Saturday, August 18, 2007



A pangram is a sentence that contains all letters of the alphabet. Less frequently, such sentences are called holalphabetic sentences. Interesting pangrams are generally short ones; constructing a sentence that includes the fewest repeat letters possible is a challenging task. However, pangrams that are slightly longer yet enlightening, humorous, or eccentric are noteworthy in their own right.
By far the most well-known pangram is,

"The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog."

Frequently this is the sentence used to test out new typewriters, presumably because it includes every letter of the alphabet. Curiously, this sentence is often misquoted by changing "jumps" to "jumped." The past tense version, lacking an s, is not a pangram. Often, too, it is misquoted as "the lazy dog" rather than "a lazy dog." This error is not as grievous; the sentence remains a pangram, just a slightly longer one.

Unfortunately, to my knowledge, there are no particularly clever 26 letter pangrams in English. Constructing a sentence that uses every letter of the alphabet once and no more -- essentially an anagram of the alphabet -- seems to require the use of acronyms, initials, and strange punctuation. The most interesting I've seen is, "Glum Schwartzkopf vex'd by NJ IQ."

Also note the section on autograms, as that contains some autograms (sentences that self-document their letter content) that are also pangrams.

A number of pangrams are given below, listed from longest to shortest.



Forsaking monastic tradition, twelve jovial friars gave up their vocation for a questionable existence on the flying trapeze.
(106 letters)
No kidding -- Lorenzo called off his trip to visit Mexico City just because they told him the conquistadores were extinct.
(99 letters)
Jelly-like above the high wire, six quaking pachyderms kept the climax of the extravaganza in a dazzling state of flux.
(96 letters)
Ebenezer unexpectedly bagged two tranquil aardvarks with his jiffy vacuum cleaner. (71 letters)
Six javelins thrown by the quick savages whizzed forty paces beyond the mark.
(64 letters)
The explorer was frozen in his big kayak just after making queer discoveries.
(64 letters)
The July sun caused a fragment of black pine wax to ooze on the velvet quilt.
(61 letters)
The public was amazed to view the quickness and dexterity of the juggler.
(60 letters)
While Suez sailors wax parquet decks, Afghan Jews vomit jauntily abaft.
(59 letters)
We quickly seized the black axle and just saved it from going past him.
(57 letters)
Six big juicy steaks sizzled in a pan as five workmen left the quarry.
(56 letters)
While making deep excavations we found some quaint bronze jewelry.
(56 letters)
Jaded zombies acted quaintly but kept driving their oxen forward.
(55 letters)
A mad boxer shot a quick, gloved jab to the jaw of his dizzy opponent.
(54 letters)
The job requires extra pluck and zeal from every young wage earner.
(54 letters)
A quart jar of oil mixed with zinc oxide makes a very bright paint.
(53 letters)
Whenever the black fox jumped, the squirrel gazed suspiciously.
(53 letters)
We promptly judged antique ivory buckles for the next prize.
(50 letters)
How razorback-jumping frogs can level six piqued gymnasts!
(49 letters)
Crazy Fredericka bought many very exquisite opal jewels.
(48 letters)
Sixty zippers were quickly picked from the woven jute bag.
(48 letters)
Amazingly few discotheques provide jukeboxes.
(40 letters)
Heavy boxes perform quick waltzes and jigs.
(36 letters)
Jinxed wizards pluck ivy from the big quilt.
(36 letters)
Big Fuji waves pitch enzymed kex liquor.
(33 letters)
The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog.
(33 letters)
Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs.
(32 letters)
Jackdaws love my big sphinx of quartz.
(31 letters)
The five boxing wizards jump quickly.
(31 letters)
How quickly daft jumping zebras vex.
(30 letters)
Quick zephyrs blow, vexing daft Jim.
(29 letters)
Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow.
(29 letters)
Waltz, nymph, for quick jigs vex Bud.
(28 letters)
Blowzy night-frumps vex'd Jack Q.
(26 letters)
Glum Schwartzkopf vex'd by NJ IQ.
(26 letters)