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  1. Active recall
  2. Alzheimer's disease
  3. Amnesia
  4. Anamonic
  5. Anterograde amnesia
  6. Atkinson-Shiffrin memory model
  7. Attention versus memory in prefrontal cortex
  8. Baddeley's Model of Working Memory
  9. Barnes maze
  10. Binding problem
  11. Body memory
  12. Cellular memory
  13. Choice-supportive bias
  14. Chunking
  15. Clive Wearing
  16. Commentarii
  17. Confabulation
  18. Cue-dependent forgetting
  19. Decay theory
  20. Declarative memory
  21. Eidetic memory
  22. Electracy
  23. Emotion and memory
  24. Encoding
  25. Engram
  26. Episodic memory
  27. Executive system
  28. Exosomatic memory
  29. Explicit memory
  30. Exposure effect
  31. Eyewitness memory reconstruction
  32. False memory
  33. False Memory Syndrome Foundation
  34. Flashbulb memory
  35. Forgetting
  36. Forgetting curve
  37. Functional fixedness
  38. Hindsight bias
  39. HM
  40. Human memory process
  41. Hyperthymesia
  42. Iconic memory
  43. Interference theory
  44. Involuntary memory
  45. Korsakoff's syndrome
  46. Lacunar amnesia
  47. Limbic system
  48. Linkword
  49. List of memory biases
  50. Long-term memory
  51. Long-term potentiation
  52. Lost in the mall technique
  53. Memory
  54. Memory and aging
  55. MemoryArchive
  56. Memory consolidation
  57. Memory distrust syndrome
  58. Memory inhibition
  59. Memory span
  60. Method of loci
  61. Mind map
  62. Mnemonic
  63. Mnemonic acronym system
  64. Mnemonic dominic system
  65. Mnemonic link system
  66. Mnemonic major system
  67. Mnemonic peg system
  68. Mnemonic room system
  69. Mnemonic verses
  70. Mnemonist
  71. Philip Staufen
  72. Phonological loop
  73. Picture superiority effect
  74. Piphilology
  75. Positivity effect
  76. Procedural memory
  77. Prospective memory
  78. Recollection
  79. Repressed memory
  80. Retrograde amnesia
  81. Retrospective memory
  82. Rosy retrospection
  83. Self-referential encoding
  84. Sensory memory
  85. Seven Meta Patterns
  86. Shass pollak
  87. Short-term memory
  88. Source amnesia
  89. Spaced repetition
  90. SuperMemo
  91. Synthetic memory
  92. Tally sticks
  93. Testing effect
  94. Tetris effect
  95. The Courage to Heal
  96. The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two
  97. Tip of the tongue
  98. Visual memory
  99. Visual short term memory
  100. Visuospatial sketchpad
  101. VTrain
  102. Working memory


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A mnemonic (pronounced [nəˈmɒnɪk] in Received Pronunciation) is a memory aid, and most serve an educational purpose. Mnemonics are often verbal, something such as a very short poem or word (which may be made up), particularly lists. Mnemonics rely not only on repetition to remember facts, but also on associations between easy-to-remember information and to be remembered lists of data, based on the principle that the human mind much more easily remembers data attached to spatial, personal, or otherwise meaningful information than that occurring in meaningless sequences. The sequences must have some connection to a person's existing semantic associations; if a random mnemonic is made up, it is not necessarily a memory aid.

The word mnemonic is derived from the Ancient Greek word μνημονικός mnemonikos ("of memory") and is related to Mnemosyne ("remembrance"), the name of the Mother of the Muses in Greek mythology. Both of these words refer back to μνημα mnema ("remembrance").[1] The first known reference to mnemonics is the method of loci described in Cicero's De Oratore.

Visual mnemonics

Visual mnemonics are very popular in medicine as well as other fields. In this technique, an image portrays characters or objects whose name sounds like the item that has to be memorized. This object then interacts with other similarly portrayed objects that in turn represent associated information.

Examples of simple first letter mnemonics

One common mnemonic for remembering lists consists of an easily remembered word, phrase, or rhyme whose first letters are associated with the list items. The idea lends itself well to memorizing hard-to-break passwords as well. Though easy to derive, they are often not as powerful as the classical systems because they do not make use of visualization techniques.

Science and technology

Biology, medicine, and anatomy

Medical mnemonics are quite common, see [1]. Some of them are less politically correct than others, and some are profane (presumably because their shock value makes them easier to remember). The list below doesn't censor, but in some cases does provide "clean" alternatives.

An example of a visual mnemonic for the drug "hydralazine" could be represented as "lazy hydra" that is on strike holding a sign "NO more work". "NO" in the above case symbolizes Nitrous oxide, which is related to the drug's mechanism of action. For examples of this technique, see [2].[It should be noted that NO is actually the symbol for Nitric Oxide, which has a markedly different effect on the body...]

Atrial Fibrillation

Differential Diagnoses of Atrial Fibrillation:
Pulmonary disease
Rheumatic heart disease
Ethanol, and

Retroperitoneal Viscera


Aorta and Inferior vena cava
Colon (ascending and descending)

Vertebrae (superior to inferior):

Charlie Tuna Loves Small Cans,
Canned Tuna Looks So Cramped,
Cervical Thoracic Lumbar Sacrum Coccyx

Cranial nerves
  • "On Old Olympus's Towering Top A Finn And German Viewed Some Hops" @[2]:(The letters stand for Olfactory nerve, Optic nerve, Occulomotor nerve, Trochlear nerve, Trigeminal nerve, Abducent nerve, Facial nerve, Auditory nerve, Glossopharyngeal nerve, Vagus nerve, Spinal Accessory nerve, and Hypoglossal nerve.) Older medical professionals tend to remember the variant, "On Old Olympus' Towering Top a Fat-Assed German Viewed Some Hops". This variant is less politically correct, but may therefore be more memorable.
  • OLd OPie OCCasionally TRies TRIgonometry And Feels VEry GLoomy, VAGUe, Acutely HYPOactive
  • OLd OPTICians OCCasionally Too TRy And Feel AUDrey GLOSSOp's VAGina AcH!

