Memorize a List Using Numbers and Rhyming Words

You can memorize anything by associating the things to be memorized with numbers and pictures in your mind. This method is called a Pegword system.

1 bun Associate your first item with a bun
2 shoe Associate your second item with shoes
3 tree Associate your third item with a tree
4 door Associate your fourth item with a door
5 hive Associate your fifth item with bees
6 bricks
7 heaven
8 plate
9 wine
10 pen


  1. Memorize the list above.
  2. Since the numbers and the objects rhyme, you can create your own number objects for numbers eleven and up. The more unusual and strange the objects are, the better it is for you to remember it.
  3. Take the list of things you need to memorize and picture each item in your mind with the number objects. For instance, pretend that you are trying to memorize the following things: cup, rice, turkey, grass, pencil, sad, computer, guitar, needle, rabbit. Now take each item and associate them with each number item so that you picture in your mind: one is a bun - a cup between 2 buns; two is a shoe - a shoe filled with grains of rice; three is a tree - a turkey sitting on a tree; four is a door - a door covered with grass; five is a hive - a pencil sticking out of a beehive; six bricks - a bunch of sad-faced bricks; seven is heaven - a computer sitting on a mass of clouds in front of the golden gate of heaven; eight is a plate - a guitar sitting on top of a plate; nine a glass of wine - needles in a glass of wine (ouch!); ten is a pen - a rabbit writing something with a pen in his hand.
  4. Try to recall these things fifteen minutes later by thinking of a number, that number's object, and then the thing you are trying to remember (which is associated with then number object). For example, (if you follow the example shown in this so far) think of the number three: three is a tree. What is sitting on that tree? Check back to see if you got it right. Does it work? I hope so, it sure does work for me!


  • If you want longer lists than are possible with rhymes (21 rhymes with 31 rhymes with 41, and so on limiting the number of pegs), see the article Memorize Numbers. You can generate pegs with that system. It does take longer to learn however, and rhymes can be learned immediately.
  • Think of the number objects as vividly in your mind as possible. And put the thing you are trying to memorize in the most uncommon place/manner, so that you can remember it better.
  • Practice makes perfect! The more you try to memorize things, the easier it will get.

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