List of anatomy mnemonics

This is a list of human anatomy mnemonics, categorized and alphabetized. For mnemonics in other medical specialties, see this list of medical mnemonics. Mnemonics serve as a systematic method for remembrance (not "rembrance") of functionally or sytemically related items within regions of larger fields of study, such as those found in the study of specific areas of human anatomy, such as the bones in the hand, the inner ear, or the foot, or the elements comprising the human biliary system or arterial system.


Bones of the Upper Limbs

How Rare U Cook Mesquite Pork?

Hurry! Ralph Untie Carol's Mini Pechay

He Races Until Chunky Men Pace

  • Humerus
  • Radius
  • Ulna
  • Carpal bones
  • Metacarpal bones
  • Phalanges

(In order from proximal to distal)

Bones of the Arm

"Ultra Red Hair"

"Ultimate Rave Headquarters

Usually Really Hard

Unemployment Rises High

  • Ulna
  • Radius
  • Humerus




A bone

Bones of the Hand

"Please Make Cookies"

"Please Massage Chest"

People Make Choices

  • Phalanges
  • Metacarpal bones
  • Carpal bones

(These are in order from the distal end of the fingertips to the wrist)

Carpal bones
  • Carpal Bones:

Sally Left The Party To Take Cathy Home:

She Looks Too Pretty Try To Catch Her:

Some Lovers Try Positions That They Can't Handle:
Scaphoid, Lunate, Triquetrum, Pisiform, Trapezium, Trapezoid, Capitate, Hamate.

  • Carpal bones:

So Long To Pinky, Here Comes The Thumb:
Scaphoid, Lunate, Triquetrum, Pisiform, Hamate, Capitate, Trapezoid, Trapezium.

  • Carpal Bones:

""" T T Table Par Chillate hui Sunny Leone """, , APG-007

Bones of the Phalanges

Damn My Pinky!

Dick Move Pal!

Distance My People

Don't Make Problems

  • Distal phalanx
  • Middle phalanx
  • Proximal phalanx

(From distal to proximal.)

Bones of the head

Cranial Bones

F POETS "Fluffy Puppies On Every Third Street"

Fit People Occasionally Eat Table Salt

Fat People Only Eat Thick Steak

Funny People Over Entertainment Try Songs

  • Frontal
  • Parietal
  • Occipital
  • Ethmoid
  • Temporal
  • Sphenoid

Fraternity Parties Occasionally Teach Spam Etiquette

  • Frontal
  • Parietal
  • Occipital
  • Temporal
  • Sphenoid
  • Ethmoid

Old People From Texas Eat Spiders

  • Occipital
  • Parietal
  • Frontal
  • Temporal
  • Ethmoid
  • Sphenoid


Very bad


Makes my



Bones of the Pectoral Girdle and Arm


Clearwater Sucks

Crazy Seals

  • Clavicle
  • Scapula

Spine (Vertebral Column)

Can This Little Servant Cook ?

(These are in order superior to inferior- or starting from the top of the spine to the bottom.)

"Can Tall Ladies Sit Comfortably"

"Can The Ladies Stand Comfortably"

"Candy Takes Liking Stripping Catiously"

Can Tinkerbell Let Stars Collide

  • Breakfast at 7:00 - 7 cervical vertebrae
  • Lunch at 12:00 - 12 thoracic vertebrae
  • Dinner at 5:00 - 5 lumbar vertebrae

Projections of Bone

PTTTCC "People Take Teaspoons Temporarily Causing Constipation

  • Process
  • Tubercle
  • Tuberosity
  • Trochanter
  • Condyle
  • Crest

Humerus tubercles (Bone projections)

Humerus tubercles

Girls In Leadership

  • Greater tubercle
  • Intertubercular groove
  • Lesser tubercle

Bone Markings of Humerus

Let's Rewatch Criminal Minds

Let's Roll Clay Moons

  • L-lateral epicondyle
  • R-radial fossa
  • C-coronoid fossa
  • M-medial epicondyle

