A pangram or holoalphabetic sentence is a sentence using every letter of a given alphabet at least once. Pangrams have been used to display typefaces, test equipment, and develop skills in handwriting, calligraphy, and typing.


An example of "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog".
An English language pangram being used to demonstrate the Bitstream Vera Sans typeface.

The best-known English pangram is "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog".[1] It has been used since at least the late 19th century,[1] was used by Western Union to test Telex/TWX data communication equipment for accuracy and reliability.[2] Pangrams like this are now used by a number of computer programs to display computer typefaces.

Short pangrams

Short pangrams in English are more difficult to devise and tend to use uncommon words and unnatural sentences. Longer pangrams afford more opportunity for humor, cleverness, or thoughtfulness.

The following are examples of pangrams that are shorter than "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" (which has 35 letters) and use standard written English without abbreviations or proper nouns:

Perfect pangrams

A perfect pangram contains every letter of the alphabet only once and can be considered an anagram of the alphabet. The only perfect pangrams of the English alphabet that are known use abbreviations or other non-dictionary words, such as "Mr Jock, TV quiz PhD, bags few lynx",[3] or use words so obscure that the phrase is hard to understand, such as "Cwm fjord glyphs vext bank quiz" (developed by Robert L Birch (ca.1965), & improved for meaning by JRBirch),[3] in which cwm is a loan word from the Welsh language meaning a steep-sided glaciated valley, and vext is an uncommon way to spell vexed. The meaning, clear only to those with an above average vocabulary, is less concisely that the petroglyphs found on the cwm walls of a Nordic fjord, challenged the validity of an archaeological quiz about the banks of that fjord.(--JRB)

Other writing systems may present more options: The Iroha is a well-known perfect pangram of the Japanese syllabary, while the Hanacaraka is a perfect pangram for the Javanese script and is commonly used to order its letters in sequence.[citation needed]

Other languages using the Latin script

Whereas the English language uses all 26 letters of the Latin alphabet in native and naturalized words, many other languages using the same alphabet do not. Pangram writers in these languages are forced to choose between only using those letters found in native words or incorporating exotic loanwords into their pangrams. Some words, such as the Gaelic-derived whisk(e)y, which has been borrowed by many languages and uses the letters k, w and y, are a frequent fixture of many foreign pangrams.

There are also languages that also use other Latin characters that do not appear in the traditional 26 letters of the Latin alphabet. This differs further from English pangrams, with letters such as ç, ä, and š.

