How Do you Memorize Pegs, Rote?

I’m sure this has been answered, but I wasn’t finding what I was looking for when I searched the forum and read the getting started PDF.

Do you recall Word (I’m using animals) pegs by Rote memorization? OR

Do you place the the pegs in a memory palace for future reference to recall what letter is associated with what letter…?

Example: How would you recommend remembering “I” because it could be an Iguana, or Impala?

Last question: Do letter pegs ever double as number pegs, or is that more often a different system?

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@Frozone, I think there are two ways to remember pegs as in a bestiary. One is as you mention through use over time with rote memorization. But at the beginning, I like to create a story. My stories use quite a bit of elaboration to add detail but mainly to reinforce the ordered connector of the peg (the alphabet letter in this case).

Each memory image creates a scene or visual sentence. It sounds like a child’s story when done with a subject-action-item-location type of structure which I prefer. It’s what I call the SEA-IT structure (subject, elaborations, action, item, terrain).

The alligator’s belly aches from eating too many apples in the alley. He says “my achy, achy tummy needs some meat.” He spots and chases a bear with bees buzzing around their hive in his bedroom with honey he wants to put in a bottle. But the bear tells himself “Bee-ware!” And so on.

Concerning number pegs and letter pegs, that’s just a simple conversion and reuse. A = alligator = 5714 in the Major system and you can choose to make it a one-, two-, three-digit system if you want. B = bear = 94. You won’t have enough number pegs to fill an alphabet peg system, but you might find enough alphabet pegs for number pegs.

Using a memory palace is too much for beginning with your first alphabet pegs in my mind but it would work. The one case where I think it would be appropriate is if you create a paired peg list where you have a palace of 26 or more locations already set up for other things and don’t mind sharing the space. You might have a subject peg list (Antman, Batman, etc.) or location peg list (Alaska, Bahamas , etc.) and let them interact with the animals. But even with those, I would have a story for traversal.


Here is what worked for me:

Make animal list. Make a clear picture of each animal in your mind. Then test yourself with repetition. Use a random letter generator online (that way you get the less common letters). Visualize the animal strongly with each letter repetition. If and when you can’t think of one after some seconds, look at your list. Repeat that until you have them all memorized. Then start using them.

If you are picturing an iguana strongly, the word “impala” or an image of an impala, should not show up.

If you want to use a memory palace, you can but I’d just use some temporary location. You will use these characters enough that you won’t need to refer to the location much, if at all. I didn’t use a memory palace.

I don’t know that I would call that rote exactly , since you are using images, which is a mnemonic.

Have fun. The animal list is very useful. I use mine every day.

Thank you for the reply! I was thinking about what @thinkaboutthebible was saying about a story line. I was thinking, “man that’s not a complicated story, it’s a super easy simple story but I wouldn’t have thought of that.”

With your point @deeptravel about the animals, I’ll have to actually some how associate a real picture I can see for a number of the images, because it is difficult for me to picture it in my mind. If I see a specific picture of something enough There’ll be a concrete thing for my “mind’s eye” to reference which I think will help form the connection…


You could make a peg-palace. That is, a memory palace where you associate the loci with meanings as you go. It’s like you simultaneously make the memory palace and associations in real-time. The loci be the pegs.

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