14 Old-School Ways to Remember Stuff

Try some well-known and original mnemonic phrases and tricks to help keep track of odd spelling of words, the days of the month and even the seven wonders of the world.

Compiled by Erin Semple from i before e (except after c)
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    Know Your ABCs
    In the nineteenth century, children were taught the ABCs through a popular rhyme: 'The Tragical Death of A, Apple Pie, Who Was Cut in Pieces, and Eaten by Twenty-Six Gentlemen, With Whom All Little People Ought To Be Very Well Acquainted'
    Here's the rhyme:

    A was an apple pie
    B bit it
    C cut it
    D dealt it
    E eats it
    F fought for it
    G got it
    H had it
    I inspected it
    J jumped for it
    K kept it
    L longed for it
    M mourned for it
    N nodded at it
    O opened it
    P peeped in it
    Q quartered it
    R ran for it
    S stole it
    T took it
    U upset it
    V viewed it
    W wanted it
    X, Y and Z all wished for and had a piece in hand.

    Spelling Lesson
    FRIEs are for sharing with your FRIEnd.

    Count to 20
    Here's a fun way for the kids to learn:
    One, Two, buckle my shoe, Three, Four, knock at the door, Five, Six, pick up sticks, Seven, Eight, lay them straight, Nine, Ten, a big fat hen, Eleven, Twelve, dig and delve, Thirteen, Fourteen, maids a-courting, Fifteen, Sixteen, maids in the kitchen, Nineteen, Twenty, my plate's empty.

    The Four Main Compass Directions
    Simply remember the acronym NEWS: North at the top; East on the right; West on the left; South at the bottom

    Months of the Year
    A physical mnemonic trick will help you remember how many days are in each month. Hold your clenched fists together, side by side. Begin with your left hand, naming the knuckle of your little finger as January. Next, the valley or dip between the first two knuckles is February, and the next knuckle is March, and so on. All the knuckles represent months with 31 days, and the valleys the shorter months.

    The Order of the Planets
    Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
    Try these phrases to help you memorize the order: My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos OR My Very Educated Mother Just Sent Us Nowhere

    The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
    1. Statue of Zeus at Olympia
    2. Lighthouse (Pharos) of Alexandria
    3. Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
    4. Pyramids of Egypt
    5. Hanging Gardens of Babylon
    6. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
    7. Colossus of Rhodes
    Use this mnemonic phrase to recall them: Seems Like Mata Hari Picked Her Targets Carefully.

    Musical Notes
    In the 1965 film The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews's character Maria teaches the children music. Her song may help you.
    Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti
    Do=doe, a female deer
    Re=ray, a drop of golden sun
    Mi=me, a name I call myself
    Fa=far, a long, long way to run
    So=sew, a needle pulling thread
    La=la, a note to follow 'so'
    Ti=tea, a drink with jam and bread
    Which will bring us back to 'Do'

    Counting to Six in French
    un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq & six
    Here's a phrase to help you count.
    Un, deux, trois, cat sank—cease, please!

    The 12 Apostles
    List the dedicated followers of Jesus with this well-known Sunday school rhyme:
    This is the way the disciples run Peter, Andrew, James and John, Phillip and Bartholomew, Thomas next and Matthew, too. James the less and Judas the greater, Simon the zealot and Judas the traitor.

    The Four Gospels
    The first four books of the New Testament are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
    Try this to help you recite them, and you'll impress your Sunday School teacher: 'Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John went to bed with their trousers on.'

    Be a Lifesaver
    Learn the chief goal of First Aid with the 3 Ps: Preserve life; Prevent deterioration in the patient's condition; Promote recovery.

    Setting Goals
    Initiate your future career by planning ahead and establishing reasonable goals. Simply, start by being SMART. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time bound

    Basic DIY Techniques
    Don't waste time, do things the right way the first time. Just think this: Righty-tighty, Lefty-loosey.

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    Your Comments

    • Julian

      My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Naming Planets. Although Pluto now has been declassified the word planets will tell you what the rhyme is about.

    • Moira, stgre.webstarts.com

      Where is 17?

    • http://www.facebook.com/james.tobeyLA James Tobey

      My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets.

      I remember Friend because of Mr. Rogers’ song: F R I E N D special, you are my friend, you’re special to me….

      On a map “West is Left” was drilled into us at an early age, but you have to make sure the there’s an indicator showing up is North.

      For the months the first part of this rhyme works well, “Thirty days has September, April, June and November,” then it falls apart “all the rest have thirty one except February which has 28 and leap year gives it 29.” If you can remember the 1st line and know about February that’s all you need.

      Remember that ‘separate’ has ‘A RAT’ it. I just saw this on an old Adam-12 rerun.

    • Angelflea 99

      eat poop

    • hahaharrystylesgf

      my very eger mother just served up nine pizzas!

    • Jsoucook

      makes sense

    • The She who said It

      So it’s 1,2,3… 15,16,19,20? I’ve been counting to 20 wrong all these years! Thank goodness for that rhyme.

    • http://www.vikrantsharma.webs.com Vikrant Sharma

      My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us the Nine Planets

      • guest

        I don’t care what “they” say, Pluto IS too a planet!!

      • guest

        I don’t care what “they” say, Pluto IS too a planet!!