Zəfər, jaketini də papağını da götür, bu axşam hava çox soyuq olacaq. ("Zəfər, take your jacket and cap, it will be very cold tonight") is a pangram that contains all 32 letters from the Azeri alphabet.
Příliš žluťoučký kůň úpěl ďábelské ódy. ("A horse that was too yellow moaned devilish odes") is the most commonly used one, especially to test alphabet support with fonts. This sentence includes all Czech letters with diacritics, but not all basic letters. To include all basic letters, including letters that only occur in loanwords (g, q, w, x), this one is used: Nechť již hříšné saxofony ďáblů rozezvučí síň úděsnými tóny waltzu, tanga a quickstepu. ("May the sinful saxophones of devils echo through the hall with dreadful melodies of waltz, tango and quickstep.").
Høj bly gom vandt fræk sexquiz på wc. ("Tall shy groom won naughty sexquiz on wc") A perfect pangram, using every letter exactly once (Including the more unusual letters as q, w, and x, and including the Danish æ, ø, and å).[5]
Pa's wijze lynx bezag vroom het fikse aquaduct. ("Dad's wise lynx piously looked at the sizable aqueduct.")
Eble ĉiu kvazaŭ-deca fuŝĥoraĵo ĝojigos homtipon. ("Maybe every quasi-fitting bungle-choir makes a human type happy.")
Laŭ Ludoviko Zamenhof bongustas freŝa ĉeĥa manĝaĵo kun spicoj. ("According to Ludwig Zamenhof, fresh Czech food with spices tastes good.")
"Dzigbe zã nyuie na wò, ɣeyiɣi didi aɖee nye sia no see, ɣeyiɣi aɖee nye sia tso esime míeyi suku", "Ŋdɔ nyui, ɛ nyteƒe, míagakpɔ wò ake wuieve kele ʋ heda kpedeŋu". ("Have a nice birthday tonight, it's been a long time no see, it's been a while since we were in school. Good afternoon, yes, see you again at twelve o'clock in the morning.") is a two-part pangram consisting of a statement and response.
Törkylempijävongahdus. (Although difficult to translate because of its non-practical use, it roughly means "a whinge of a sleazy lover") A perfect pangram not using any of the special letters used in Finnish only for foreign words (b, c, f, q, š, w, x, z, ž, å).
Albert osti fagotin ja töräytti puhkuvan melodian. ("Albert bought a bassoon and blew a puffing tune"). An imperfect pangram not using some of the special letters used in Finnish only for foreign words (q, w, x, z, å) but which makes perfect everyday sense.
On sangen hauskaa, että polkupyörä on maanteiden jokapäiväinen ilmiö. ("It is rather fun that bicycles are a daily phenomenon on the countryroads.") An imperfect pangram not containing the previously mentioned special letters.
Wieniläinen siouxia puhuva ökyzombi diggaa Åsan roquefort-tacoja ("Viennese rich zombie who can speak Sioux likes Åsa's Roquefort tacos") contains all the letters of the Finnish alphabet.
Portez ce vieux whisky au juge blond qui fume ("Take this old whisky to the blond judge who is smoking") uses each basic consonant once, though not any letters with diacritics.
Victor jagt zwölf Boxkämpfer quer über den großen Sylter Deich ("Victor chases twelve boxers across the Great Levee of Sylt") contains all letters, including the umlauted vowels (ä, ö, ü) and ß. The letter y is limited to loanwords and proper names like Sylt[citation needed].
Egy hűtlen vejét fülöncsípő, dühös mexikói úr ázik Quitóban.
Kæmi ný öxi hér, ykist þjófum nú bæði víl og ádrepa. ("If a new axe were here, thieves would feel increasing deterrence and punishment") contains all 32 letters in the Icelandic alphabet including the vowels with diacritics (á, é, í, ó, ú, ý, and ö) as well as the letters ð, þ, and æ. It does not include the letters c, q, w and z.
Muharjo seorang xenofobia universal yang takut pada warga jazirah, contohnya Qatar. ("Muharjo is a universal xenophobic who fears the peninsula residents, such as Qatar.") contains all 26 letters in the Indonesian alphabet, including the foreign letters q, v and x.
Tokoh qari bonceng juru xilofon di vespanya muzawir. ("The quran reciter figure gives the xylophone expert a ride on the tour guide's vespa.") contains all 26 letters in the Indonesian alphabet. It also contains only the words that are in the Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia.
D'ith cat mór dubh na héisc lofa go pras ("A large black cat ate the rotten fish promptly") has 31 letters and includes all 18 letters found in native Irish words, but does not include the accented á, í, or ú, nor the non-accented e.
Pranzo d'acqua fa volti sghembi ("A lunch of water makes twisted faces") has 26 letters and includes all 21 letters found in native Italian words. It does not include the five letters which are not found in any Italian words, except for some loanwords: j, k, w, y, and x.
Cem vî Feqoyê pîs zêdetir ji çar gulên xweşik hebûn ("There were more than four beautiful flowers near the filthy Feqo") has 42 letters and includes all 31 letters found in Kurdish words. This pangram was created by Îrec Mêhrbexş in 2023.
Zażółć gęślą jaźń ("Make the ego yellow with a gusle") - contains all diactrics, but not every letter and is mainly used to test font support
To test all letters used in Polish language, two perfect pangrams are most commonly used:
Pchnąć w tę łódź jeża lub ośm skrzyń fig ("Push a hedgehog or eight crates of figs in this boat") - most commonly used, perfect pangram, archaic spelling of osiem
Mężny bądź, chroń pułk twój i sześć flag ("Be brave, protect your regiment and six flags") - another pangram in common use
Stróż pchnął kość w quiz gędźb vel fax myjń. ("The watchman pushed the bone into a quiz of the musics or a fax of the washes") - a perfect pangram containing all letters, including those used only in loan words: q, v, x.[6]
Ré só que vê galã sexy pôr kiwi talhado à força em baú põe juíza má em pânico. ("Lone defendant that sees a sexy hunk forcibly stuff a chopped kiwi in a trunk sets bad judge in a panic.") uses all diacritics and all letters from the Portuguese alphabet. The letters k, w, and y are only found in loanwords.
Încă vând gem, whisky bej și tequila roz, preț fix. ("[I'm] still selling jam, beige whisky, and pink tequila, [with a] fixed price.") contains all letters, including Romanian diacritics: ă, â, î, ș, and ț. The letters q, w, and y were introduced in the Romanian alphabet in 1982 with the first DOOM dictionary. They are used for loan words such as quodlibet, watt, and yoga. The letter k is also rarely used, mainly for names and international neologisms such as kilogram and folk.[7]
Ljubazni fenjerdžija čađavog lica hoće da mi pokaže štos. (A kind lantern with a sooty face wants to show me a stunt.)
Benjamín pidió una bebida de kiwi y fresa. Noé, sin vergüenza, la más exquisita champaña del menú ("Benjamin ordered a kiwi and strawberry drink. Noah, without shame, the most exquisite champagne on the menu") uses all diacritics and the foreign letters k and w.
Kŕdeľ šťastných ďatľov učí pri ústí Váhu mĺkveho koňa obhrýzať kôru a žrať čerstvé mäso. ("A flock of happy woodpeckers by the mouth of the river Váh is teaching a silent horse to nibble on bark and feed on fresh meat") contains all letters in the Slovak alphabet. It does not include the letters f, g, j, l, q, w, x, y, as well as accented vowels á and ó.
Swedish[8][circular reference]
Flygande bäckasiner söka hwila på mjuka tuvor ("Flying snipes seek rest on soft tussocks") is missing q, x and z. Uses archaic spellings.
Yxmördaren Julia Blomqvist på fäktning i Schweiz ("Axe killer Julia Blomqvist on fencing in Switzerland") uses the name "Julia Blomqvist" and the Swedish name for Switzerland.
Schweiz för lyxfjäder på qvist bakom ugn ("Switzerland brings luxury feather on branch behind oven") feels quite contrived. The duplicated letters spell out serif.
FAQ om Schweiz: Klöv du trång pjäxby? ("FAQ about Switzerland: Did you cleave a narrow village of ski boots?") uses the English abbreviation FAQ alongside some made-up compounds.
Yxskaftbud, ge vår WC-zonmö IQ-hjälp ("Axe-handle carrier, give our WC zone-maiden IQ support")
Gud hjälpe Zorns mö qwickt få byx av ("God help Zorn's maiden quickly get her pants off") uses both old-fashioned spelling and the dialectal form byx.
Byxfjärmat föl gick på duvshowen ("Foal without pants went to the dove show") is missing q and z.
Pijamalı hasta yağız şoföre çabucak güvendi ("The sick person in pyjamas quickly trusted the swarthy driver") contains all of the letters in the Turkish alphabet.

