Mnemonic Acronyms and Acrostics

Acronyms and acrostics are an old, commonly used memory technique. If you have a set of symbols or categories to remember, you can use the first letters to spell out a word (acronym) or pick a word that starts with the same letter to form a complete sentence (acrostic.)


The notes on each line of the treble clef staff in music are EGBDF, which can be remembered with the classic acrostic Every Good Boy Does Fine. The spaces spell out the acronym FACE. The bass clef has a different acrostic to remember the staff lines: Good Boys Do Fine Always.

To remember the Circle of Fifths, which tells you the order of sharps and flats in key signatures as well as chord progressions by perfect fifths, use the mnemonic Five Cats Got Drunk At Eddie's Bar (FCGDAEB).

The old acrostic for the order of the planets in the solar system was Mother Very Thoughtfully Made A Jam Sandwich Using No Peanuts (Mercury, Venus, Terra, Mars, the Asteroids, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto.)


For more mnemonic acronyms, see

For specific mnemonics, see


The mnemonic for the solar system should be changed, but if you keep Pluto (now called a dwarf planet,) how many other dwarf planets should you include? I've seen a couple variations on the old mnemonic, but I haven't updated my memory yet...

Robert Anton Wilson, in the Schroedinger's Cat trilogy, joking suggested that the first two transplutonian planets should be named Mickey and Goofy, and suggested the new mnemonic "Mother Very Earnestly Made A Jam Sandwich Using No Peanuts, Mayonnaise, or Glue".

-- JohnLaviolette [[DateTime?(2007-10-06T05:14:08Z)]]

"MNEMONICS: Mnemonics Neatly Eliminate Mans Only Nemesis - Insufficient Cerebral Storage." -- Joachim Verhagen