Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My list of 100 peg words

These are the words I use for the numbers zero to 99. You will need to read my earlier article about the phonetic system for this article to make sense.

I memorised the following list mainly by rote learning. As I reviewed each number, I converted it in my mind to the phonetic equivalent then asked myself "what image did I use for this?". I would think of each vowel in turn (a, e, i, o and u) and would see which word came to mind. For example, 21 could be "nat", "net", "nit", "nut", "knot". I had chosen the word "net". The learning process didn't take too long and was easier than it looked.

If you would like to use this list, I would encourage you to change any word to something more memorable, particularly those words you have trouble recalling. For example 99 has the phonetic equivalent of B/P B/P so you could words like Bib (baby's bib) or bap (a type of bread roll) or pub (have a beer!).

Choose the word that comes to mind quickly. Just be careful you don't have words on your list whose images could be confused. For example, I used to use the word Ball for 94 but this was getting confused with the rounded image of Peach (96). I changed my image for 94 to Bull.

Here is my list with some comments on some of my key images

0 saw a handsaw
1 tie necktie
2 Noah standing on the deck of the Ark
3 ma A large motherly lady
4 Ra Pharaoh
5 law Judge wearing a wig
6 shoe
7 key
8 ivy
9 bee

10 toes
11 tot A baby
12 tan
13 dam
14 tyre
15 towel
16 tissue
17 tack thumb tack
18 dove the bird
19 tap

20 NASA Think of a Space Shuttle
21 net
22 nun
23 gnome garden gnome
24 Nero Roman Emperor - wearing toga
25 nail large nail (not like 17 tack)
26 nachos like a corn chip
27 neck
28 knife
29 nib old fashioned writing implement

30 mace
31 mat
32 moon
33 mummy Egyptian mummy
34 mower Lawn mower
35 mail Letter box
36 match
37 mike microphone
38 mafia Don Corleone
39 map

40 rose
41 rat
42 rain
43 ram
44 rower
45 rail
46 roach
47 rake garden rake
48 roof
49 rope

50 lassoo (some confusion here with 49 rope)
51 lid
52 lion
53 llama
54 lyre
55 lily
56 leech
57 log
58 lava
59 lip

60 cheese
61 sheet
62 chain
63 chime Wind chimes
64 chair
65 cello
66 church
67 cheque
68 sheaf
69 ship

70 case
71 cat
72 can
73 comb
74 car
75 coil
76 cage
77 cake
78 cafe
79 cape

80 fez Moroccan hat
81 foot
82 fan
83 foam
84 fire
85 file
86 fish
87 fag cigarette
88 fife
89 vibe vibraphone

90 bus
91 bat
92 bone
93 bum
94 pear
95 bull large bull with horns
96 peach
97 bike
98 puff of smoke
99 pipe


  1. Caveman,

    Would you mind if I also suggested my own training tool for this system at:

    It allows you to choose your own words within the constraints of the system and then helps you train on them. If your browser has JavaScript enabled then it also gives you word definitions and attempts to highlight any potential conflicts between the words you've chosen. (Although this is based on definitions rather than similar shapes, such as the example you gave.)

    The one thing I'd add to this post is that, to be of use, the list needs to be learnt to the extent that the association between each number and word is completely automatic. When using the images to remember a number you need to be concentrating on whichever method you are using to put the images together, rather than mentally fumbling around for the right image.

  2. Caveman__
    What is your image for Dam. What you see in it.

  3. Ok that is one of the best alternative way enhancing memory.

    Laby[zoot suit]

  4. Caveman, your peg word for 66 is church. This would normally translate to 646. It seems you forgot that "r" counts as a sound.

  5. I read Dominic Obriens book: How to develop a perfect memory. He suggests making a list with 100 people because people are easier to associate feelings too and thereby easier to remember than things. Does anyone have a "peg-list" with 100 people made up out of the Major System (aka Phonetic Mnemonic System)?

  6. Thank for you great post. Here is my 100 unique number-images pegs, very easy to remember. I called it Numagicians. You can find it on Amazon or on Appstore