(Many variants exist. Mnemonics for the cranial nerves vary, because the auditory nerve is also known as the Vestibulocochlear nerve and the accessory nerve is also known as the Spinal accessory nerve.)

Cranial nerves I-XII - Functions
  • Some Say Marry Money But My Brother Says Bad Business Marry Money

S = Sensory Nerves
M = Motor Nerves
B = Both functions of nerves

  • Some Say Marry Money But My Brother Says Big Brains (or Boobs) Matter More
  1. S = Sensory Nerve
  2. M = Motor Nerve
  3. B = Both functions of nerve

Carpal bones

For the American names of the carpal bones: "never lower Tillie's pants. Mother may come home" Navicular/scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum, pisiform, multangular (greater)/trapezium, multangular (lesser)/trapezoid, capitate, hamate.×

Others include:
Some Lovers Try Positions That They Can't Handle or

She Likes To Play Try To Catch Her

Cell death

An example of simple yet effective medical mnemonic, often employed to assist first-year medical students of UNSW (Australia) is "CHINPIG". This outlines the 7 empirical causes of cell death, which are "Chemical, Hypoxia, Infection, Nutritional, Physical, Immunologic, Genetic".

Cultural Awareness

The mnemonic ASKED (awareness, skill, knowledge, encounters, desire) provides a framework for building cultural awareness in clinical practice.[3] [4]:

  • Awareness: Am I aware of my personal biases and prejudices toward cultural groups that are different from mine?
  • Skill: Do I have the skill to conduct a cultural assessment and perform a culturally based physical assessment in a sensitive manner?
  • Knowledge: Do I have knowledge of the patient's world view and the field of biocultural ecology?
  • Encounters: How many face-to-face encounters have I had with patients from diverse cultural backgrounds?
  • Desire: What is my genuine desire to "want to be" culturally competent?


Microcytic Anemias-TICS
(Refers to reTICulocyte count [new, immature red blood cells]: Is the patient's marrow TICking? [making reticulocytes])

  • Thalassemia Syndromes: β-thalassemia major, β-thalassemia minor, α-thalassemia.
  • Iron deficiancy anemia
  • Anemia of Chronic inflammation
  • Sideroblastic anemias

Macrocytic Anemias-BIG FAT RED CELLS

  • B¹² (cobalamin) defiency
  • Inherited disorders: orotic aciduria, Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, DiGuglielmo's syndrome, etc.
  • Gastrointestinal disease or surgery
  • Folic acid deficiency
  • Alcoholism, chronic
  • Thiamine responsive anemia
  • Reticulocytosis (reticulocytes in large numbers may inflate the RBC, because they are larger)
  • Endocrine disturbances: i.e., hypothyroidism.
  • Dietary defiencies
  • Chemotherapeutic drugs
  • Erythroleukemias
  • Liver disease
  • Lesch-Nyhan syndrome
  • Splenectomy

Normocytic Anemias-NORMAL SIZE

  • Normal pregnancy
  • Overhydration and expanded plasma volume
  • Renal disease, chronic
  • Myelophthisic anemia
  • Acute blood loss
  • Leukemia and Liver disease
  • Systemic Inflammation
  • Zero production
  • Endocrine disorders: hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, adrenal insuffieciency, hypogonadism, etc.

Hemolytic Anemias-HEMATOLOGIST

  • Hemoglobinopathies-Sickle cell, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, etc.
  • Enzyme deficiencies
  • Medications-sulfa, penicillin, quinine, quinidine, and chlorpromazine.
  • Antibodies
  • Trauma to the RBCs (abnormal endothelium)
  • Ovalocytosis
  • Liver disease
  • Osmotic fragility-hereditary spherocytosis and hereditary elliptoytosis.
  • G-6-PD deficiency
  • Infection-malaria and babesiosis.
  • Splenic destruction-splenomegaly, portal hypertension, infiltration (leukemia or lymphoma), and collagen vascular diseases.
  • Transfusion-especially delayed reactions.


Immunoglobulin isotypes
There are five types of antibody:



Infectious Disease

The FACTS tell you when it's flu (influenza) and not just a cold:
Fever spike
Sudden symptoms


Two mnemonics to help in the screening process for Generalized Anxiety Disorder:

Mnemonic for GAD Symptoms:
Does MR FISC ever worry about minor matters?
M-Motor tension
S-Sleep disturbances
C-Concentration difficulties

The BATHE technique:
Background: "What is going on in your life?"
Affect: "How do you feel about that?"
Trouble: "What is it that troubles you (most)?"
Handling: "How are you handling that?"
Empathy: "That must be very hard for you."


The DIAPPERS mnemonic is a reminder of some potential transient causes of [urinary] incontinence[6]:
Dietary factors (caffeine and alcohol)
Infection (urinary tract infection)
Atrophic vaginitis
Psychological (depression)
Excessive urination (congestive heart failure, diabetes)
Retention (of urine)
Stool impaction or constipation


Biological groupings in taxonomy
(The letters stand for Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species.)
  • "Kings Play Cards On Fat Green Stools"[7]
  • "Kings Play Chess On Fine Grained Sand"
  • "King Phill Classed Ordinary Families as Generous and Special"
  • "Kings Play Chess On Fine Glass Stools"
  • "King Phillip Came Over From Germany Seeking Valor" (standing for variety).
  • "King Phillip Cried Out, "For Goodness Sake!"
  • "King Phillip Cuts Open Five Green Snakes"
  • "Kids Playing Catch On Freeway Get Smashed"
  • "Kevin Please Come Over For Great Sex"
  • "Kinky People Come Over For Gay Sex"
  • "King Phillip Came Over From Great Spain"


Some of the physics mnemonics, such as those applying to atomic theory, could also be considered chemistry mnemonics.

