A List Of Common English Words Into Mnemonic Images: In Alphabetical Order, & Guided by the Principles of Zipf's Law


This list will be an extension of the one I made in another forum, https://artofmemory.com/forums/mnemoric-images-for-common-english-words-as-per-gary-lanier-lociinthesky-for-memorising .It will take some time to complete, but I will work on it bit by bit… this list will be an ongoing project. The words have been chosen from various lists of the most common used English words, and will consist mainly of words with abstract meanings. At a later date I will include the name and addresses of the lists used. I expect to end up with 300 to 500 hundred words on the list, although I have come up with a many as 1500 words (but most don’t have a corresponding mnemonic image yet -some may never get one). More explanation later.

Under Zipf’s Law, as applied to English, there are a few words that occur very frequently in a large collection of texts, while most words are rather uncommon. Hence, the 10 most common words comprise about 25% of the recorded English language. The most common 135 - 150 words (according to which source is being used) account for 50% of the corpus of recorded English. Most of these words are abstract words. Thus to take these words and make mnemonic images of them, allows one to have a small set of mnemonic images for 50% of the words one needs to memorize in a given body of text. So, if the most common word "the’’ "accounts for nearly 7% of word occurrence of all (69,971 out of slightly over 1 million words), … and the second-place word “of " accounts for slightly over 3.5% words (36,411 occurrences), followed by “and” (28,852),” [ https:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zipf’_law ] then unless my math is very wrong, (VERY possible), the 150th most common word accounts for around 466 occurrences, the 200th most common word would have around 350 occurrences, the 300th most common word would have around 233 occurrences, and the 500th ranked word would have around 140 occurrences. Given that 50,000 different words comprise 95% of our language, it is not an unreasonable effort to find mnemonic images (if one can conjure them up), for the abstract words within that list of the 500 most occurring words.

The list that I’m using as the source for the most common words is from the list on http://www.world-english.org/english500htm I selected this particular site because it combined the most common spoken and written words together in one list, and also because it lists word forms rather than lexemes.

When you see a [ ] with a number in it (ex. [5] ), it means the ranking of the word in front of it, if it is in the top 500 most common words- as [17] = ass (donkey) ; asp;
A" * " after a word representing a mnemonic image, means that that word is also being used for more than one word listed.

List of prefixes and suffixes converted into mnemonic images:

{suffix} - ary = aviary;
{suffix} - cide = cider;
{prefix} - dis = dish;
{suffix} - ed = dead; Mr. Ed(“the talking horse of course”);
{suffix} - er = E.R.( Emergency Room ); tigER;
{suffix} - fy = fly (insect);
{suffix} - ify = eye fly (an eye with a fly"s wings and behavior);
{suffix} - ion = son; onion;
{suffix} - ish = fish;
{suffix} - ism = prism; prison;
{suffix} - ite = Ike; dike;
{suffix} - ity = tea; titty;
{suffix} - ive = Eve (Adam’s only available squeeze);
{suffix} - ly = Lee(General Robert E.);
{prefix} - intro = Jeffro (Boden from Beverly Hillbillies)
{suffix} - ness = Nessie ( Loch Ness Monster);
{prefix} - non = nun;
{suffix} - or = O.R. (Operating Room);
{suffix} - ship = ship/ghost- ship;
{suffix} - sion = son;
{suffix} - tion = son;
{ suffix} - ty = tea; titty;
{prefix} - ultra -= Mich Ultra Beer;
{prefix} - un = onion; Onan;
{suffix} - ure = Urkle; urn;

Common English words into mnemonic images:

a = apple, ape, A-bomb, A-Team;
able = ape in a bowl(a =ape, ble = bowl), Abel (Cain’s bro & victim);
about = a boat, Albert(Fat Albert) a bolt, boxing match, ape boat a = ape bove =boat);
above = a bug, ape bug ( a bug with an ape’s head, 6 little ape legs); aloe; Apollo(sun god-he’s above );
across = ape on a cross(JESUS APE CHRIST!);
afraid = alfredo sauce;
after [111] = aft(of a ship); after shave lotion;
ago = ape go-go dancer (a=ape, go =go-go dancer);
agony - Antigone
ahead = ape’s head; (a= ape); apple head (a= apple);
air = air(puff); hair*; airhead; Air Jordan; Airedale (dog bred);
alias = Alice;
all [40] = All(dish washing soap); awl (hand tool to bore holes);
also [157] = a sewing contest with lots of people competing; a group of people all sown together; ape with a lasso;
am = ammo; ham;
an = ant; aunt(the way many Americans pronounce the word);
and = android; hand; Ann Raggedy Ann - or Andy);
angry = Angry Bird;
animal = Animal (from The Muppet Show);
any = “innie” belly button; Annie (from the play)
are = Ares; pirates(pirates say “arrarahh”… or something like that); ark;
as = ass; (donkey) asp; at - At-At(Star Wars); bat; vat; atom; Attila (the Hun); Attucks(Crispus);
ask = axe (how some Americans pronounce the word);
at = At AT ~ (Star Wars); bat*; vat; atom; Attila (the Hun); Atttucks (Crispus);
away = “Hi Yo Silver Away!” -Lone Ranger: Ape surfing a (large) wave ( “a’ = ape, 'way” = wave )

