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Word Picnic

Jackdaws love my big sphinx of quartz
Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow
Cozy sphinx waves quart jug of bad milk
Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs

A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog
Blowzy red vixens fight for a quick jump
Six fuzzy beavers quickly jumped the narrow gap
The five boxing wizards jump quickly

Quick jigs for waltz vex bad nymph
Doxy with charming buzz quaffs vodka julep
Five wine experts jokingly quizzed sample chablis
Jolly vexing a fumble to drop zucchini in wet quicksand


XV fjord nymphs beg quick waltz.
Squdgy fez, blank jimp crwth vox!


Gaza frequens libycum duxit Karthago triumphum.


C'est chez le vieux forgeron du coin que j'ai pu boire le meilleur whisky

Juge qui blamez trop, ce faux whisky se vend
Blamez qui vend ce whisky trop juge faux

A l'ile exigue
Ou l'obese jury mur
note march bpo
Fete l'hai volapuk,
Ane ex aequo au whist,
Otez ce voeu dec cu.


Black whigs fund my jive export quiz
Victors flank gyp who mixed job quiz.
Judge black minx a zesty wife, quivering hope
Raving zibet chewed calyx of pipsqueak major
Wolves exit quickly as fanged zoo chimp jabbers
Oozy quivering jellyfish expectorated by mad hawk
Six big devils from Japan quickly forgot how to waltz
Lazy jackal raiding from xebec prowls the quiet cove
Six crazy kings vowed to abolish my quite pitiful jousts
Guzzling of jaunty exile wreaks havoc at damp banquet
Just keep examining every low bid quoted for zinc etchings
My help squeezed in again after six and joined the weavers
Jaded zombies acted quaintly but kept driving their oxen forward

Pangrammes ~ traditional typographers' notes
Type designers, setters, and typists have always employed sentences like these as a playful way to learn a keyboard or otherwise exercise all the letters of the alphabet.

Of course, one could always achieve the same end by listing the letters alphabetically, but this is a lot more fun. Pangrammes also figured in subversive schemes to obtain full sets of a given typeface from a competitor's type house.

The best pangrammes read intelligibly and make some syntactic and semantic sense, but the real trick is to do so most economically, that is reusing as few letters as possible. Also, all the words should be "real" words.

It is odd that most of the better pangrammes seem to evoke a slightly warped, jocund reality; in fact when put together as Word Picnic, quite a little party emerges!

Below Picnic are two 26-letter pangrams, which just barely qualify under the quasi-semantic rules, but are remarkable for achieving a zero-letter-duplication factor.

(squdgy = squat, jimp = Scots word for slender, crwth = Welsh stringed instrument, vox = voice)

The Latin pangramme hexameter (lacking j, v and w, of course) appears as a handwriting example in Pedro Madariaga's Libro Subtilissimo of 1565

This last, as well as the French-language specimens were provided by Jacques Andre.

Many other correspondents provided copies of single traditional specimens, among them Ralph Hancock, Bruce Baryla, Jon Hodges, Anne Smith. Yours truly derivatively composed "zesty wife". The fourth line of "Picnic" is attributed to well-known American type designer Fred Goudy. "Etchings" is borrowed from Adobe's ATM documentation, but is probably traditional.


If you know of a pangramme which is not simply a variant of one already listed, please submit, for inclusion.