Pangram (Word Play)

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Nordquist, Richard. "Pangram (Word Play)." ThoughtCo, Apr. 10, 2017, thoughtco.com/pangram-word-play-term-1691561. Nordquist, Richard. (2017, April 10). Pangram (Word Play). Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/pangram-word-play-term-1691561 Nordquist, Richard. "Pangram (Word Play)." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/pangram-word-play-term-1691561 (accessed October 20, 2017).
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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. (Yves Adams/Getty Images)

A pangram is a sentence or expression that uses all the letters of the alphabet. Adjective: pangrammatic. Also called a holoalphabetic sentence or an alphabet sentence.


The words in a "genuine" pangram (one in which each letter appears only once) are sometimes called non-pattern words.

The best known pangram in English is "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog," a sentence that's often used for touch-typing practice.

"Sensewise," says Howard Richler, "pangrams are the antithesis to palindromes. For in palindromes the sense increases with the brevity of the palindromic statement; in pangrams sense usually deteriorates proportionately with brevity" (A Bawdy LanguageHow a Second-rate Language Slept Its Way to the Top, 1999).

See the examples below. Also see:

Examples

  • Two driven jocks help fax my big quiz.​
  • Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs
  • The five boxing wizards jump quickly
  • Bright vixens jump; dozy fowl quack
  • Jackdaws love my big sphinx of quartz
  • John quickly extemporized five tow bags
  • Waltz, nymph, for quick jigs vex Bud
  • Quick wafting zephyrs vex bold Jim
  • Brown jars prevented the mixture from freezing too quickly
  • Fred specialized in the job of making very quaint wax toys
  • New job: fix Mr Gluck's hazy TV, PD
  • Sixty zippers were quickly picked from the woven jute bag
  • We promptly judged antique ivory buckles for the next prize
  • J.Q. Schwartz flung V.D. Pike my box
  • Viewing quizzical abstracts mixed up hefty jocks
  • Farmer jack realized that big yellow quilts were expensive
  • My girl wove six dozen plaid jackets before she quit
  • My favorite proposal for a 26-letter pangram requires an entire story for comprehension (thanks to Dan Lufkin of Hood College):
    During World War I, Lawrence's Arab Legion was operating on the southern flank of the Ottoman Empire. Hampered by artillery fire from across a river, Lawrence asked for a volunteer to cross the river at night and locate the enemy guns. An Egyptian soldier stepped forward. The man was assigned to Lawrence's headquarters [G.H.Q. for 'general headquarters'--this becomes important later] and had a reputation for bringing bad luck. But Lawrence decided to send him. The mission was successful and the soldier appeared, at dawn the next morning, at a remote sentry post near the river, dripping wet, shivering, and clad in nothing but his underwear and native regimental headgear. The sentry wired to Lawrence for instructions, and he replied:

    Warm plucky G.H.Q. jinx, fez to B.V.D.'s
    (Stephen Jay Gould, Bully for Brontosaurus. W. W. Norton, 1992)

Pronunciation: PAN-gram

Also Known As: holoalphabetic sentence, alphabet sentence