back = backpack; baby back ribs; big butt woman (“Baby got back”);
be [21] = bee; Hamlet (“To be or not to be?”);
bear = a bear; Yogi Bear;
because = Bill Cosby; bee claws; bees in a car, (or a car made of bees -it buzzes fast!) bee Santa Cla
been [98] = garbage bin; Big Ben (the clock); Ben (the rat in the movie “Ben”);
before [138] = bees playing golf (“Fore!”); bee’s fort;
boy = a boy; boy toy;
but = butt; cigarette butt; bat; boot;
by = buy; baby waving bye-bye;

call [92] -=call girl; E.T. (call home);
came = cane, orgasm; Cain;
can [36] = can (tin can); candy; candy striper’
can’t ~ Immanuel Kant;
can not - can twisted and tied into a knot;
cause [ 140] - claws; Santa Claus; coz (cousin);
come - come ~ ejaculate; comb; honeycomb (dripping);

day [77] = Doris Day; Sandra Day(O’Connor); Daniel Day Lewis; pay day (peanut candy bar);
did [81] = deed; dildo; dead; Katy-did (insect);
didn’t -dentist;
did not - dildo tied in a knot;
differ - drifter; Drifters (the band);
do = doo-doo(doggy doo); Doo (big hair); dew(morning moisture); Dew(Mountain);
does -doves; does(girl deer);
do not = donut;
don’t = donkey;
down [96] = goose(source od down); street sign pointing down; drowned(body);

each - peach; itch; beach;
end - Porky Pig (saying “Th-Th-Th-Th-Th… That’s all folks!”);
ever - Ever ready Energizer Bunny;
every - ivory; Ivy; Everest (Mt.);
eye = eye; eyeball;

feel = feel up; eel;
find - Fiend;
first - thirst(in desert- have canteen); purse;
for - fore(golf); frog; Ford(truck); Ford(Henry or Gerald);
form - foam; farm;
from ~ fromage(French for cheese);frump; frumpy person; prom; drum; frown; frog; frond(fern leaf); rum(cask of);

get ~ Get Smart (TV spy comedy); glitter; grit; grits;
give - grieve;
good - God; goad; goal Goodbar ( a chocolate & peanut candy bar); goose*
goes - goose*; ghost*;
great - grater (cheese); gator (alligator); gate(Gates of Hell?); Alexander (the Great);
go ~ Go to jail (Monopoly); the game of Go; go-go dancer; gopher (like the one in Caddy Shack);

had [28] = Hades; Mad Hatter;
has [74] = ash; haze (Purple?); hash (corned beef ); hashish (with pipe);
have [24] - heaven; halve ( cuy the image in half);
he [11] = healer; He-man*; Hee-Haw (name of old country music & comedy TV show-also a term for a country rube or Hay-seed)
heart = Valentine heart; real heart (beating);
help [135] = whelp; kelp;
her [67] = hearse; hermaphrodite; hermit; Hercules; Hearst (William Randolph); herd (a herd of hers!); Hermes;
him [72] = hymn;* hem*; ham;
his [19] = hiss (cat hissing); Herman Hesse; Rudolf Hess;
hot [487] = hot pants; hotties; hut; thot (that ho’ over there); hot potato; Hottentot; hot pepper;
how [46] = Howard the Duck; Howard (Cosell) howl; (wolf howling); Indian warrior(greeting “How!”);