A way taught among primary or junior high school students to know the differences or dangers of confusing acids is "Johnny was a chemist, Johnny is no more, because what he thought was H20 was H2S04." (The former being water and the latter, sulphuric acid)

  • Chemistry students use the phrase "LEO says GER" and "LEO the lion goes GER" to keep the two halves of a redox process straight, since the Loss of Electrons is Oxidation while the Gain of Electrons is Reduction.[8]
    • Another version is the word "OIL-RIG", meaning Oxidation Is Loss, Reduction Is Gain (of electrons).[9]
  • The diatomic elements in the periodic table can be recalled using the word BrINClHOF (pronounced brinklehoff) or HONFBrICl (pronounced honfbricle). They are: Bromine, Iodine, Nitrogen, Chlorine, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Fluorine.
    • Alternatively, one may use the mnemonic "Have No Fear Of Ice Cold Beer".
    • Another option is "I Have No Bright Or Clever Friends".
    • Also, Fonclbrishp is used in situations involving the diatomic molecular form of Phosphorus.
  • The alkali metal group can be recalled using Little Nancy Kept Rubies in Caesar's Front-pocket, the elements being Lithium (Li), Sodium (Na), Potassium (K), Rubidium (Rb), Caesium (Cs), Francium (Fr).
  • The Group XVIII inert gases (helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon and radon) may be recalled by the sentence "Heaven Never Arsked Kriegspiel's eXtra Rent"
  • The most electronegative elements, starting with the most electronegative Fluorine (F) and subsequently Oxygen (O), Nitrogen (N) and Chlorine (Cl) can be remembered as FON Cl (phone call).
  • The first 20 elements in periodic table form a "word" that is easily remembered: "HHeLiBeBCNOFNeNaMgAlSiPSClArKCa"
    pronounced H HeLiBeB CNOF NeNa MgAl SiPS ClArKCa

For first ten elements: Hello HEllo LIsten B BE C News O F Newyork.The capitals indicate name of the elements. From Malaysia - Henry he likes betty but can not offer flower, next, nancy magrib always sing pop song called aron kwok caros

From Australia- Happy Hermin Lives Behind Barbara CNOFNe. NaMgAl SiPS ClArK Calciun. Also H-He Likes Beer By Cupfuls, Not Overflowing, Neatly.

Mnemonic for first 20 elements: Here Here Little Beggar Boys Catch Newts On Fridays, New National Magazines Always Simplify Politicians' Stupid Clauses, Are Kings Careful?

Another Mnemonic for the first 20 elements: Hi, Hello. Little Betsy Blue Could Not Offer Friends Any Nasty Milligrams of Alcohol Since Police Stay Close Around Kids in Canada.


The electronic color code is used to indicate numerical values or ratings of electronic components, with bands or spots of Black, Brown, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet, Grey, and White corresponding to the digits 0-9. To help remember the sequence of first letters, several mnemonics have been taught to generations of students and apprentices:

  • Black Beetles Running On Your Grass Bring Very Good Weather[10]
  • B. B. ROY of Great Britain had a Very Good Wife[10]
  • Big Ben Rings Out: "Young Girls Buy Volkswagons, George Washington"
  • Bad Beer Rots Our Young Guts But Vodka Goes Well[10]

The last one is intriguing for its similarity to a mnemonic from less politically correct times, "Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls But Virgins Go Without", although this appears to have fallen into disuse. Another common version of this older mnemonic is "Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls But Violet Gives Willingly."


  • A mnemonic to remember which way to turn common (right handed) screws and nuts, including light bulbs, is "Righty tighty, lefty loosey" or "right on, left off". An alternative is to remember that cLockwise has an L (for loosen), while counTer-clockwise (and anTi-clockwise in Britain) has a "T" (for tighten); this mnemonic must therefore be reversed to produce the proper direction.
  • For taps and valves you can also use "clockwise is closing" meaning you must turn the tap clockwise to close it.
  • Two common mnemonics to remember the 7 layers of the OSI Model (Application, Presentation, Session, Transport, Network, Data Link, Physical) is All People Seem To Need Data Processing, and the slightly more adult version A Pussy So Tight No Dick Penetrates. Those who start from the bottom up may prefer Poor Dear Nellie Tucker, She's Pissed Again, or Please Do Not Throw Sausage Pizza Away.


  • Geological time scale
    • The full mnemonic can be broken down to recall each of the epochs.[11]
      • Camels Often Sit Down Carefully Perhaps Their Joints Creak Possibly Easing Oils May Prove Positively Helpful.
      • Paleozoic
        • Camels Often Sit Down Carefully Perhaps
        • Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian.
      • Mesozoic
        • Their Joints Creak
        • Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous.
      • Cenozoic
        • Possibly Easing Oil May Prove Positively Helpful.
        • Paleocene, Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, Pliocene, Pleistocene Holocene.
      • Tertiary (most recent first)
        • Please Make One Era, Pal
        • Pliocene, Miocene, Oligocene, Eocene, Paleocene
  • Mohs scale of mineral hardness
    • Tall Girls Can Flirt And Other Queer Things Castrate Donkeys[12]
    • Tall Gypsies Can Fight And Order Queens To Carry Diamonds
    • Talc, Gypsum, Calcite, Fluorite, Apatite, Orthoclase, Quartz, Topaz, Corundum, Diamond.
  • Remember Stalagmites vs Stalactites
    • stalagmites - G: ground - mite: might reach the roof, look like an 'm' /\/\
    • stalactites - C: ceiling - tite: have to hang on tight or will fall off
    • stalactites hang down like tights on a line. Stalagmites rise like mountains
    • stalactites for French tomber (fall down)
    • stalactites - hang down
    • think of "ants in the pants" - the mites crawl up, while the tights fall down


Important irrational constants

Many mnemonics have been devised for remembering the digits of pi, consisting of phrases or verses in which successive digits of pi are obtained by counting the number of letters in each word. Some are:

