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A mnemonic (also mnemonic , watch rime , memory verse , learning slogan , or the like; rarely donkey conductor ; in Latin pons asinorum / pons asini ) is a mnemonic for impressing information ( memorizing ).

The associative working method of memory is used to memorize facts. A memorandum that expresses an unusual circumstance uses visual memory , a rhymed memorandum uses acoustic memory. In one form of memorandum, its first letters refer to an ordered list of words.

Memories have a similar function to memos , which are helpful in learning the correct spelling of words.

Memories to memorize practical rules of life are called proverbs (Greek Chrie ).

Origin of the term "Eselsbrücke"

Donkeys are very afraid of water and persistently refuse to wade through even the smallest watercourses, even if they could easily cope with them physically ("stubborn donkey"), because a donkey cannot see how deep the brook is through the reflective surface of the water. Therefore, small bridges were built for them in fords , the so-called "donkey bridges".

Analogous to this, a proverbial donkey bridge is a detour or a special effort, which nevertheless leads to the goal faster - or at all.

In addition, a donkey does not go over every bridge, because it only places its hoof on the ground that it feels completely comfortable. He only crosses a bridge that gives him security. Thus the "donkey bridge" also stands for safety.

In the mathematical literature, the name Eselsbrücke is associated with the famous basic angle law in Euclidean geometry . The well-known geometer Harold Scott MacDonald Coxeter writes in Immortal Geometry : “The name Eselsbrücke (pons asinorum) for this famous sentence probably comes from the shape of the figure in Euclid, similar to a bridge ... and from the remark that someone who has such a bridge cannot cross, a donkey is ... "


The following table shows some examples. A more extensive collection can be found in the list of memorabilia .

Area of ​​Expertise theme Facts Memorandum
music Order of the guitar strings EADGHE
(also from low to high, or on the instrument from top to bottom)
E ine a lte D ame g ing H eringe e SEN.

E in A nfänger d he G itarre h abe E IFER.

music Order of the cello strings CGDA C ellisten g arbors d ir a verything!
music Order of the major keys with increasing number of sharps GDAEH Fis G eh, d u a lter E sel, h ole Fis ch.

G eh, d u a LTES E kel, h ole Fis che.

music Order of major keys with increasing number of b FB Es As Des Ges F innovative B rötchen it sen As sessoren of Ges angs.

F ritz b ekommt There sen a u s Des sau tot chickt.
F ritz b rachte There ther As tern Des Ges angvereins.
F anny, B ertha, it ther ate en Des sert ges you.
F lotte B ienen it sen As pirin the same ges you.

music Order of the spaces between notes FACE F ritz a ß C itronen- E is.

F -driven a ns C Lavier, E mil!

music Order of the staff lines EGHDF E s g eht h urtig d urch F leiß.

E ine G ans h at d icke F ows.

Geography Stalactite caves Stalactites grow from the ceiling, stalagmites from the floor, stalagmites have grown together. Tit th hang rental en rise (resp. The Myth s are sharp mountains), a seam holds something together.
Geography Order of the cardinal points North , east , south , west
(starting with north - clockwise)
N ie o teeth S Eife w ash.

N ie o teeth S Chuhe w other.

In the east the sun rises,
in the south it takes its course,
in the west it wants to set,
in the north it can never be seen.

history Order of Chancellors after the Second World War Adenauer , Erhard , Kiesinger , Brandt , Schmidt , Kohl , Schröder , Merkel
(from 1949 until now)
A lle e hemaligen K anzler b rings s amstags k a S Emmeln m it.

A uch s in k eater B ube s chlägt k a s cheue M from.

history Order of the Federal Presidents after the Second World War Heuss , Lübke , Heinemann , Scheel , Carstens , Weizsäcker , Herzog , Rau , Köhler , Wulff , Gauck
(from 1949 to 2017)
Hay te l ässt Hein rich s a C HEF w species, Her 's r uppiger K ollege wu rde g efeuert.
astronomy Order of the planets of the solar system (from inside to outside) Mercury , Venus , Earth , Mars , Jupiter , Saturn , Uranus , Neptune
( Pluto is no longer a planet since September 2006.)
Me in V ater e rklärt m ir j Eden S onntag u nseren N night sky. (Obsolete: "... u ur n eun P laneten.")

Me in Ve tter he counts ma nchem Ju quietly union sa mstags for comic Ne uigkeiten.

astronomy Order of the spectral classes of stars OBAFGKMRNS O h, B e A F ine G irl, K iss M e R ight N ow. S mack!

O ffenbar b enutzen A stronomen f urchtbar g s k omische M erksätze. R portant n ett.
O , b ei a fill F ixsterntypen g ibt's k ennzeichnende M CHARACTERISTICS ( r portant, n maybe s paßeshalber).

Computer science Order of the layers in the OSI 7-layer reference model Physical, data link, network, transport, session, presentation, application

From bottom to top:
P hew D ead N inja T urtles S mell P articularly A wful.
P lease d o n ot t hrow s alami p izza a way!
From top to bottom:
A ll p eople s eem t o n eed D ata p rocessing.
A lle Pr iester s aufen T equila n oh d he P redigt.

chemistry The elements of the 2nd period in the periodic table Li, Be, B, C, N, O, F, Ne

Li ebe Be rta, b itte c OMM n maybe o hne f generic Ne lken.

chemistry The elements of the first main group in the periodic table ( alkali metals ) H, Li, Na, K, Rb, Cs, Fr H allo, li boar Na Chbar, k OMM r ü b it. C ä s ar fr ated.
chemistry Redox reactions and electron transfer Oxidation is the withdrawal of electrons. Reduction is the addition of electrons. Oil rig (Eng. "Oil rig") =

O xidation i s l oss, r eduction i s g ain.

