Most people struggle when trying to remember abstract things like numbers, mostly because no one taught them how to do it.

One of the best ways to memorize abstract things, is to transform them into funny, vulgar and distinctive visual mental images. But you need an easy system to keep up the motivation for training new mental skills.

A system with many names like:

  • The major system.
  • The phonetic number system.
  • The phonetic mnemonic system.

It's a simple technique used to remember sequences of numbers, like PI. The system converts numbers to phonetic consonant sounds.

The number values are used to shape funny vulgar, grotesque, and easily memorable mental images, stories or verses based on phonetic sound of words.

  • It is important to understand, that it is not the written word, but the phonetic sound of the letters, the way they are used in the specific word.
  • Only phonetic consonant sounds carry a numerical value.
  • Phonetically silent letters and vowels (a, e, i, o, u, y, h and w) have no value, so they are ignored. But the "Y" in "You" or the "U" in Unique, are not phonetically silent, because they sound like a "J", so in this situation, they will both carry the same value, the value of a "J" (6).
  • When a word contains consecutive phonetic consonants, only the first one counts as a numeric value, the rest are ignored value-wise. (some choose to ignore this rule, but it is important to know, if others have to decipher it).


Numeric value Phonetic sound Sample words IPA sound
0 soft c, s, z, x Zoo, Xylophone /s/, /z/
1 t, d, th Tie, Die /t/, /d/, /θ/, /ð/
2 n Noah /n/
3 m eMu /m/
4 r eaR /r/
5 l Law /l/
6 j, y, ch, sh Jaw , You, SHoe /ʃ/, /ʒ/ + (/tʃ/, /dʒ/)
7 hard c, k, g, q Cow, oaK, eGg, aQua /k/, /ɡ/
8 f, v, ph Fay, iVy /f/, /v/
9 b, p Bee, Pea /p/, /b/



Lets say you need to remember your simple 4-digit pin-kode, which is:

1 2 3 4

[?] +  (T or D) + ? + N + ? + M + ? + R + [?].
The "?" represents at least one vowel or a space. [ ] means it is optional.

A funny mental image, of the number 1234, could be a tiny mower.

T = 1, N = 2, M = 3 og R = 4.

The silent letter "w" and vowels are ignored when converting back to numbers.


So now you know how to convert between numbers and words, but you don't want to waste your time generating words all the time, for all possible numbers.

Here is a list of 101 common and mentally visual symbols (peg words) from 0 - 100. Only the green bold letters have a numeric value, all others letters are void, they have no value and are ignored.

0 Zoo 20 NoSe 40 RoSe 60 CHeeSe 80 VaSe
1 Tie 21 NuT 41 RaT 61 SHeeT 81 FooT
2 kNee 22 NuN 42 RaiN 62 CHaiN 82 PHoNe
3 eMu 23 gNoMe 43 RaM 63 GyM 83 FoaM
4 eaR 24 NeRo 44 ReaR 64 CHeRry 84 FiRe
5 Law 25 NaiL 45 RaiL 65 JeweL 85 FoaL
6 SHoe 26 NaCHo 46 RoaCH 66 JudGe 86 FiSH
7 Cow 27 NecK 47 RocK 67 CHalK 87 FoG
8 iVy 28 kNiFe 48 RooF 68 CHeF 88 FiFe
9 Bee 29 kNoB 49 RoPe 69 SHiP 89 V.i.P
10 DiCe 30 MouSe 50 LaCe 70 CaSe 90 BuS
11 TaTtoo 31 MaT 51 LighT 71 CaT 91 BaT
12 TiN 32 MooN 52 LioN 72 CoiN 92 BuN
13 ToMb 33 MuMmy 53 LaMb 73 CoMb 93 BoMb
14 TiRe 34 MoweR 54 LuRe 74 CaR 94 BeaR
15 ToweL 35 MuLe 55 LiLy 75 CoaL 95 BeLl
16 DiSH 36 MatCH 56 LeaSH 76 CaGe 96 BeaCH
17 DucK 37 MuG 57 LoG 77 CaKe 97 BooK
18 DoVe 38 MoVie 58 LeaF 78 CaVe 98 PooF
19 TuB 39 MaP 59 LiP 79 CaP 99 PuPpy

100 = DaiSieS


Click the images to slide through the pegwords.


Deciphering a full sentence to numbers, parsing every word.

I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot no deputy...
61 647 91 11 21 61 2 191


Deciphering parts of a sentence to numbers, only parsing nouns.

I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot no deputy...
647 191


Defining a weird and memorable poem, for 55 digits of PI, parsing every word.

This is the 55 digit PI number you're trying to memorize.

It's important to imagine and visualize the weird sentences in the poem,
in a grotesque and funny way, to make them more memorable.

Mad rat loop nacho lamb
3.1 41 59 26 53

 Love book bomb fire shitty gym
58 97 93 23 84 62 64

Mummy foam nukbull, soon Fifi rot up
33  83 27 95 02 88 41 9

Cat shop mop bomb called soul fun soup
71 69 39 93 751 05 82 09


You've just taking your first step, in memorizing and dechiphering a PI poem.
Soon you will be able to create funny stories out of random numbers and memorize numbers in a whole new way, have fun.



Most people think that you have to be a savant to memorize a large number like PI, but everyone can do it, if they are motivated enough.


Arthur Benjamin demonstrates his amazing math and memory magic, using the phonetic system for his intermediate math results. Find his mental math books on our book list (at the bottom of the list).


While driving the kids to school, you all compete in converting passing license plates or street signs, from numbers to words, and back, via the Phonetic- and Peg word System.

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