  • "How I wish I could recollect pi easily today." (3.14159 265)
  • "How I want a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics!" (3.14159 265358979)
  • (Alternate version of previous) "How I need a drink, alcoholic in nature, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics!" (3.14159 265358979)
  • "Que j'aime à faire apprendre, un nombre utile aux sages. Immortel Archimède, artiste, ingénieur, qui de ton jugement peut priser la valeur?" (3.1415926535897932384626)
  • A mnemonic song titled "I am the First Fifty Digits of Pi" was devised by Andrew Pants of Songs To Wear Pants To and can be found on this page.
  • The following sonnet is a mnemonic for pi in iambic pentameter:
Now I defy a tenet gallantly
Of circle canon law: these integers
Importing circles' quotients are, we see,
Unwieldy long series of cockle burs
Put all together, get no clarity;
Mnemonics shan't describeth so reformed
Creating, with a grammercy plainly,
A sonnet liberated yet conformed.
Strangely, the queer'st rules I manipulate
Being followéd, do facilitate
Whimsical musings from geometric bard.
This poesy, unabashed as it's distressed,
Evolvéd coherent - a simple test,
Discov'ring poetry no numerals jarred.
See "Poe, E.: Near a Raven" for an extreme example, and "Cadaeic Cadenza" for an even more extreme one.

The same method described above for remembering pi has been applied to Euler's number

  • Two mnemonics for the constant e (the base for natural logarithms) are "We require a mnemonic to remember e whenever we scribble math" and "To express e, remember to memorize a sentence to simplify this". The lengths of the words constitute the number 2.7182818284, an approximation of e to 10 decimal places.
  • Another mnemonic for e is 2.7-Andrew Jackson-Andrew Jackson-Isosceles Right Triangle. Andrew Jackson was elected president in 1828, and the next digits, 45-90-45, may be thought of as the three angles of an Isosceles Right Triangle. This gives e to 15 places, 2.718281828459045.

Order of operations
  • Many people remember the order of operations in arithmetic with the word Brackets [Powers] Of (fractions: ½ of 2) Division Multiplication Addition Subtraction (BODMAS or BOMDAS). Alternatively, BIDMAS is used, with the "I" standing for Indices. In the United States, students often use the sentence Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, (PEMDAS) where the E signifies exponentiation and the P signifies parentheses. Occasionally the phrase is modified to My Dear Mother's Aunt Sally, with the second M standing for modulo; this is more often seen in the context of programming languages, where the modulo operation is more common. An alternative way to remember the order of operations is "Patrick Ewing Makes Dunks And Slams"


Many secondary school students remember the basic trigonometric functions with the phrase SOH-CAH-TOA (pronounced "soak a toe-uh", X-sampa ["so:.k6 t_how6]).

SOH ... Sine = Opposite leg divided by the Hypotenuse
CAH ... Cosine = Adjacent leg divided by the Hypotenuse
TOA ... Tangent = Opposite leg divided by the Adjacent leg
Mnemonics for remembering SOH-CAH-TOA include:
  • One Hopes, And Hopes, On America
This was widely taught to British schoolchildren during World War II (the sine-cosine-tangent order was presumed)
  • Some Officers Have Coaches And Horses To Order Around
  • Oscar Had A Heap Of Apples (the sine-cosine-tangent order was presumed)
  • Smiles Of Happiness Come After Having Tankards Of Ale
  • Some Old Hag Caught A Hippie Tripping On Acid
  • Some Old Horse Caught Another Horse, Taking Oats Away
  • Some Old Hippie Catching A High Trippin' On Acid
  • On a lighter note if one can remember that Santa Claus says "Ho Ho" and then place the three (Sine Cosine and Tangent) in alphabetical order C S T with A at beginning and A at end we have "A HO HO A and C S T". Now simply read these in order to give the formulae.

In the Cartesian coordinate system, all trigonometric functions are positive in quadrant I, sine and its inverse are positive in quadrant II, tangent and its inverse are positive in quadrant III, and cosine and its inverse are positive in quadrant IV. This can be remembered using the phrase All Students Take Calculus, in the order of the quadrants with "All" signifying all of the trig functions, and S, T and C representing sine, tangent, and cosine respectively.

  • One alternative is the word CAST starting from the fourth quadrant and working counter-clockwise.
  • Other alternatives include All Sing The Chorus (1, 2, 3, 4) or ACTS (1, 4, 3, 2).

  • For remembering the order of taking the derivative of a quotient in calculus, the phrase "ho-di-hi, hi-di-ho, ho-ho" can be useful, where ho means the bottom, hi means the top, and di means the derivative. So,

\frac{d}{dx} \frac{hi}{ho} =\frac{ ho\cdot hi' -hi\cdot ho' }{ho^2 }

Another phrase that one may use is: "Bottom d Top, Top d bottom", where "d" stands for derivative (note that this mnemonic does not include the crucial dividing by the bottom squared). Another phrase memorable for sounding like a square dance is "low d high less high d low, draw the line and square below."

Analytic geometry

To remember the elements of the matrix\begin{bmatrix}     a & h & g\\     h & b & f\\     g & f & c   \end{bmatrix} the determinant of which is used in the Conic Sections part of Analytic Geometry, one mnemonic used is "All Hostel Girls Having Boy Friends Go For Cinema". Another is "All Hairy Gorillas Have Big Feet Good For Climbing".


