always comes before E (but after C, E comes before I)[29][30]

In most words like friend, field, piece, pierce, mischief, thief, tier, it is "i" which comes before "e". But on some words with c just before the pair of e and i, like receive, perceive, "e" comes before "i". This can be remembered by the following mnemonic,

I before E, except after C

But this is not always obeyed as in case of weird and weigh, weight, height, neighbor etc. and can be remembered by extending that mnemonic as given below

I before E, except after C
Or when sounded "A" as in neighbor, weigh and weight
Or when sounded like "eye" as in height
And "weird" is just weird

Another variant, which avoids confusion when the two letters represent different sounds instead of a single sound, as in atheist or being, runs

When it says ee
Put i before e
But not after c
  • Where ever there is a Q there is a U too

Most frequently u follows q. e.g.: Que, queen, question, quack, quark, quartz, quarry, quit, Pique, torque, macaque, exchequer. Hence the mnemonic:

Where ever there is a Q there is a U too[30] (But this is violated by some words; see:List of English words containing Q not followed by U)

Letters of specific syllables in a word[edit]

Do not believe a lie.[30]
A secretary must keep a secret[30]
There is an ache in every teacher.[30]
Be sure of your measurements before you start work.[30]
Fri the end of your friend[30]
The CIA have special agents[30]
Big Elephants Are Ugly[31]
Always smell a rat when you spell separate[30]
There was a farmer named Sep and one day his wife saw a rat. She yelled, “Sep! A ratE!!!”[32]
There are three "e"s buried in "cemetery".

Distinguishing between similar words[edit]

  • Difference between Advice & Advise, Practice & Practise, Licence & License etc.

Advice, Practice, Licence etc. (those with c) are nouns and Advise, Practise, License etc. are verbs.

One way of remembering this is that the word ‘noun’ comes before the word ‘verb’ in the dictionary; likewise ‘c’ comes before ‘s’, so the nouns are ‘practice, licence, advice’ and the verbs are ‘practise, license, advise’.[33]
  • Here or Hear
We hear with our ear.
  • Complement and Compliment
complement adds something to make it enough
compliment puts you in the limelight[30]
  • Principle and Principal
Your principal is your pal
A rule can be called a principle[32]
  • Remedial and Menial
Remedial work is meant to remedy.
Menial work is boring but it's mean (-ial) to complain.
  • Their, There and They're
Theirs is not mine even though 'I' is in it.
There is where we'll be.
They're is a contraction of 'they are.'
  • Stationary and stationery
Stationery contains er and so does paper; stationary (not moving) contains ar and so does car[30]
A for "at rest", e for envelope

First letter mnemonics of spelling[edit]

Dashing In A Rush, Running Harder (or) Else Accident!
Dining In A Rough Restaurant: Hurry, (otherwise)Expect Accidents!
Diarrhea Is A Really Runny Heap (of) Endless Amounts[31]
A Rat In The House May Eat The Ice Cream[34]
A Red Indian Thought He Might Eat Tulips In Class
Not Every Cat Eats Sardines (Some Are Really Yummy)[34]
Never Eat Crisps, Eat Salad Sandwiches, And Remain Young![32]
Big Elephants Can Always Understand Small Elephants
Big Elephants Cause Accidents Under Small Elephants
Big Elephants Can't Always Use Small Exits
Big Elephants Can’t Always Use Small Entrances[34]
Because e Cannot Always (get) Under Smaller es
Mnemonics Now Erase Man's Oldest Nemesis, Insufficient Cerebral Storage[32]
George's Elderly Old Grandfather Rode A Pig Home Yesterday.[32]
Trails Of My Old Red Rose Over Window[31]
Rhythm Helps Your Two Hips Move[34]


  • "Red, Right, Return" reminds the skipper entering ("returning to") an IALA region B port to keep red markers to the starboard of the vessel. Conversely the opposite convention exists in IALA region A ports, where a similar (but significantly different) mnemonic of "Red on the Right Returning To Sea" can be used.
  • The phrase "there's always some red port (wine) left" is used to remember the basics in seafaring. "Red" refers to the color of navigation lights on the port (left) side of a vessel (as opposed to green on the starboard side).[35]
  • "Nuclear Restrictions Constrain Fishing and Sailing, People Say" is used to encode the "order of priority" for which vessels have right of way (earlier in the list has priority over later): Not under command; Restricted; Constrained by draft; Fishing vessel; Sailboat; Powerboat; Seaplane.[35]

  • CRAFT - Clearance limit, Route, Altitude, Frequency, Transponder.
  • pre-landing: GUMPS - Gas, Undercarriage, Mixture, Propeller, Speed.
  • pre-final: MARTHA - Missed (procedure), Altitude (limit), Radios (set), Time (limit), Heading (final), Airspeed (descent)
  • pre-high-altitude - FLOWER - Flow (enabled), Lights (test), Oxygen (charged), Water (humidity), Electricity (on), Radio (check)
  • pre-flight-paperwork - ARROW - Airworthiness (certificate), Registration, Required (charts), Operating (checklists), Weight and balance
  • night collision avoidance: Red, Right, Returning - Red nav light on Right implies target is Returning (closing)
  • radio loss Instrument course - CDEF - as Cleared, else Direct to last fix, else as directed to Expect, else as flight plan Filed
  • spin recovery - POKER - Power (off), Opposite (full rudder), Klean (flaps, ...), Elevator (briskly forward), Recover (from dive)

Units of measure[edit]

