Silly mnemonics to remember things you ought to know anyway

I have difficulty with parallels, meridians, latitude, and longitude… I just remember:

Parallels are parallel to one another;
Meridian is from meridies, “noon”, so it’s where the sun passes over at noon (yes, for me this IS easier);
Longitudinal lines are longer than latitudinal ones.

SB HCl…(smithkline beecham/hydrochloric acid)…helps me remember the Schmidt/Beckmann/Hoffman/Curtius/Lossen rearrangements. I doubt anybody else ever has or ever will use this.

To remember the alphabet:
Alpha/ Bravo/ Charlie/ Delta/ Echo/ Foxtrot/ Golf/ Hotel/ India/ Juliet/ Kilo/ Lima/ Mike/ November/ Oscar/ Papa/ Quebec/ Romeo/ Sierra/ Tango/ Uniform/ Victor/ Whiskey/ X-ray/ Yankee/ Zulu


I still have to use “Never Eat Shredded Wheat” to remember which way round compass points go.

ROY G. BIV - Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet

The worst of all, which only Brit dopers will truly appreciate the awfulness of, is that in order to remember the order of colours in snooker, I have to sing the chorus to Chas & Dave’s “Snooker Loopy” - “Pot the red then / screw back / for the yellow green brown blue pink and black / snooker loopy nuts are we / we’re all snooker / loopy”.


My maternal great-grandmother passed it down.

“Every Good Boy Does Fine” - a music person will know what this is for. I took piano lessons 20 years ago and this was to remember… something. As you can tell, it worked. :smiley:

And there’s a planet one… Something to do with mother making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Aaaagh! It’s the mnemonic plague!

“Tell Zeno I’m willing to meet him halfway.”

My kids learn the compass as “Never Eat Soggy Waffles.”

The planets can be “My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas.”

It’s funny how powerful these are. I do a lot of tie-dyeing and often make rainbow spirals. You’d think I could line up the colors without thinking about it by now, but I must say “Roy G Biv” to do it. Just as I cannot write/type the word “friend” without hearing the Mr Rogers song, because that’s how I taught myself to remember how to spell it. (F-R-I-E-N-D special; you’re special to me…)

They are not all silly.

For example, my chemistry teacher at high school had a neat way of remembering the first 20 elements of the Periodic Table: two Russian ladies - H HeLiBeBCNOF and NeNa MgAlSiPSClArKA (I think I got that right).

Virgin - Stands Up - Vertical
Whore - Lays down - Horizontal

The five lines of a treble cleff (reading up from the bottom) are: E-G-B-D-F or Every Good Boy Does Fine. The four spaces in between are F-A-C-E :slight_smile:
I can still remember my piano teacher drawing smiley faces to remind me (this was before all smilies were sideways)

The five lines on the bass clef: Great Big Dogs Fight Animals
The four spaces: All Cows Eat Grass

Oddly, the only mnemonic I can recall is the one from “Cheers” wherein Woody was studying for his GED or somesuch, and was learning geography. He had that ridiculous song that went something like:

Albania! Albania!
You border on the Adriatic.
Your chief exports
Are coal, steel and bauxite…

I still hum it whenever I hear the word Albania. Fortunately, it doesn’t come up often.

I’m surprised no one did this one yet.

stalaGmite - on the Ground

stalaCtite - on the Ceiling

Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge (lines on treble clef)

Charles Father Goes Down, Ends Battle
Battle Ends, Down Goes Father Charles
I don’t remember what these are for - something to do with music - but it always made me sad as a kid!!

Okay, it’s not a mnemnomic, but it’s stupid. To tell my right from my left, I used to either have to make the sign of the cross or the Pledge of Allegiance.

Odd fellows fly east

I may have made this one up, but I’m not sure. It’s so I can remember:

Of course, knowing that “odd fellows fly east”, I can remember that I need to fly at an even altitude on a westerly heading.

For the order of operations in math:

Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally

Parentheses exponents multiplication division addition subtraction

My sister, 12 at the time, once butchered this on purpose to say, “Dear Aunt Sally, Excuse me, Please”

HOMES = Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior (Great Lakes)

WASPLEG = Wrath, Avarice, Sloth, Pride, Lust, Envy, Gluttony (7 deadly sins)

Prince Victoria Overate Today = PV/AT = Ideal Gas Law (pressure * volume)/(amount * temperature). More commonly stated as PV = nRT, but it works.

Eh! You stole my gold (AU = gold).

Hey Garfield! Art Cats are Hairy Cats. I made this one up for the AP American History test in high school. It is to remember the presidents between Grant and McKinley (which I had trouble remembering). It is stupid, I know, but I still remember it 8 years later.

Hayes Garfield Arthur Cleveland Harrison Cleveland

They are the order of sharps and order of flats, respectively. Except it should be FCGDAEB - Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle. (Reverse that for the flats)

Dunno why I still remember this one, either.

Linean Classification:
Knights play chess on flat glass surfaces
King Phillip came over for great sex

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species

Resistor color band code:
B.B. ROY from Great Britain had a Very Good Wife

Black = 0
Brown = 1
Red = 2
Orange = 3
Yellow = 4
Green = 5
Blue = 6
Violet = 7
Grey = 8
White = 9

Line on musical scale:

Every Girl Bites Dead Frogs

From 10th Grade Biology:

King Philip Came Over From Geneva Switzerland =

Genus (? I think…)