Some of the chemistry mnemonics, such as those applying to the periodic table, could also be considered physics mnemonics.
  • The colors in the spectrum, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet, can be recalled via:
    • the name Roy G. Biv. A book review mentions this venerable mnemonic as occurring in a 1978 book of poetry by John Hollander, entitled Spectral Emanations. The verse features "a charmingly disreputable character, Roy G. Biv, an acronym[sic] of the seven colors—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet—whose surname means 'sewer pipe' in Hebrew."[13]
    • from England, the phrase "Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain" is popular.[14]
    • the phrase "Run Off Young Girls, Boys In View."
  • A mnemonic used to remember the Maxwell relations in thermodynamics is "Good Physicists Have Studied Under Very Fine Teachers", which helps them remember the order of the variables in the square, in clockwise direction. Another mnemonic used here is "Valid Facts and Theoretical Understanding Generate Solutions to Hard Problems", which gives the letter in the normal left to right writing direction.
  • The phrase "We guarantee certainty, clearly referring to this light mnemonic." represents the speed of light in meters per second through the number of letters in each word: 299,792,458.
  • For remembering the letter names of the atomic orbitals: "Sober Physicists Don't Find Giraffes Hiding In Kitchens".
  • For remembering the order of the electromagnetic spectrum: "Girls eXperience Unusual Vibrations In My Room".

General knowledge

  • "Katie Had a Dime Until Dad Called Mom" and "Kids Have Dropped Over Dead Converting Metrics" are effective mnemonics for helping remember the basic Metric system/SI prefixes of "Kilo Hecto Deca O(base unit) deci centi milli". For a more extended set of prefixes (including Exa, Peta, Tera, Giga, Mega and micro, nano, pico, femto, atto) there is: "Every Person That Gave Me Kisses Has Diarrhea" for prefixes greater than one, and "Dairy Cows Make Milk, Not Pink Fruit, Arnold" for prefixes less than one.
  • "DOC" represents phases of the Moon by shape: "D" is the waxing moon; "O" the full moon; and "C" the waning moon. In the Southern hemisphere, this is reversed, and the mnemonic is "COD". A French mnemonic is that the waxing moon at its first "premier" quarter phase looks like a 'p', and the waning moon at its last "dernier" quarter looks like a 'd'. In German, the Moon is compared to a handwritten small letter a for "Abnehmen" (waning) and a z for "Zunehmen" (waxing). One more (Northern hemisphere) mnemonic, which works for most Romance languages, says that the Moon is a liar: it spells "C", as in crescere (Italian for "to grow") when it wanes, and "D" as in decrescere ("decrease") when it waxes.
  • "Red, right, return" used to remember which sea mark denotes which side of a sailing channel.
  • On the other hand, "there's always some red port (wine) left" is also used to remember the basics in sea faring.
  • To remember which way to tighten a screw: "righty tighty, lefty loosey"
  • A Bactrian Camel's back is shaped like the letter B. A Dromedary's back is shaped like the letter D.



The major planets of our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune.

    • Max Viewed Eight Martians Jousting Six Ugly Ninjas
    • Matilda Visits Every Monday, Just Stays Until Noon
    • My Very Energetic Mother Just Screamed Utter Nonsense
    • My Very Efficient Monkey Just Sorted Unused Napkins
    • My Volkswagen Emits Mick Jagger Songs Until Noon
    • Most Vegetarians Eat Meaty Jack-o-lanterns Seasoned Uniquely with Nutmeg
    • Major Volcanoes Erupt Massively Just Surrounding Underground Nations
    • Mormons Vehemently Endorse Making Justice Somewhere Underneath Nepal
    • My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nothing

There have also been many variations of this mnemonic including Pluto when it was considered a planet, including the ever-popular:

    • My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas
    • My Very Earnest Mother Just Sat Upon North Pole
    • My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets
    • Matilda Visits Every Monday, Just Stays Until Noon, Period [15]
    • My Very Easy Mnemonic Just Summed Up Nine Planets
    • My Very Easy Method Just Sums Up Nine Planets
    • My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Naming Planets
    • Marks Very Excitable Melanie Just Sits Unmoved Never Playing
    • My Very Energetic Mother Just Saw Uncle Ned Pass
    • My Very Efficient Memory Just Stores Up Nine Planets
    • Men Very Early Made Jars Stand Upright Not Prone
    • My Very Existence May Just Screw Up Normal People
    • My Vocational Earnings May Just Suffice Unless NASDAQ Plummets
    • My Vicar Eats Mouldy Jam Sandwiches Until Nearly Puking
    • Men Very Easily Make Jam Sandwiches Under No Pressure
    • My Very Excellent Memory Just Served Up Nine Planets

Between February 7, 1979 and February 11, 1999, when Pluto was inside Neptune's orbit, some people used:

    • My Very Energetic Mother Just Served Us Pistachio Nuts
    • My Very Energetic Mother Just Served Us Plenty Noodles (suggested in the letter column of Odyssey magazine)

This one was featured on an episode of the Colbert Report (a response to the people saying that Pluto is not a planet)

My Very Educated Mother Just Said Uh-oh No Pluto

This was featured on CNN on August 16, 2006, about the redefinition of the word planet.

My Very Educated Mother Can't Just Serve Us Pizzas with Chovies X-cluded

  • Featured on the website of The Times on August 17, 2006, after seeking readers' help in devising a new mnemonic to handle the inclusion of Eris (then nicknamed "Xena"):

Most Video Evidence Must Convict Jewellery Smugglers Unless Near Penetratively Corrosive X-rays

Since the demotion of Pluto from its status of planet, a possible mnemonic for the remaining eight planets might be:

My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Nomenclature

My Very Easy Method Just Stop Using Nine!

My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Noodles!

My Very Evil Mother Just Served Us Nothing

My Very Exotic Mistress Just Showed Up Nude

My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nachos!

My Very Efficient Monkey Just Sorted Unused Napkins

Many Very Easy Mnemonics Just Seem Unnecessarily Nonsensical

Many Very Eager Mommies Just Stole Us Ninjas

Most Vunerable Eelephants Make Jelly Sandwhichs Under Nelly

Marsupials' Very Elegant Monkeys Jump Skyhigh Using Nikes

My Very Electrifying Mustang Just Sped Under Nine

My Vicious Elephant Must Jump Sideways Under Nancy

Male Vixens Eat Mashed Jalapenos Smothered Under Nectarines

My Vocal Energetic Monkey Just Screamed Unique Notes

Some people who count Ceres, Pluto, and Eris (the Dwarf Planets) as planets in our Solar System have created these:

My Very Educated Mother Can't Just Stop Using Nice Pure Eggwhites.