  • Metric System - common SI Prefixes: kilo-, hecto-, deca-, deci-, centi-, milli-, in descending order of magnitude.
  • King Henry Died Drinking Chocolate Milk[38]
  • King Henry Drinks Unusually Dark Chocolate Milk (including the "U" for "Unit", which is ten times bigger than "deci-" and one tenth of "deka-".
  • Metric System - other common SI Prefixes: tera-, giga-, mega-, kilo-, centi-, milli-, micro-, nano-, pico-
    • Tony goes mental, kills children, meets many nasty policemen
  • Metric System - large SI Prefixes: exa-, peta-, tera-, giga-, mega- kilo-, hecto-, deca-
  • Every person that gave me kisses has diarrhea
  • Metric System - small SI Prefixes: deci-, centi-, milli-, micro-, nano-, pico-, femto-, atto-
  • Dairy cows make milk, not pink fruit, asshole.
  • Metric Conversion - common SI Prefixes: kilo-, hecto-, deca-, meters/liters/grams (units of distance, volume or weight?), deci-, centi-, milli-, in descending order of magnitude.
  • King Henry Died Many Deaths Counting Money
  • United States customary units: No. of feet in mile
  • Five Tomatoes: Sounds like Five Two Eight Ohs = 5280 ft in a mile
  • Johnny walked from five to eight and said oh my feet = 5280 ft in a mile

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Brown, Mike. How I killed Pluto and why it had it coming. Spiegel & Grau Trade Paperback. ISBN 978-0385531108.
  2. ^ "SPECTRAL CLASSIFICATION OF STARS". Retrieved 2019-04-06.
  3. ^ Kirkpatrick, J. D. (2008). "Outstanding Issues in Our Understanding of L, T, and Y Dwarfs". 14th Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars. 384: 85. arXiv:0704.1522. Bibcode:2008ASPC..384...85K.
  4. ^ E.D. Hirsch, Jr., The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy (Houghton Mifflin, 1993); E.D. Hirsch, Jr., "What Your Fifth Grader Needs to Know: Fundamentals of a Good Fifth-grade Education" (Doubleday, 2005) p308
  5. ^ Scott Hagwood, Memory Power: You Can Develop a Great Memory--America's Grand Master Shows You How (Simon & Schuster, 2007)
  6. ^ Robert A. Wallace, et al., Biology, the Science of Life (Scott, Foresman, 1986) p398
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Parkinson, Judy (2008). I before E (except after C) : old-school ways to remember stuff. Pleasantville, N.Y.: Reader's Digest Association. ISBN 978-07621-0917-3.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Life processes - MRS GREN". KS3 Bitesize. BBC. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  10. ^ Psychology: Concepts and Connections, Spencer Rathus
  11. ^ ^ Jack G. Ganssle, Tammy Noergaard, Fred Eady, Lewin Edwards, David J. Katz, Rick Gentile, Ken Arnold, Kamal Hyder, and Bob Perrin (2008). Embedded Hardware: Know It All. Newnes. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-7506-8584-9.
  12. ^"big+brown"&lr=&as_brr=3&as_pt=ALLTYPES&ei=tzaiSZigOZvgkASsy6GNAg
  13. ^ a b c "11 Tricks for Keeping World History Straight". 5 January 2016. Retrieved 2019-05-05.
  14. ^ Mnemonic: Eras of Life
  15. ^ Mnemonic: Mineral Hardness
  16. ^ Mnemonic: Stalactites and Stalagmites
  17. ^ Pauk, Walter; Owens, Ross J. Q. (2013). How to Study in College. Cengage. p. 246. ISBN 9781285632889.
  18. ^ Mnemonics in English Language Teaching
  19. ^ Être Verbs - Mnemonic Devices
  20. ^ "Quadratic formula song". Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  21. ^
  22. ^ LBCC - Memory Tricks, Scott Brueckner
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2009-12-19.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Mnemonic- Intrinsic muscles of hand
  24. ^ Textbook of Basic Nursing by Caroline Bunker Rosdahl and Mary T. Kowalski (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2007) p194; Medical Terminology for Dummies by Beverley Henderson and Jennifer Dorsey (For Dummies, 2008) p327
  25. ^ Caroline Bunker Rosdahl and Mary T. Kowalski, Textbook of Basic Nursing (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2007) p194
  26. ^ Welcome - Archived 2012-04-02 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ Every Good Boy Does Fine - What does EGBDF stand for?
  28. ^ a b Schonbrun, Marc (2005). The Everything Music Theory Book, p.68. ISBN 1-59337-652-9.
  29. ^ "Great Mnemonics". Retrieved 29 Aug 2011.
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k
  31. ^ a b c
  32. ^ a b c d e
  33. ^ Is it practise or practice? - Future Perfect
  34. ^ a b c d Mnemonics > Useful mnemonics
  35. ^ a b c Kuenning, Geoff. "Definitions and Mnemonics for Sailors and Powerboaters". Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  36. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-02. Retrieved 2011-09-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) in the section "The coming in going out rule"
  37. ^ Useful Aviation Mnemonics (published by Dauntless Software, Inc.)
  38. ^ Schaeffer, Randy S. (April 16, 2007). "Math Mnemonics". Faculty pages for R.S. Schaeffer. Kutztown PA: Kutztown University. Retrieved November 26, 2011.

Further reading[edit]

  • Evans, Rod L. (2007). Every good boy deserves fudge : the book of mnemonic devices (1st ed.). New York, N.Y.: Perigee. ISBN 978-0-399-53351-8.
  • Parkinson, Judy (2008). I before E (except after C) : old-school ways to remember stuff. Pleasantville, N.Y.: Reader's Digest Association. ISBN 978-0-7621-0917-3.

External links[edit]