Holes and Depressions in Bones

FFNF "Fireman Fight Notorious Fires

Flowers Flow Neatly Fabulously

Family Feuds are No Fun

  • Foramen
  • Fissure
  • Notch
  • Fossa


Rotator Cuff Muscles


"Sit In The Seat" / The humerus SITS in the glenoid fossa

Shit I Trusted Sam

Swimming In The Summer

She Is The Scientist

  • Supraspinatus
  • Infraspinatus
  • Teres Minor
  • Subscapularis

Scooby Investigated The Mysterious Scene

  • Supraspinatus
  • Infraspinatus
  • Teres Minor
  • Subscapularis

Flexor muscles of the arm

3 Bs bend the elbow: (in order of location)

 Biceps brachii 

Anterior Flexor Muscles of the Forearm

Cats Run Circles Under Dogs Stomachs

Can't Really Come Until Day Six

  • Carpi
  • Radialis
  • Carpi
  • Ulnaris
  • Digitorum
  • Superficialis

Anterior leg Compartment (muscles)

"The Hospitals Are Not Dirty Places"

  • Tibialis anterior
  • extensor Hallucis longus
  • anterior tibial Artery
  • deep fibular Nerve
  • extensor Digitorum longus
  • Peroneus tertius [aka fibularis tertius]

"Those Horses Are Never Doing Pilates"

  • Tibialis anterior
  • extensor Hallucis longus
  • anterior tibial Artery
  • deep fibular Nerve
  • extensor Digitorum longus
  • Peroneus tertius [aka fibularis tertius]

"Tom Had A Night Down Town"

  • Tibialis anterior
  • extensor Hallucis longus
  • anterior tibial Artery
  • deep fibular Nerve
  • extensor Digitorum longus
  • Tertius for fibularis tertius

Posterior Leg Compartment (Posterior Ankle Structures)

Tom Dig A Nice Hole

  • Tibialis posterior
  • Flexor Digitorum longus
  • Artery - Posterior tibial artery
  • Nerve - Tibial nerve
  • Flexor Hallucis longus

Tom, Dick, And Very Naughty Harry

  • Tibialis posterior
  • Flexor Digitorum longus
  • Posterior tibial Artery
  • Posterior tibial Vein
  • Tibial Nerve
  • Flexor Hallucis longus

Joint, suture, ligament, tendon

Joint In The Wrist

RIC "Rice Is Curing

  • Radiocarpal
  • Intercarpal
  • Carpometacarpal

RIC "Really Interesting Crap

  • Radiocarpal
  • Intercarpal
  • Carpometacarpal

Roads In California

  • Radiocarpal
  • Intercarpal
  • Carpometacarpal

Rum In Coke

  • Radiocarpal
  • Intercarpal
  • Carpometacarpal

Joints/Sutures of Skull

CLSS "Crazy Llamas Sassing Santa

  • Coronal suture
  • Lambdoid suture
  • Squamosal suture
  • Sagittal suture

The Lazy Cat Sleeps Safely

  • Temporomandibular joint
  • Lambdoid suture
  • Coronal suture
  • Squamous suture
  • Sagittal suture

"Come Sing Love Songs"

  • Coronal Suture
  • Sagittal Suture
  • Lambdoid Suture
  • Squamous Suture

"Come Smoke L 's Sam

  • Coronal Suture
  • Sagittal Suture
  • Lambdoid Suture
  • Squamous Suture

"Can Seagulls Lift Snacks

  • Coronal Suture
  • Sagittal Suture
  • Lambdoid Suture
  • Squamous Suture

Pes anserinus

A mnemonic to remember the muscles that contribute tendons to the pes anserinus and the innervations of these muscles is SGT FOT (sergeant FOT)

Notice the order of the muscles (S, G, T) follows the order of the innervating nerves which correspond to those muscles (F, O, T)[citation needed]

Another anterior to posterior is “Say Grace before Tea” Sartorius, Gracilis, semiTendinosus.