My Very Educated Mother Can't Just Stop Using Nasty Putrid Eggwhites.

The various types of stars follow the mnemonic:

    • Wow, Oh Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me Right Now, Sweetheart!


  • Many young Australian, Kiwi, Canadian and British children remember the compass points in order in clockwise with the phrase Never Eat Soggy Weet-bix, or Never Eat Shredded Wheat (North, East, South, West). Weet-bix (Weet-A-Bix in Canada and Britain) and Shredded Wheat are popular breakfast cereals in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Britain. Another variation is Never Ever Smoke Weed. In the United States, school children are often taught with the phrase Never Eat Soggy Waffles , Never Eat Sour Worms (though the above mentioned Shredded Wheat version is also used),or Never Enter Santa's Workshop, whereas a Canadian rendition is Never Eat Soggy Wieners. Another mnemonic, Naughty Elephants Squirt Water, is also used. In parts of the English Midlands, Never Ever Support Wolves, after the football team, is popular.
  • Countless other humorous variations can be created including:
    Naughty Elephants Suck Willies, Never Eat Salty Weasles, or anything else you care to come up with.
  • In Estonian schools studying of intermediate directions is often made easier by a mnemonic, which is formed by each direction's first letter. (In Estonia intermediate directions have separate names, instead of forming from cardinal directions (North+East=Northeast). So Northeast corresponds to Kirre, while Southeast, Southwest and Northwest are Edel, Loe and Kagu, respectively. Counting from Kirre towards Kagu the first letters combine word "kelk", which is Estonian for "sled".
  • The acronym HOMES is also a mnemonic aid that can be used to remember the names of the North American Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior). SMHEO or SuM HErO is also useful to remember their positions from North to South, "She Made Him Eat Olives" to remember their positions from West to East, and if you like, "Sam's Horse Must Eat Oats" helps one to remember their ordering by size from largest to smallest. The Canadian lakes can be noted as SHOE.
  • The Dutch Antilles can be remembered by thinking of the Leeward Islands as the ABC islands and of the Windward Islands as the SSS islands.
    Note: The SSS islands are part of what are in English called the Leeward Islands, but in e.g. French, Spanish, German, Dutch and the English spoken locally these are considered part of the Windward Islands.
  • The nations of Central America can be remembered (in order north to south) by "Better Go Home Every Night Completely Paid". (Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama)
  • Many cities have mnemonics that locals use to remember the order of important streets, for example Seattle's "Jesus Christ Made Seattle Under Protest" or "John Coltrane Made Saxophone Universally Prominent." (pairs of downtown streets from south to north, i.e. Jefferson, James, etc.)
  • To help remember whether you lose time or gain it when traveling: EWG and WEL. East to West Gains and West to East Loses
  • How to set your clock to accommodate the shift to and from daylight savings time: "Spring forward. Fall back."
  • A simple one to remember which direction Latitude and Longtitude are is "LAtitude - Lines Across" (East-West). Latus is latin for side - latitude lines go from side to side (EW). Longitude lines seem longer (top to bottom, NS). Remember "Lat is Fat" - Latitude goes around the equator belt.
See also: TODALS


  • A mnemonic to remember different ranks of generals in the U.S. Military is "Be My Little General" for Brigadier General (one star), Major General (two stars), Lieutenant General (three stars), and General (four stars).
  • For the company and field grade ranks (without the lieutenant and colonel gradations), soldiers sometimes use Let's Catch Military Charm, to recall Lieutenant, Captain, Major, and Colonel; likewise, Loose Change Makes Cash has been used.


The mnemonic "Every Good Boy Does Fine", for the names of the notes on the lines of the treble clef, is taught to music students and is a commonly cited example of a mnemonic. It has a long history. A novel by Joseph Machlis set in the early 1900s tells how "Miss Gerwitz, a thin little woman with a birdlike face... arrived for the lesson with Bayer's Piano Method under her arm and proceeded to initiate David into the mysteries of the staff. The lines were 'Every Good Boy Does Fine,' the spaces 'F-A-C-E.'"[16] In 1947, a professor at Teachers College complained that this mnemonic interferes with proper learning, referring to "old teaching 'vices,' such as having children memorize the spaces and lines on the staff by remembering the word 'face' and the phrase 'Every good boy does fine.'"[17]. Also along these lines is the more peculiarly British version, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, of which see also The Moody Blues' album of the same title. Similarly, the band Mudhoney has an album titled Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge. Other variations are 'Every Good Boy Deserves Football' , 'Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit', 'Every Good Boy Does Females' (which usually causes snickering and giggling among 7th and 8th graders) and 'Even George Bush Drives Fast' (a reference to the current President of the United States).

There are various mnemonics for the bass clef as well, the space notes ACEG can be remembered as All Cows Eat Grass, while the lines can be remembered as Good Boys Deserve Football (or Favour, or Fudge) Always or Good Boys Do Fine Always.

One method for remembering the 6 main concepts of music that is particularly odd, but memorable is: Deranged Possums That Do Stupid Things. Standing for Duration, Pitch, Texture, Dynamics and Expressive Techniques, Structure and Tone Colour (or Timbre)

Another common mnemonic is Fat Cats Go Down Alleys Eating Bananas. This is the order of Sharps in a key signature. For Flats, many use BEAD Greatest Common Factor. Another mnemonic for the order of sharps is, Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battles. The cool thing about this mnemonic is if its said backwards you get the order of flats; Battles End And Down Goes Charles' Father. One used primarily in Britain, but just as easily remembered is Father Christmas Gave Dad An Electric Blanket for sharps, and the continues with; Blanket Explodes And Dad Gets Cold Feet, for remembering flats.