Other alphabetic scripts

Non-Latin alphabetic or phonetic scripts such as Greek, Cyrillic, and others can also have pangrams.[9] In some writing systems, exactly what counts as a distinct symbol can be debated. For example, many languages have accents or other diacritics, but one might count "é" and "e" as the same for pangrams. A similar problem arises for older English orthography that includes the long s ("ſ").

Съешь ещё этих мягких французских булок, да выпей же чаю ("Eat more of these soft French loaves and drink a tea") is most commonly used. Its variation is used by Windows FontView. Another popular pangram is В чащах юга жил бы цитрус? Да, но фальшивый экземпляр! ("Would a citrus live in the jungles of the south? Yes, but a fake specimen!"). This pangram is used by GNOME.

Non-alphabetic scripts

Logographic scripts, or writing systems such as Chinese that do not use an alphabet but are composed principally of logograms, cannot produce pangrams in a literal sense (or at least, not pangrams of reasonable size). The total number of signs is large and imprecisely defined, so producing a text with every possible sign is practically impossible. However, various analogies to pangrams are feasible, including traditional pangrams in a romanization.

In Japanese, although typical orthography uses kanji (logograms), pangrams can be made using every kana, or syllabic character. The Iroha is a classic example of a perfect pangram in non-Latin script.

In Chinese, the Thousand Character Classic is a 1000-character poem in which each character is used exactly once; however, it does not include all Chinese characters. The single character (permanence) incorporates all the basic strokes used to write Chinese characters, using each stroke exactly once, as described in the Eight Principles of Yong.

Among abugida scripts, an example of a perfect pangram is the Hanacaraka (hana caraka; data sawala; padha jayanya; maga bathanga) of the Javanese script, which is used to write the Javanese language in Indonesia.