Celiac trunk(Coeliac trunk): branches

Left Hand Side (LHS):

  • Left gastric artery
  • Hepatic artery
  • Splenic artery

Tributaries of the Inferior vena cava

"I Like To Rise So High"

  • Iliac vein (common)
  • Lumbar vein
  • Testicular (gonadal) vein (direct tributary on right side; empties into left renal vein -> IVC on left side)
  • Renal vein
  • Suprarenal vein (same drainage as gonadal vein)
  • Hepatic vein

Subclavian artery

The branches of the subclavian artery can be remembered using VITamin C and D.

Internal iliac artery: branches

I Like Going Places Using My Very Own Unmanned Vehicle
Posterior division:

  • Iliolumbar artery
  • Lateral sacral artery
  • Superior gluteal artery

Anterior division:

  • Inferior gluteal artery
  • Internal pudendal artery
  • Umbilical artery
  • Middle rectal artery
  • Superior and inferior vesical artery
  • Obturator artery
  • Uterine artery (female)
  • Vaginal artery (female)

Contents of canal & foramen


Superior mediastinum

The contents of superior mediastinum can be remembered using the mnemonic, "TT ET AV N LO"


"Try To Eat Toast And Vitamins Now Little Oliver"

Inferior mediastinum

Anterior inferior mediastinum

The contents of anterior inferior mediastinum can be remembered using the mnemonic, "RT LN"


"ReTweet Light Novels!"

Middle inferior mediastinum

The contents of middle inferior mediastinum can be remembered using the mnemonic, "PHP P ASP" or "PHP plus ASP"


"'Personal Home Page' plus 'Active Server Pages'"

Posterior inferior mediastinum

The contents of posterior inferior mediastinum can be remembered using the mnemonic, "DATE VSL"


"on the DATE Vivian Slapped Larry"

The contents of posterior mediastinum can be remembered using the mnemonic, "DATES"

  • Descending aorta
  • Azygous vein and hemiazygos vein
  • Thoracic duct
  • Esophagus
  • Sympathetic trunk/ganglia.

Foramen magnum

Contents of the foramen magnum: VAMPS-AT-SD


VAMPires Sing AT SD card

Contents of the foramen magnum: VAMPS-ATM


VAMPires Sing AT Midnight

  • Vertebral arteries
  • Anterior spinal artery
  • Meningeal branches of the cervical nerves
  • Posterior spinal arteries
  • Spinal part of the accessory nerve
  • Alar and apical ligaments of the dens
  • Tectorial membrane
  • Medulla oblongata[citation needed]

Greater sciatic foramen

Structures passing through greater sciatic foramen below piriformis (S.N.I.P. N.I.P.)

  • sciatic nerve
  • nerve to obturator internus
  • internal pudendal vessel
  • pudendal nerve
  • nerve to quadratus femoris
  • inferior gluteal vessels
  • posterior cutaneous nerve of thigh

Lesser sciatic foramen

Structures passing through lesser sciatic foramen: (P.I.N.T.)

  • pudendal nerve
  • internal pudendal vessels
  • nerve to obturator internus
  • tendon of obturator internus

Tarsal tunnel

a mnemonic to remember the contents of the Tarsal tunnel from anterior to posterior is "Tom, Dick and Harry". or alternatively "Tom, Dick (and very nervous) Harry" if the artery, vein, and nerve are included.

Femoral triangle

The femoral triangle is shaped like the sail of a sailing ship and hence its boundaries can be remembered using the mnemonic, "SAIL":

  • Sartorius
  • Adductor longus
  • Inguinal Ligament.

The order of structures in the femoral triangle is important in the embalming of bodies, as the femoral artery is often exposed and used to pump embalming fluids into the body. The order of this neurovascular bundle can be remembered using the mnemonic, "NAVY":

  • Nerve
  • Artery
  • Vein
  • Y -fronts (the British term of a style of men's underwear with a "Y" shaped front that acts as a fly). The "Y" is midline (corresponding with the penis) and the mnemonic always reads from lateral to medial (in other words, the Femoral Nerve is always lateral).

