Memorizing Lists with Peg Words

by thememorypage

2.3 • Using Peg Words to Memorize a List

Once you have taken the time to memorize your peg words, using the system is easy. As a simple example, we’ll use the rhyming peg words and the country list example:

1 (bun)     Canada    2 (shoe)    USA    3 (tree)    Mexico    4 (door)    Belize    5 (hive)    Guatemala    6 (sticks)  El Salvador

Note: This is an example only. You don’t have to use the mental pictures that I suggest here; you should use those that work the best for you. You can also use your own peg words.

1. When I think of Canada, I think of a maple leaf, because that’s what is on their flag. So I’ll associate a maple leaf with a bun. I can imagine making a hot dog, but instead of a wiener, I put maple leaves in the bun. Now I eat it. Ugh! It’s tough! And it doesn’t taste very good! That should be a memorable picture.

2. The good ol’ USA reminds me of Uncle Sam. So I might picture old Uncle Sam in some very new tennis shoes. There is a curious look on his face as he looks at his new shoes.

3. I think of a Mexican climbing a tree and getting stuck in it. Since this picture isn’t as vivid as the others, I’ll try to study it for a longer time in my mind and try to add details… such as carefully considering the exact skin color of the Mexican, what clothes he is wearing, what is his (or her) age, what type of tree he’s in, etc.

4. Belize sounds like “breeze.” I think of a strong breeze causing a door to slam shut! (This picture worked out nicely!)

5. Guatemala sounds somewhat like “go to mall”. I might think of a bee leaving a bee hive and traveling some distance to arrive at a huge bee hive which could be a shopping mall for bees!

6. El Salvador ends in “vador” which reminds me of Darth Vader. I might think of Darth Vader using a stick instead of a light saber!

With these vivid pictures, recall should be easy. Given any country, I can recall the number or vice-versa. Examples:

I’m given the country Belize. I think of the breeze. What about it? Aha… it’s a strong breeze, and it causes a door to slam shut. “Four is a door”, so I know the correct number is four.

I’m given the number 6. “Six is sticks,” so I need to think of what I associated with sticks. I recall the humorous image of Darth Vader using a stick instead of a light saber. “Vader” … what country has to do with “vader”? Aha… it must be “El Sal-vador”.

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