What is a Pangram? Everything you need to know

The word Pangram was derived from the Greek words, pan gramma, which means every letter. This is also called a holoalphabetic sentence; these are sentences that use every letter from the English alphabet at least once. Pangrams are used to improve skills in calligraphy, handwriting and keyboard typing, and are also used to show typefaces and test equipment. Pangrams are complete opposites of lipograms, where the main objective is to omit one or more letters.

It is not that difficult to make a pangram, but the artistic skill required in creating a good pangram does not depend only on the count of the letters. The Pangram should be short, and the Pangram should make sense to the readers.

Pangrams are present widely in other languages as well. For example, a popular pangram in the German is Victor jagt zwölf Boxkämpfer quer über den großen Sylter Deich, which includes every umlet (German alphabets). This Pangram is in use since the 1800s.

Pangrams have been practiced for many years in practical applications, such as typographers use pangrams as a specific text. This is useful as it shows all the letters of the alphabet and gives a clear image of how each letter looks like in a certain font.

History of the Pangram

A pangram is known for its use in the history of typesetting, as this was required to get a complete representation of all the characters of the alphabet and also there relationship with each other in books and other writings. Early printers used to give false texts to show the usage of every letter and get an idea of their looks, which dated back to the sixteenth century.

One of the earliest pangrams, “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipscing elit, diam nonnumy eiusmod tempor incidunt ut labore et dolo.” was written in Latin. This Pangram is still used as fillers for graphic layouts and mock-ups for printers and others where the designers and writers don’t want to give meaningful content.

See also: Top 6 Ways to Improve Vocabulary Immediately | Learn New Words Easily

Types of Pangrams:

There are two types of common pangrams, long and short.

The long ones have bigger sentences with repeating letters at different parts of the sentences and are easy to create. Longer pangrams give the opportunity to be more humorous and thoughtful with the sentences.

The short pangrams are more precise and more difficult to create and tend to use rather rare and uncommon words. For example:

“Pack my box with 5 dozen liquor jugs.”

A perfect pangram:

A pangram can be said to be perfect when it contains every single letter without repetition. The only said perfect pangrams that are known use abbreviations and names to make the sentences. One such Pangram is “Mr. Jock, TV quiz Ph.D., bags few lynx”.

Common uses of pangrams:

In the 1800s, the modern typewriter was invented and introduced in the markets. This made it a mandatory job for every typewriter to check each and every key of the typewriter’s keyboard and see whether they function properly and smoothly without any stickiness or malfunction. This gave birth to the most common pangram “the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” in 1903. This Pangram was coined by Isaac Pitman in his Pitman’s Phonetic Journal, 1903. The use of these 35 letters Pangram became a very popular and common instruction for budding typists.

The use of pangrams is still prevalent in the field of graphic designing and handwriting practices. Graphic designers use this technique to choose their font layout and get a more realistic interaction between the letters other than just their layouts. It is also a very common medium in teaching sign language.

Some Examples:

  • Pack my case with five dozen liquor jugs
  • The five boxing wizards jump quickly
  • New job: fix Mr. Gluck’s hazy TV
  • Two driven jocks help fax my quiz.​
  • Waltz, nymph, for quick jigs vex Bud
  • John quickly extemporized five tow bags
  • Bright vixens jump; dozy fowl quack
  • Fred specialized in the job of making quaint wax toys
  • Quick wafting zephyrs vex bold Jim
  • Brown jar prevents the mixture from freezing too quickly
  • Jackdaws love my big sphinx of quartz

There is a famous long pangram that tells you exactly how many letters are used in the Pangram itself, this was written by Lee Sallows and the Pangram is:

This Pangram contains four a’s, one b, two c’s, one d, thirty e’s, six f’s, five g’s, seven h’s, eleven i’s, one j, one k, two l’s, two m’s, eighteen n’s, fifteen o’s, two p’s, one q, five r’s, twenty-seven s’s, eighteen t’s, two u’s, seven v’s, eight w’s, two x’s, three y’s, & one z.


Pangrams fall into the category of Wordplay or the play on the words section of the English language. Pangrams are activities that help you stay intellectually active and engaged by letting us stretch our thinking and creativity with the language. Though other word games such as sudoku, crosswords, board games, puzzles, etc., offer different challenges and grab attention as well, they do not offer the same level of creativity. Pangrams go a step ahead in need of continuity and thus helps in improving writing skills.

 See also: How to Do Play on Words | Everything You Wanna Know

About the Author: John Watson

Hello mates! I'm John and I absolutely love playing with words. I can eat, sleep and breathe it! That's the primary reason for starting this website, that I can share the cool information that I have learnt about words and vocabulary over the years. Hope you like it. ^_^

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