An alternate to this mnemonic is "NAVEL" for Nerve, Artery, Vein, Empty Space and Lymph, to include the deep inguinal lymph nodes located medial to the Femoral vein.[citation needed]

Popliteal fossa

A useful mnemonic to remember popliteal fossa anatomy (medial-to-lateral arrangement) is: Serve And Volley Next Ball.

  • S: semimembranosus and semitendinosus (superior medial border)
  • A: artery (popliteal artery)
  • V: vein (popliteal vein)
  • N: nerve (tibial nerve)
  • B: biceps femoris (superior lateral border). The lateral and medial heads of gastrocnemius form the inferior border.

Carotid sheath contents

I See 10 CC's in the IV:p. 1

  • I See (I.C.) = Internal Carotid artery
  • 10 = CN 10 (Vagus nerve)
  • CC = Common Carotid artery
  • IV = Internal Jugular Vein

Cavernous sinus contents

O TOM CAT:p. 1

O TOM are lateral wall components, in order from superior to inferior.

CA are the components within the sinus, from medial to lateral. CA ends at the level of T from O TOM.

  • Occulomotor nerve (III)
  • Trochlear nerve (IV)
  • Ophthalmic nerve (V1)
  • Maxillary nerve (V2)
  • Carotid artery
  • Abducent nerve (VI)
  • T: When written, connects to the T of OTOM

Vertebral level

Diaphragm apertures: spinal levels

Many mnemonics are used for diaphragm apertures including:

(V)oice (O)f (A)merica

number of letters = vertebral level

  • Vena cava = 8 letters = T8p. 1
  • Oesophagus = 10 letters = T10
  • Aortic hiatus = 12 letters = T12

Openings of the diaphragm and structures passing through

"I Read, Very Old, And Torn Articles." - (IVC, Right phrenic nerve), (Vagus nerve, Oesophagus), (Aorta, Thoracic duct, Azygos vein).

Openings of the diaphragm and structures passing through

I ate 10 eggs at 12

  • I = IVC
  • ate = T8
  • 10 = T10
  • Eggs = Esophagus
  • At = Aorta
  • 12 = T12

Sternal angle

The sternal angle marks the approximate level of the 2nd pair of costal cartilages, which attach to the second ribs, and the level of the intervertebral disc between T4 and T5. In clinical applications, the sternal angle can be palpated at the T4 vertebral level.

The sternal angle is used in the definition of the thoracic plane. This marks the level of a number of other anatomical structures.

For structures lying at the level of the sternal angle, the following mnemonic can be used:


  • Rib 2
  • Aortic arch
  • Tracheal bifurcation
  • Pulmonary trunk
  • Ligamentum arteriosum
  • Left recurrent laryngeal
  • Azygos Vein
  • Nerves (Cardiac and Pulmonary plexuses)
  • Thoracic duct


is a more detailed mnemonic including:

  • Phrenic and Vagus Nerve
  • Lymph Nodes
  • Oblique fissure of lungs (top of it)
  • Thymus
  • Esophagus (trending right to left)
  • Aortic Arch (bottom of the arch)
  • Rib 2, Manubrium-sternal angle, T4(more specifically T4-5 disc)
  • Tracheal Bifurcation (Carina: Latin –like keel of boat)
  • Heart
  • Pulmonary trunk bifurcation
  • L2 : Left Recurrent Laryngeal (Looping under Aorta); Ligamentum Arteriosum: Connects Aortic Arch to Pulmonary. Bifurcation
  • Azygous vein arches over the root of the Rt. Lung and opens in SVC.
  • Nerve plexi: Cardiac and Pulmonary Plexus
  • Thoracic duct (on its way to drain into the Left Subclavian)
  • SVC going down


Afferent vs efferent

Afferent connection arrives and an efferent connection exits.

Brachial plexus

Remember To Drink Cold Beer - Roots, Trunks, Divisions, Cords, Branches

  • 5 main nerves of brachial plexus.
    • "My Aunty Rocks My Uncle" - Musculocutaneous, Axillary, Radial, Median, Ulnar. (in order laterally to medially)
    • "My Uncle Rocks My Aunt" - Musculocutaneous (L), Ulnar (M), Radial (P), Median (LM), Axillary (P). (L: lateral cord, M: medial cord, P: posterior cord. LM: both lateral and medial cords. Memorize "LMP LMP".)