A less common mnemonic is I Don't Push Little Men Around Heavy Instruments. This is used for different musical modes (Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aolian, Hypophrygian, and Ionian). Also used is the reference 'I Don't Punch Like Muhammad Ali' (which uses all of the modes without repetition).

The song Do Re Mi from The Sound of Music, though not made of mnemonics per se, uses similar principles to aid in remembering the names of the notes in the solfege scale.

The calendar

  • The rhyme Thirty days hath September is commonly used as a mnemonic for the number of days in the months of the year. If the rhyme is too much effort, then it might be sufficient to remember that July is named for Julius Caesar, and that August is named for Augustus Caesar, both of whom were popular leaders of ancient Rome. Thus, they both were entitled by fiat to have a 31 day month, and the rest of the months fall into an alternating 30-31 pattern, with the exception of February, which at one time was the last month of the year. Thus proceeding as if March was the beginning of the year, the month of September becomes the seventh month, October the eighth month, November the ninth month and December the tenth month, in accordance with the Latin prefixes from which the names of these months are derived. Thus March, April, May, June, and July belong to Julius Caesar and have a 31-30-31-30-31 pattern. Likewise August, September, October, November and December are associated with Augustus Caesar and form a second 31-30-31-30-31 pattern. January, associated with the less memorable Janus, was once along with February at the end of the year, but now these two months form another pattern that starts with 31, but which is then terminated at the end of February, which by the original Roman calendar would have begun a new year.
  • Another mnemonic for the days of the months is not a rhyme or a jingle, but a gestalt. Whereas the traditional mnemonic simply associates the name of the month with the number of days, this one emphasizes the sequence. The 31 and less-than-31-day months would be easy to remember if they simply alternated, but the pattern of month lengths is not that simple. They alternate until the fourth 31-day month, July, which is immediately followed by another 31-day month. Since the human hand has four fingers, one can, given an appropriate mind-set, perceive this pattern in a view of the knuckles of two fists, held together. The raised knuckles can be seen as the 31-day months, the dips between them as the 30-day-months-and-February, and the gap between the hands ignored. (Thus: left-hand-pinky-knuckle = January, dip = February, left-hand-ring-knuckle = March, dip = April, and so on to left-hand-index-knuckle = July; then continue with right-hand-index-knuckle = August, dip = September, etc).
Knuckle mnemonic
  • The dominical letters for the years 1630, 1730, 1830, and 1930, taken in that order, spell "FACE". This can be remembered by the mnemonic "dirty face" (for "'30 FACE").


  • The Ten Commandments:

One idle damn Sunday, Dad killed cheating thief and lied to cover it.

One God, No idols, Don't swear, Keep Sabbath, Honour father, Don't kill, Don't commit adultery, Don't steal, Don't bear false witness, Don't covet...

  • Ten Biblical Plagues of Egypt in order:

Retaliating For Long Frustration Moses Badgered Hostile Leader Demanding Freedom

Bloody Frenchmen (alternatively: Real Frenchmen...) Like Flies, Most Britons Hate Locusts Done Fried

River to blood, frogs, lice, flies, murrain, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and first-born.

  • Twelve Apostles are:

Bartholomew, Andrew, John, Phillip, Thomas, Matthew, James, James, Simon, Simon Peter, Judas and Judas Iscariot.

Bart and John fill Tom's mat (with) 2 Jamess, 2 Simons, and 2 Judass.

Bart (Bartholomew) and (Andrew) John fill (Phillip) Tom's mat (Matthew) (with) 2 James's, 2 Simons, and 2 Judas's.

  • Liturgical year: to remember the Latin names for the Sundays between Easter and Pentecost (including Ascension, which falls on a Thursday):

Quasimodogeniti, Misericordias Domini, Jubilate, Cantate, Rogate, Ascension, Exaudi

Quiet Mister Dick Jones Could't Read Any English
Quick Miss Diane Jones Can't Rope Any Exes

  • Seven deadly sins

PEWS 'ave GLu

Pride Envy Wrath Sloth Avarice Gluttony Lust


Seven Hills of Rome
  • PACE QVC (Pace the home shopping channel)
  • Palatine Aventine Capitoline Esquiline Quirinal Viminal Caelian


List of the monarchs of the Kingdom of England
Willie, Willie, Henry, Ste
Henry, Dick, John, Henry three.
One, two, three Eds, Richard two,
Henry four, five, six, then who?
Edward four, five, Dick the bad,
Harrys twain, and Ned the lad.
Mary, Bessie, James the Vain,
Charlie, Charlie, James again.
William and Mary, Anna Gloria,
Four Georges, William, and Victoria.
Ed seven ruled till nineteen-ten
When George the fifth came in and then,
Ed eighth left when Simpson beckoned,
Leaving George and Liz the second.


The Ruling Houses of England
  • No Point Letting Your Trousers Slip Half-Way
(Norman, Plantagenet, Lancaster, York, Tudor, Stuart, Hanover, Windsor)


Child Psychologist Bronfrenner's Ecological Sysytems Theory which defines the contexts of development as Microsysytems (1st level), Mesosystems (2nd layer) Exosytems (3rd layer) Macrosystems (4th layer) and Chronosystem (Across all layers) MICe and MEn Eat MACaroni and Cheese

Anamonics (Scrabble)

Many tournament Scrabble players employ anamonics, a form of initialization mnemonic, for the purposes of learning and quickly recalling sets of acceptable words. An anamonic consists of a "stem" (usually of six or seven letters), paired with a semantically related phrase, in which each letter of the phrase can be added to the stem and rearranged to form at least one acceptable word. For example, if a player has the tiles ACDEIRT on her rack, and recalls the anamonic "DICE-ART = casino math diploma", they will know precisely which letters may be played through to form 8-letter words, and will hopefully be aided in finding the words: ACCREDIT, RADICATE, ACRIDEST, RATICIDE, DICENTRA, CERATOID, TIMECARD, CITRATED/TETRACID/TETRADIC, TRACHEID, READDICT, PICRATED, and ARTICLED/LACERTID.