I [18] = aye aye; eyeball*; glass eye (suggestion-use “glass eye for “I” and “eyeball for “eye”;
if [55] = Eiffel Tower; elf;
I am =” I yam what I yam” Popeye;
in [6] = inn; hen*;
into = inter (bury); 2 inns-or inn#2; two hens; Siamese twin hens;
is [7] = Isis; (terrorist idiots) or (goddess); Izzy; Liz; lizzies; lizard;
it [8] = Cousin It (Addams Family); Evil Clown (from S. King’s novel, “IT”);
it’s = itsy bitsy spider;

just [129] = justice; Lady Justice; Justin Beiber;

know [89] = canoe; snow*;

life = Life cereal; Life magazine; Game of Life;
like [64] = lick; Ike (Eisenhower… “I like Ike”); dike;
line [137] = What’s My Line (TV show); clothes line; coke line;
little [113] = Stuart Little; litter, liter; Little Big man;
live [109] = liver; Live = live T.V. reporter;
long [Long John Silver; lung; lung fish;
look [75] = lucky Luke; Look magazine; binoculars;
love = Love American Style; Love(Courtney);
low [136] = Sweet&Low (artifical Sweetner-the pink pack one); Lowe(Rob); Lowe’s (giant box hardware store chain);

made [108] = maid*; maiden; Maid Marian(Robin Hood’s main squeeze);
make [69] Maker(from Dune); Maker’s Mark; (a good Bourbon whiskey); a big Mac; Mack Truck;
man [116] =a man; a manly man; mannequin;
many [59] = Minnie Mouse; Minnie ball; mini dress; minion; minivan; minnow; Moonies;
may {95] = May Pole; May Day; parade; maid*; mayfly;
me [122] = meal; opera singer(singing “me me me” … and she’s fat and sing’s last);
mean [142] = mean girls; meanies;
more [76] = lawn mower; moor; Moors; Moore (Thomas);
most [85] = mast; moose;
move [144] = movie; movie projector (and it’s on wheels & moving around);
much [131] = mulch; munch; munchies; munchkin;
my [82] = myna (bird- talks); Maya Angelou; Mayan;

name [126] = lame (person); Nemo;
new [102] = nude new penny (shiny);
no [84] = Dr. No; a toddler( stomping his feet and yelling “No!”);
not [30] = knot; Don Knott; Fort Knox; slip knot;
now [99] = Noah; N.O.W. (women protesters burning their bras);
number [86] = Limburger cheese; NUNs on ice BERG; Nuremberg Trials;

of [2] = oven*; dove; glove;
old [147] gold; mold; Old Father Williams (and standing on his head);
on [14] = onion; switch( on light switch); iron (clothes iron); Iron (Man);
one [23] - Juan;(Don Juan}; wand;
only [114] - Puff the magic Dragon (…in a land called Honah Lee); ornery; horny; honey*;
or [27] - ore; oar; Ruins of Orr;
other [38] - otter; udder (cow’s);
our [124] - hour glass; owl*;
out [37] - outhouse; umpire (shouting " You’re out!"); Lady Macbeth (“Out damn spot!”);
over [88] - oven*; overcoat (on a dude wearing nothing else!); Judy Garland ( Dorthy ) singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow;

part [104] - part (in hair);; fart (parts the crowd) peeing art “p” = peeing, a = “art” =art);
people [94] - peeing on a pole or peeing a pole-ouch!); apples peeing (apple juice?); a pee on top of a pole and a princess sleeping restlessly on top of it;
place [107] - a plate(place setting); palace(made of plates?);
play [158] - play dough; player (a Casanova);

right [145] - Mr. Right; Wright Brothers (and their plane) "you’re “Bloody Damn Right!”;
round [115] - a bullet(a round); round-robin; Round Table (Knights of the …);

said [47] - sled; Sid (Cesar); sad (sad clown); Sid (Vicious);
same [141] - shame; Shane; Sam ( I am);
sat [134] - Satan; marquis de Sade; suede 9blue suede shoes… Elvis?);
see [71] - seal(navy Seal); seal (animal); sea; sea weed;* (kelp); seed; see-saw;
sentence [151] - Santana (Carlos); singing tents; sentries;
set [152] - a tennis set (2 players competing); stage set; chess set;
she [50] - shepherd; She-Ra (princess of Power); sheep;
show [119] - Broadway show; snow; a Broadway show done by snowmen- (it’s a snow-show stopper)
side [97] a slide (kid’s or a ruler); sliders (little hamburgers); side of fries ( or Fry from Teen Aqua Hunger Force);
small [159] - Biggie smalls; The Incredible Shrinking Man;
so [65] sew; sewing; snow*;
some [32] - sum; (of the equation); slum; slump pump;
sooner - sonar*;
sound [83] - sounder; hound; (Hound of the Baskerville’s?); sonar*,

