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This page contains a definition of the word mnemonic. A mnemonic is a technique or device for remembering information.

Examples of Mnemonics

Mnemonics come in many forms. You’re probably familiar with some of the common ones like the ones below.

Colors of the Rainbow

The colors of a rainbow are: Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Green, and Violet. If you take the first letter of each color you can spell the made-up name, “ROY G. BIV”. If you can remember ROY G. BIV, then you can use the letters of the name as a mnemonic that translates back into the colors.

The Treble Clef

Another common mnemonic is Every Good Boy Does Fine, which represents the notes on a treble clef:

Every Good Boy Does Fine.png

Memory Palaces

Not all mnemonics involve using letters. Memory Palaces are another kind of mnemonic that use spatial locations to keep information in order. For example, if you wanted to remember a shopping list, you could imagine each item on your shopping list interacting with a location on your body. Working from the top of your head to your feet, you could imagine carrots on the top of your head, tangled in your hair. You could imagine pouring milk on your head, and so on. To recall the items, you would mentally walk through the locations of your Memory Journey and see which item from your list is at that location.

Number Shapes

Another kind of mnemonic is the Number Shape System. Each number can be turned into a Mnemonic Image of something that looks like the number. For example, the number 1 looks like of like a candle. The number 2 looks kind of like a swan. The number 3 could be butterfly wings. If you have to remember the address 31 Pine Street, you could imagine a butterfly (#3) flying around a candle (#1) on top of a pine tree (the name of the street) as your destination.

Those are just a few examples of mnemonics, and you can find many more on the Main Page of this wiki!

Learn More About Mnemonics

To learn more about mnemonics, download our free ebook, Learn the Art of Memory and join the free Art of Memory Forum.

See Also