Latin Endings in the neuter of the nominative and accusative cases Same endings in the nominative and accusative case The neutras have, remember,
the case one and four!
Latin Adjectives of the 3rd declension: pauper (poor), vetus (old), dives (rich), princeps (prince), particeps (partly). The poor old rich prince is attending.
Latin The personal endings of the verbs in the six personal forms: -o (1st Pers. Sin.), -S (2nd Pers. Sin.), -T (3rd Pers. Sin), -mus (1st Pers. Pl. ), -tis (2nd pers. pl.), -nt (3rd pers. pl.) After East en mus s Tis chlers e nt s go.

After East en mus s tis e nt go chen.

mathematics trigonometry The capital letters describe the trigonometric functions in mathematics.
G A. G A.
H H A. G

G - opposite side
A - adjacent side
H - hypotenuse
Hühner Hof AG

Or (in the order numerator, denominator, numerator, etc.):

G Ustav H ausers a lte H ennen g ackern a m A bend g erne.

medicine Lordosis A lordosis (in contrast to kyphosis ) means the forward curvature of the spine. The Lord stands around rather "elegant", that is, with his stomach arched forward.
physics Ohm's law U = R * I
U voltage in volts
R resistance in ohms
I current in amps
"Finger formula"
The Swiss canton or the first name Uri .

Alternatively: RUdI , R = U: I ( R = U through I )

Voltage through current
is Ohm (R = U: I).

For the "finger formula" the sentence: "The bottom line is that I calculate."

physics Lens (optics) , curved surfaces concave: the surface is curved inwards.
convex: the surface is curved outwards
The R ex is conv ex ,

the slave av 'is concave av .

Conv ex the back of the H ex '.

Konk a v like the T a l,
conv e x like the B e rg.

Conv ex like Pod ex : arched outwards.

The plate:
Konk av , the soup stays br av ,
conv ex , the soup makes great .

Was the girl br av ,
the stomach remains konk av ,
had the girl S ex ,
is conv abdominal ex .

Physics (thermodynamics) Fundamental thermodynamic equations Guggenheim notation scheme for the state variables U, V, F, T, G, p, H, S U nglaublich v everal F esearchers t Drink g erne P ils h interm S chreibtisch.
General knowledge Time change ( daylight saving time ) In spring (summer time) the clocks are put forward one hour, in autumn one hour back. In spring you put the garden chairs in front of the house, in autumn you put them back inside.

Reading English and thinking German: spring forward, fall back (in spring before , in autumn back ).

General knowledge Gross / net Gross value: usually denotes a compound size which, reduced by certain parts, results in the remaining size ( net )

Net value: without a specific, mostly undesirable part of the total

Gross is brut al much,

Net is net more so much.

See also

Further use of the word "learning aid"

  • Reading aid , widely used printed matter for schools and universities


  • Hans-Jürgen Winkler: Eselsbrücken - Gedächtnisstützen , Humboldt-Taschenbuchverlag, Munich 1972, ISBN 3-581-66197-7
  • Wolfgang Ettig: Memory training with donkey bridges . In: Falken library . Falken, Niedernhausen 1994, ISBN 3-8068-1388-4 .
  • Ursula Oppolzer: 4-7-6 - Rome was ex . 265 old and new donkey bridges. Knaur-TB, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-426-79835-5 .
  • Wolfgang Riede: Duden general education - Eselsbrücken . The most beautiful mnemonics and their meaning. Bibliographisches Institut, Mannheim 2011, ISBN 978-3-411-04180-0 .
  • Helga Schmidt: Donkey bridges . This is how you can help your memory. Edition XXL, Fränkisch-Crumbach 2007, ISBN 978-3-89736-898-9 .
  • Stefan Strixner: 7-5-3 Rome hatches out of the egg . Donkey bridges for quick markers. Gondrom, Bindlach 2007, ISBN 978-3-8112-2944-0 .
  • Albert J. Urban: Donkey bridges for bright minds . Area, Erftstadt 2005, ISBN 978-3-89996-488-2 (license from UrbanPlus, Traitsching-Loifling).
  • Dieter Neubauer : Donkey bridges to chemistry - easy access to a difficult science . Springer Fachmedien, Wiesbaden 2017, ISBN 978-3-658-17729-4 .
  • Helge Weinrebe: Donkey bridges . 400 memory aids and how to build them yourself. Anaconda, Cologne 2014, ISBN 978-3-7306-0148-8 .
  • HSM Coxeter : Immortal Geometry (German translation from: Introduction to Geometry, Wiley, 1961) . Birkhäuser, Basel [a. a.] 1963.

Web links

Wiktionary: Eselsbrücke  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Motto  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Harold Scott MacDonald Coxeter: Immortal Geometry , Birkhäuser 1963, 2nd edition 1981 (English original: Introduction to Geometry , Wiley, 1961, 2nd edition 1969), p. 19
  2. ^ Eselsbrücke: List of circle of fifths memorabilia. Retrieved February 27, 2017 .