Why must words in major system consist of 2 consonant sounds and not 3 or 4?

Hi there,
I am currently compiling a list of pegs for 00-99 numbers and I got stuck a little. The list consists of nouns, and action associated with these nouns. E.g. 22 corresponds to a word “Nun” and action “Praying”.

QUESTION 1: If I am learning 00-99 pegs and will never have a need to expand to 000-999, why do I need to use pegs that consist strictly of 2 consonant sounds?

It is sometimes hard to find two consonants words for a given two digit number that is memorable and has easy to assign action associated with it.

For instance number 26. I could only come up with “notch”, which is not only difficult to visualise, utilise in the scene, but very difficult to assign an action to.
For instance for 92: “pen” doesn’t do anything, but can be used to create an action. That is, however, another layer of complexity which makes it more difficult to remember.

So for instance why not using “painter” for number “92” since we don’t care what comes after “n”? Action would be “paints” which would be easy to remember and unique.

QUESTION 2: Provided that it is possible to have more than 2 consonant sounds in the nouns, would it be better then to assign each 2 digit number with an animal/insect/human/profession that can be easily assigned a specific and memorable action.

This way the list would be much easier to put together and actions would be much easier to associate. Examples:
22: Nun prays, 17: dog barks, 71: cat miaws, 30: mosquito sucks blood, etc.

Then long number would be using a sequence of alternative beings with actions:

22177130 would represent: a nun barking at a cat that is sucking blood from its own leg.

(if I was to suck blood from another being that would be confusing because I would think the other animal represents an additional 2 digit number).


Says who? As far as I know, and i know very little, there aren’t many hard and fast ‘rules’ (if any) in mnemonics. Surely you can name a peg “Parastratiosphecomyia sphecomyioides” IF it works for you?


I just looked up definitions online, wikipedia, other sites that talk about Major System, and in all cases I have seen are lists of 2 consonant sound words. I was just wondering if there is any specific reason for it that I might not be aware of.

Others might be restricting peg words to two consonants to maintain the flexibility to also handle three or more digits. It doesn’t mean you need to do it that way.

Just off the top of my head, 26 could also be inch, haunch, hinge, wench, niche, or winch.

If I wanted peg words for actions as well as objects, I would just use the Major system directly. 15 could be dig, 91 be bite, 81 be fight, for example.

Thanks Elswithers,
Why do you think that it is easier to remember two words associated directly to the number such as
91= bus for noun and bite for verb
rather than remember a number associated with noun and then action associated with noun as I mentioned in my example above?
(just trying to figure out what is the most efficient method).
Also if the noun is an profession/animal/specific person wouldn’t it be easier to associate actions to these nouns?

It’s okay to use longer words, like your “painter” for 92 example.

Some of my images originally came from the Major System and they have more than two consonants:

  • 07 — iCe Cubes
  • 10 — oTiS redding
  • 19 — wooDPecker
  • 21 — aNTelope
  • 27 — aNCHor
  • 32 — aMNeris
  • etc.

That sounds like a kind of Person-Action System. You might also be interested in the PAO System and the how to memorize numbers page.

You like more than two digits consonant word
So I made this list
I hope it will help you
01 - Sita (wife of ram) , Sodi (tarak Mehta serial)
02 - Santa Claus , Sandshrew (Pokemon) ,
Sundar Pichai (CEO of Google) ,
Sandeep Maheshwari (motivational speaker)
03 - Simaran
04 - Srininivasa Ramanujan (Mathematician)
05 - Salman Khan
06 - Sage Northcut ( martial artist)
07 - Sukhdev ( Revolutionar)
08 - Saif Ali Khan (Indian actor)
Shiva (cartoon character)
09 - Subhash Chasndra Bose (political leader)
10 - Disha Patani (Indian actress)
11 - Dodo (Bird)
12 - Don
13 - Tom
14 - Dora (cartoon character)
15 - Doll
16 - Tiger , Tiger Shroff (actor)
17 - Tekkan game player
18 - Dave (British rapper)
19 - Tappu (tarak Mehta serial character)
20 - Naas Botha (south African rugby :rugby_football: player)
21 - Nita ambani
22 - Ninja
23 - Nimrat (serial character)
24 - Nora
25 - Nelson Mandela
Neil’s Bohr


I think the first rule of mnemonics is there are no rules. What works best for you is best.

In my case, it seems more direct and foolproof to say, for example, that “pray” means 94–than to say “pray” means “nun” and “nun” means 22.

I think I prefer various objects to professions, etc. An image of a pineapple jumping on a trampoline is more vivid and memorable than an accountant jumping on a trampoline. But others may feel differently.


Thanks Elswithers, yes I can see your point. Initially I thought that “praying” is synonymous with a nun so it would be a quick association to number 22, but I’ll need to test if maybe your method isn’t more memorable for me :slight_smile:

Thanks Josh! Makes sense, will do something similar.
As for the second question, I wanted to use major system, where 1 is S,T, 2 is N etc, but have either personalities or animals as a noun and actions associated or as Elswithers suggested, have action linked directly to the number (still deciding that). So I guess it would be like P.A. system but with Major System consonant to digit assignment.

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Thanks Raja, your list looks good!