Deep cerebellar nuclei and their positions relative to the midline: "Fat Guys Eat Donuts," where each letter indicates the medial to lateral location in the cerebellar white matter.

Or inversely, "Don't Eat Greasy Food", where each letter indicates the lateral to medial location in the cerebellar white matter.

Cranial nerves

12 Cranial Nerves

On Occasion Of Parties, The Attractive Faces Are Girl Visitors. Say Hello!

List of mnemonics for the cranial nerves, their respective type and foramen
NERVE: Olfactory nerve Optic nerve Oculomotor nerve Trochlear nerve Trigeminal nerve Abducens nerve Facial nerve Vestibulocochlear nerve Glossopharyngeal nerve Vagus nerve Accessory nerve Hypoglossal nerve
Ophthalmic Maxillary Mandibular
(for nerve)
OLd OPen OCeans TROuble TRIbesmen ABout Fish VEnom Giving VArious ACute / SPlitting Headaches
TYPE: Sensory Sensory Motor Motor Both (sensory + motor) Motor Both Sensory Both Both Motor Motor
(for type)
Some Say Marry Money, But My Brother Says Big Business Makes Money
FORAMINA: Cribriform plate Optic canal Superior Orbital Fissure Superior Orbital Fissure Superior Orbital Fissure Foramen Rotundum Foramen Ovale Superior Orbital Fissure Internal Acoustic Meatus Internal Acoustic Meatus Jugular Foramen Jugular Foramen Jugular Foramen Hypoglossal Canal
(for foramina)
Cleaners Only Spray Smelly Stuff Right On Smelly Izods In Jumbled Junkyards Juggled High
Carl Only Swims South. Silly Roger Only Swims In Infiniti Jacuzzis. Jane Just Hitchhikes.

OOOh the 2 Traceys Are From Virgina Good cause Virginans Are Hilarious

On, On, On, They Traveled And Found Voldemort Guarding Very Ancient Horcruxes

There are many mnemonics for the names of the cranial nerves, e.g.

  • "OOOTTAFAGVSH" is "OLd OPen OCeans TROuble TRIbesmen ABout Fish VEnom Giving VArious ACute/SPlitting Headaches" (a mnemonic that gives enough letters to distinguish between nerves that start with the same letter), or "On old Olympus's towering tops, a Finn and German viewed some hops," and for the initial letters "OOOTTAFVGVAH" is "Oh, oh, oh, to touch and feel very good velvet ... ah, heaven." The differences between these depend on "vestibulocochlear nerve" versus "acoustic nerve" and "accessory nerve" versus "spinal accessory nerve".

Old Ollie Oson Teaches Teenagers About Fashion Very Gladly Very Adequately Hilarious

Only Our Old Trusty Vodka And Friends Validate Great Victories, So Harmonious.

One Orange Orangutan Tries To Avoid Fragile Vines & Gracefully Vacates All Hazards

Ongoing Optimism Only Teaches True Amazing Fundamentals Varying Globally Versatile And Honesty

Only Old Otters Take Time And Find Very Good Values At Hand

Only One Ounce To Take Another Farmer's Very Great Vest And Hat

Functions of the Cranial Nerves

motor (M), sensory (S), or both (B)

Some Say Marry Money, But My Brother Says Big Business Makes Money.

A common example mnemonic for remembering which nerves are motor (M), sensory (S), or both (B), "Some Say Marry Money But My Brother Says Benevolent Bride Matters More". There are a very large number of additional mnemonics.