take [105] - taken (movie with Liam Neeson); steak; stake; cake (take the cake & run…with Liam Neeson giving chase!);
tell [150] - William Tell; telephone; the telly (T.V.); tell (cash register);
than [91] - van; hand*; hand with a cross stuck in it; fan; Afghan (shawl or dog… or both);
that [10] - Thatcher 9margaret); thot (ho); holy hat (“t” is the cross on top of the “hat”); phat (sexy girl);
the [1] - theater; drop the “t” and get he-and use He-Man); tea; thug; tee (golf thingy);
their - Truth or Dare; heir:
them [61] - them -thumb (hitch hike); hymn; hem; (of dress)- with little crosses (the “t”) dangling from the end of the “hem”);
then [61] - Thin Man; hen*; Ken (Barbie’s);
there [34] - dare devil; hare; (hare with a cross… Holy hare);
these [60] bees (many of them); “dez nuts” (famous saying loved by teenage boys); a tease ( a flirt despised by teenage boys);
they [20] - Dey (Susan); hay; cross -“t”- on a pile of hay (holy hay);
thing [70] - Thing (Fantastic Four); Thing (Addam’s Family) ding-a-ling; The Thing from the movie- for the plural form -“things”, since it assumed different identities.);
think [133] - The Thinker (Rodin’s) sink; finch; fink; Barton Fink;
this [25] - thistle; cobra hissing (“t” is the front part of a cobra upright- and it’s hissing"
three [153] - use your symbol for 3; triplets; tree* tweet;
through [128] - throne, throng; tunnel (to go through a…);
thrown - throne*;
time [54] - time machine; a dime with a tiny clock on it; cartoon alarm bell screaming “Time to get up!” slime;
to [2] - tomato*;tutu*; glue*; tooth*; toot*;tuba*; tube*;
too [148] - glue*; tutu; tomato; tooth*; tuba*; tube*;toot*;
turn [139] - turd*; tern; Turner Ted) or (Edward) or( Nat);
two [73] - use your image for 2; tuba; shoe(or 2 shoes);twins; Siamese twins; tutu*; glue*;

up [43] - Up (animated movie); a street sign with its arrow pointing upward;
us - Uncle Sam; U.S. Grant; bus;
use [44] - Jews; Uzi (machine gun);

very [127] - Vera (from Brit T.V. series); vermin;

want [154] - wonton soup; wonk; wanton person;
was [12] - wasp; wuss (coward); Fuzzy Wuzzy; rust; wet donkey (’‘w’’ = wet and’‘as’’ = ass = donkey);
water [96] - water(glass of; drop of); waiter; walter Conkrite; Walt Disney;
way [57] - wave (giant); large crowd doing "The Wave’’; Milky Way ( our galaxy or the candy bar);
we [35] - weeping willow; we-we (the noun or verb);
well [156] - well (wishing or old fashion one); oil well; Wells (H.G. or Olson);
were [39] - were-wolf*; weirdo; worm*;
what [33] - watt (light bulb); Watson (Dr. or Mr.) wet hat (’‘w’’ stands for wet and add hat to it);;
when [42] - Wayne (from Wayne’s World); John Wayne; wet hen (’‘w’’ =wet and add hen to it);
where [110] - wares; warehouse; were-wolf*;
which [51] - witch; switch (to use to whip bad little kids with); wrench; wench0;
who [87] - owl*; Dr. Who; The Who ( Rock band); Horton (hears a who!);
will [56] - Wilkinson blade; Last Will & Testament; Will Robinson (Lost in Space);
with [16] - withered; width (make image vey wide); whip;
word [45] - Bible (The Word); perv (pervert); turd*;
work [103] - wok; wreck; shipwreck;
would [62] - wood; wooden world (or globe) Woody Woodpecker); wood pile; woodchuck;
write [63] - Rite dye (wet Rite dye); last rites;

year [117] - ear; ear with Y shaped ear ring;
you [9] - ewe; U-turn street sign; You Tube; Ubik; Uber;
your [41] - yore (picture knight in suit of armor; yolk (egg) York peppermint patty; yoke (on an ox);

So now we have a list of over 190 words plus about 30 prefix and suffixes. Hopefully within the next 6 months or so I can add 1-2 hundred words to this list, so that it can become a better instrument in memorizing.