ঊনিশে কার্তিক রাত্র সাড়ে আট ঘটিকায় ভৈরবনিবাসী ব্যাংকের ক্ষুদ্র ঋণগ্রস্ত অভাবী দুঃস্থ পৌঢ় কৃষক এজাজ মিঞা হাতের কাছে ঔষধ থাকিতেও ঐ ঋণের ডরেই চোখে ঝাপসা দেখিয়া বুকের যন্ত্রণায় ঈষৎ কাঁপিয়া উঠিয়া উঠানে বিছানো ধূসর রঙের ফরাশের উপর ঢলিয়া পড়িলেন।
All 50 letters of the Bengali alphabet are present in this pangram created by Sahidul and published in Shubach Little Mag.

Self-enumerating pangrams

A self-enumerating pangram is a pangrammatic autogram, or a sentence that inventories its own letters, each of which occurs at least once. The first example was produced by Rudy Kousbroek, a Dutch journalist and essayist, who publicly challenged Lee Sallows, a British recreational mathematician resident in the Netherlands, to produce an English translation of his Dutch pangram. In the sequel, Sallows built an electronic "pangram machine", that performed a systematic search among millions of candidate solutions. The machine was successful in identifying the following 'magic' translation:[10][11][12]

This pangram contains four As, one B, two Cs, one D, thirty Es, six Fs, five Gs, seven Hs, eleven Is, one J, one K, two Ls, two Ms, eighteen Ns, fifteen Os, two Ps, one Q, five Rs, twenty-seven Ss, eighteen Ts, two Us, seven Vs, eight Ws, two Xs, three Ys, & one Z.

Chris Patuzzo was able to reduce the problem of finding a self-enumerating pangram to the boolean satisfiability problem. He did this by using a made-to-order hardware description language as a stepping stone and then applied the Tseytin transformation to the resulting chip.[13][14]

Pangrams in literature

The pangram "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog", and the search for a shorter pangram, are the cornerstone of the plot of the novel Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn.[15] The search successfully comes to an end when the phrase "Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs" is discovered (which has only 6 duplicated vowels).

The scientific paper Cneoridium dumosum (Nuttall) Hooker F. Collected March 26, 1960, at an Elevation of about 1450 Meters on Cerro Quemazón, 15 Miles South of Bahía de Los Angeles, Baja California, México, Apparently for a Southeastward Range Extension of Some 140 Miles has a pangrammatic title, seemingly by pure chance. As of January 2022, its English Wikipedia article is the only English Wikipedia article to have a pangrammatic title without having been constructed as a pangram.[16]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Current Notes". The Boston Journal: 1. February 10, 1885.
  2. ^ a b Evans, Rod L. (2012-06-05). Tyrannosaurus Lex: The Marvelous Book of Palindromes, Anagrams, and Other Delightful and Outrageous Wordplay. Penguin. p. 51. ISBN 978-1-10-158863-5.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Augarde, Tony (2003). The Oxford guide to word games (2nd ed.). Oxford [England]: Oxford University Press. pp. 119–120. ISBN 0-19-866264-5. OCLC 51437459.
  4. ^ Naulty, Leslie (30 September 1913). "The Pan-Alphabet Chief: Seven Word, Twenty-Nine Letter Sentence Takes the Record". The New York Times. pp. 6, Column 6, Bottom half of page. Retrieved 22 September 2022.
  5. ^ pangram author Kenneth Rosenkilde (2000), pangram noted here by Martin B. Borup.[full citation needed]
  6. ^ Ciura, Marcin (2018-12-17). "More perfect Polish pangrams". marcinciura.wordpress.com.
  7. ^ (in Romanian) Academia Română, Dicționarul explicativ al limbii române, Entry for K, Editura Univers Enciclopedic, 1998, dexonline.ro
  8. ^ "Pangram".
  9. ^ backpacker.gr Some Greek pangrams
  10. ^ Dewdney, A.K. (October 1984). "Computer Recreations". Scientific American. pp. 18–22.
  11. ^ "In quest of a pangram". Abacus (defunct mag.). Vol. 2, no. 3. New York, NY: Springer Verlag. Spring 1985. pp. 22–40.
  12. ^ Weiss, E.A., ed. (1987). ""In quest of a pangram" (abridged reprint)". A Computer Science Reader. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag. pp. 200–220. ISBN 0-387-96544-0.
  13. ^ Seemingly disconnected things (podcast). Why are computers. Retrieved 2016-08-19.
  14. ^ "Another approach for finding self-enumerating pangrams". Chapter 35: Sequential sorting. The New Turing Omnibus. § show & tell. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
  15. ^ Malin, Irving (2003). "Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel In Letters". Review of Contemporary Fiction. 23 (2): 153.
  16. ^ "List of page titles in main namespace". enwiki dump progress on 20220101. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 14 January 2022.