Summertime Seems More Majestic Because Multiple Bystanders Sing Brilliant Ballads Making Masterpieces

Silly Sally Makes Many Big Muffins But Sally Bakes Big Macarons Moreover

Some Sundays Make Me Bored, My Brother Stays Busy Building Miniature Models

Some Say Moms Make Boys Magnificent Because She Babies Boys Much More

Sometimes She May Muster Big Motors Because She Believes Both Men Matter

Some Say Marry Money But My Brother Says Big Brains Matter More

Some Say Marry Money, But My Buddy Says Brilliant Brains Make Money

3 branches of the trigeminal nerve (CN V)

Standing room only can be used to remember that:

5 branches of the facial nerve (CN VII)

For the five branches of the facial nerve there are: "Two Zebras Bit My Cookie" or "To Zanzibar By MotorCar" or "To Zoo By My Car"

Lateral geniculate nucleus (thalamus)

In neuroanatomy, the lateral geniculate nucleus is a structure in the thalamus and a key component of the mammalian visual pathway.

A simple mnemonic for remembering which layers of lateral geniculate body are synapsed with the ganglion cells of the ipsilateral or contralateral optic nerve is "See I? I see, I see," with "see" representing the C in "contralateral," and "I" representing the I in "ipsilateral." (CIICIC)

Another is "Emily and Pete meet eye to eye" as in "M and P meet I to I," or again, "Magno and Parvo meet Ipsi to Ipsi." (MMPPPP)

Another way of remembering which layers of lateral geniculate body are synapsed with the ganglion cells of the ipsilateral or contralateral optic nerve is 2+3=5 (layers II, III and V), which is correct, so it is from the same (ipsilateral) side as the ganglion cells from the side of question, while at the same time 1+4 doesn't equal 6, so the remaining layers (I, IV, and VI) are synapsing with ganglion cells of the other (contralateral) optic nerve.

Coronal section of brain (structures)

"In Extremis, Cannibals Eat People's Globus Pallidi Instead of Their Hearts":

From insula to midline:

  • Insula
  • Extream capsule
  • Claustrum
  • External capsule
  • Putamen
  • Globus pallidus
  • Internal capsule
  • Thalamus
  • Hypothalamus

Anterior Pituitary Hormones


  • FSH
  • LH
  • ACTH
  • GH
  • TSH
  • MelanOcyte Stimulating Hormone
  • Prolactin


Bowel components

"Dow Jones Industrial Average Closing Stock Report"

From proximal to distal:

  • Duodenum
  • Jejunum
  • Ileum
  • Appendix
  • Colon
  • Sigmoid
  • Rectum

Duodenum: lengths of parts

"Counting 1 to 4 but staggered":p. 1

  • 1st part: 2 inches
  • 2nd part: 3 inches
  • 3rd part: 4 inches
  • 4th part: 1 inch

Endocrine glands

The major glands of the endocrine system, excluding ovaries and testes: "T-A-P." (T2, A3, P4)

  • Thymus
  • Thyroid
  • Anterior pituitary
  • Adrenal cortex
  • Adrenal medulla
  • Posterior pituitary
  • Parathyroid gland
  • Pancreas
  • Pineal

G.I. tract layers (simplified)


  • Mucosa
  • Submucosa
  • Muscularis propria (or muscularis externa)
  • Serosa (or adventitia)

Kidney functions


  • A – maintaining ACID-base balance
  • W – maintaining WATER balance
  • E – ELECTROLYTE balance
  • T – TOXIN removal
  • B – BLOOD Pressure control
  • D – Vitamin D metabolism

Placenta-crossing substances

WANT My Hot Dog

  • Wastes
  • Antibodies
  • Nutrients
  • Teratogens
  • Microorganisms
  • Hormones, HIV
  • Drugs

Layers of the retina

A mnemonic to remember the layers of the retina:

My Membrane (internal limiting)
Nerves Nerve fibers
Get Ganglions
In Inner plexiform
Knots Inner nuclear
Outside Outer plexiform
Our Outer nuclear
Easy External limiting membrane
Practice Photoreceptors
Review Retinal pigment epithelium

Sperm: path through male reproductive system

"My boyfriend's name is STEVE":

  • Seminiferous Tubules
  • Epididymis
  • Vas deferens
  • Ejaculatory duct

Connective Tissue and Fascicles

  • Every -Endomysium
  • Person- Perimysium
  • Eats- Epimysium
  • Food - Fascia

Intraperitoneal and Retroperitoneal Organs

See also

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