Other mnemonic systems

  • Mnemonic major system
  • Mnemonic dominic system
  • Mnemonic verses
  • List of mnemonics
  • Acronym System
  • Link System
  • Room System
  • Goroawase System
  • Journey method
  • Method of loci
  • Mnemonics for Latin study

Arbitrariness of mnemonics

A curious characteristic of many memory systems is that mnemonics work despite being (or possibly because of being) illogical, arbitrary, and artistically flawed. "Roy" is a legitimate first name, but there is no actual surname "Biv" and of course the middle initial "G" is arbitrary. Why is "Roy G. Biv" easy to remember? Medical students never forget the arbitrary nationalities of the Finn and German. Any two of the three months ending in -ember would fit just as euphoniously as September and November in "Thirty days hath...", yet most people can remember the rhyme correctly for a lifetime after having heard it once, and are never troubled by doubts as to which two of the -ember months have thirty days. A bizarre arbitrary association may stick in the mind better than a logical one.

One reason for the effectiveness of seemingly arbitrary mnemonics is the grouping of information provided by the mnemonic. Just as US phone numbers group 10 digits into three groups, the name "Roy G. Biv" groups seven colors into two short names and an initial. Various studies (most notably The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two) have shown that the human brain is capable of remembering only a limited number of arbitrary items; grouping these items into chunks permits the brain to hold more of them in memory.

Assembly mnemonics

In assembly language a mnemonic is a code, usually from 1 to 5 letters, that represents an opcode, a number.

Programming in machine code, by supplying the computer with the numbers of the operations it must perform, can be quite a burden, because for every operation the corresponding number must be looked up or remembered. Looking up all numbers takes a lot of time, and mis-remembering a number may introduce computer bugs.

Therefore a set of mnemonics was devised. Each number was represented by an alphabetic code. So instead of entering the number corresponding to addition to add two numbers one can enter "add".

Although mnemonics differ between different CPU designs some are common, for instance: "sub" (subtract), "div" (divide), "add" (add) and "mul" (multiply).

This type of mnemonic is different from the ones listed above in that instead of a way to make remembering numbers easier, it is a way to make remembering numbers unnecessary (by relying on some external way to tie each mnemonic to a number).


  1. ^ Liddell, H. G.; R. Scott (1889). Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-910206-6.
  2. ^ Swansburg, Russell C (1995). Nursing Staff Development. Jones and Bartlett Publishers. ISBN 0-86720-658-6., p. 88: "An example of this is the mnemonic used by most nursing students to remember the cranial nerves: On Old Olympus' Towering Top a Finn and German Viewed Some Hops."
  3. ^ Bescenti J, Wick, KH, Tradition and Treatment: The impact of cultural beliefs on medical decision making. JAAPA. 2006;12:16-18
  4. ^ Campinha-Bacote J, Many Faces:addressing diversity in health care. Online J Issues Nursing [serial online]. 2003;8(1):[manuscript 2]. Available at accessed November 27, 2006.
  5. ^ Platt A, Eckman JR, Clinician Reviews,2006;12:44-9
  6. ^ Resnick NM, Geriatric incontinence. Urol Clin North Am. 1996;23:55-74.
  7. ^ Choron, Sandra; Harry Choron. College in a Can. p. 155
  8. ^ Buell, Phyllis; James Gerard (2002). Chemistry Fundamentals: An Environmental Perspective. Jones and Bartlett. ISBN 0-7637-1074-1. p. 208: "When a substance loses an electron, it is oxidized; when it gains an electron, it is reduced (LEO says GER)"
  9. ^ Bland, Will J.; David Rolls (1998). Weathering: An Introduction to the Scientific Principles. Oxford University Press US. ISBN 0-340-67744-9. p. 75: "It is helpful to remember 'OIL RIG:' Oxidation i loss of electrons ('OIL'), Reduction is gain of electrons ('RIG')."
  10. ^ a b c Hrynkiw, David; Mark Tilden (2002). JunkBots, Bugbots, and Bots on Wheels: Building Simple Robots With BEAM Technology. McGraw-Hill Professional. ISBN 0-07-222601-3., p. 33.
  11. ^ Rozakis, Laurie (2002). Test Taking Strategies and Study Skills for the Utterly Confused. McGraw-Hill Professional. ISBN 0-07-139923-2. p. 84
  12. ^ The Geological Society. Mnemomania. Retrieved on 2006-05-05.: "Tall Girls Can Flirt..." and many others
  13. ^ Flint, R. W. (1978): "Luminous Melancholy, Fantastical Wit," The New York Times, May 28, 1978, p. BR2. Review of John, Hollander (1978). Spectral Emanations. New York: Atheneum.
  14. ^ Hayes, Steven C.; Dermot Barnes-Holmes, Bryan Roche (2002). Relational Frame Theory: A Post-Skinnerian Account of Human Language and Cognition. Springer. ISBN 0-306-46600-7., p. 92: "the British children's mnemonic 'Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain'"
  15. ^ Kenneth Weaver, "Voyage to the Planets," p. 165, National Geographic, August 1970
  16. ^ Machlis, Joseph (1982). Lisa's Boy. W. W. Norton and Company. ISBN 0-393-01606-4..
  17. ^ "Ten Children Play the Piano in 40 Minutes; Expert Stresses Imitation as Best Teaching," The New York Times, June 4, 1947, p. 29

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
English mnemonics
  • AOPA Online - Mnemonics - Aviation mnemonics for pilots.
  • Medical World's Database of Medical Mnemonics - "A free online searchable database of medical mnemonics to help students of health-related professions remember the important details."
  • Memory Improvement - Free general memory improvement site. Includes a section on mnemonics.
  • Mnemonics Collection for Students - In spite of your efforts to organize your information, you may still find that you have a big list of stuff to remember..
  • - A collection of mnemonics.
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