New Word Wednesday – pangram

It’s new word Wednesday! We’ve had macarism and enallage, both excellent new words (new for me, anyway).

Today the word is pangram. At first glance, I thought I’d seen that word on the menu at my favorite Asian restaurant. But no.

The word “pangram” is derived, once again, from the Greeks (παν γράμμα), and means “every letter.” A pangram uses every letter of a given alphabet at least once.

We had an old IBM Selectric typewriter at home when my sisters and I were teenagers. My dad had brought it home from the office one day, and it was there for us to use when writing term papers and book reports. I can recall sitting in front of that typewriter, typing with my two index fingers (I’m not much better now), and my mom taught me that the sentence “THE QUICK BROWN FOX JUMPS OVER THE LAZY DOG” uses all 26 letters of the alphabet. She didn’t call it a pangram, although it wouldn’t have surprised me if she knew the term (my mom was very smart). So, here are some more pangrams. Use them to dazzle your colleagues and friends at cocktail parties.

Fox nymphs grab quick-jived waltz.

Quick zephyrs blow, vexing daft Jim.

Two driven jocks help fax my big quiz.

And for our French and Spanish-speaking friends:

Portez ce vieux whisky au juge blond qui fume

El veloz murciélago hindú comía feliz cardillo y kiwi. La cigüeña tocaba el saxofón detrás del palenque de paja.

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