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This Appendix lists one-, two-, three-, and four-syllable picture words for all 64 squares. This covers all possible moves with candidate pieces I-IV. It also lists five-syllable picture words for d2, d7, e2 and e7, which are the only target squares that ever need five-syllable picture words in practice (for an early knight retreat).1

You do not need to memorise this Appendix! This Appendix is a reference, for when you are sitting at home building your memory palaces. At the board, all you need to do is translate the picture words back into moves, as explained in Chapter 1.

For each target square and number of syllables, I have written my favourite picture word in bold. I encourage the reader to use the words in bold, in the hope of building a community where we can share ready-made memory palaces that use the same picture words. But if you prefer an alternative picture word to my suggestion, do not hesitate to use it instead. The best picture word will depend on the associations you already have in your mind (Chapter 3).

Some mnemonists like to use people, rather than animals and objects, as picture words in their memory palaces. If this is you, I suggest going through the people (and fictional characters) you know, and writing their names as your preferred picture words.

A small handful of picture “words" are actually two words, for example roller coaster as the four-syllable picture word for d5. The important thing is that these are one concept, one picture – even though they are made of two words.

There are seven reserved words you should not use as picture words. Pawn, king and queen are reserved for specified piece moves in the endgame (Chapter 6); rook, bishop and knight are reserved for both underpromotions and specified piece moves (Chapters 1 and 6); and ladder is reserved for special meanings in memory palace architecture (Chapters 5 and 6).


  1. toast, stud, toad, tooth

  2. statue, dodo, tadpole, teapot

  3. stethoscope, detective, potato, stadium, tapestry, Titanic

  4. Tutankhamen, sitatunga, Tatiana (name)


  1. tent, stone, tank, tin, ton

  2. tandem, dentist, donkey, headset, tanker, tuna

  3. tangerine, dynamite, tandoori, tanzanite, tinderbox

  4. dandelion, Estonia, Eswatini, Tanzania


  1. thumb, dam, dime, dome, stump, tomb

  2. stomach, atom, diamond, dummy

  3. tambourine, domino, poppadom, steamroller, tomato

  4. tamarillo, automaton, automobile


  1. tree, deer, dress, drill, drone, star, straw, string, torch, train

  2. dragon, cider, ostrich, otter, oyster, starfish, starship, tractor, trumpet

  3. astronaut, asteroid, butterfly, dragonfly, stroganoff, terrapin, tiara, tornado, trebuchet

  4. tarantula, motorcycle, oystercatcher, pterodactyl, thermometer, Triceratops, watermelon


  1. doll, stool, tail, till

  2. tulip, bottle, dolphin, outlaw, saddle, toilet

  3. satellite, dalmatian, spatula, telephone, telescope

  4. Diplodocus, bodybuilder, television


  1. dish, ditch, thatch

  2. stopwatch, dodgeball, teacher

  3. dishwasher, optician

  4. didgeridoo


  1. dog, duck, stake, stag, stick, tongue

  2. tiger, digger, doctor, dugong, pudding, taco, taxi

  3. woodpecker, petticoat, sparrowhawk, Sudoku, toboggan

  4. stegosaurus, tapioca, taxidermist


  1. dove, Dave (name)

  2. toffee, diver, tofu

  3. daffodil, DVD

  4. advertisement, audiophile, developer


  1. ant, gnat, hand, net, newt, nut, sand, wand

  2. Santa, centaur, noodle, sandwich, snowdrop, sundae

  3. anteater, antelope, bandana, centipede, nightingale, scientist

  4. Cinderella, sanitiser


  1. nun, (John) Nunn

  2. ninja, banyan, nanny, onion

  3. banana, nanobot, Nineveh, panini

  4. nanoneedle, peninsula


  1. gnome, nymph

  2. snowman, Nemo, sunbeam

  3. snowmobile, cinnamon, Panama (hat)

  4. anemone, Namibia, (Ian) Nepomniachtchi

Gnome has a silent g.


  1. nurse, nerve, snare

  2. narwhal, snorkel, spanner

  3. newspaper, anarchist, anorak, scenery

  4. (Daniel) Naroditsky, Herodotus, norovirus


  1. snail, nail

  2. snowball, pencil, snowplough

  3. pineapple, Napoli

  4. Napoleon (Bonaparte), Honolulu, nobility, snallygaster, Penelope (name)


  1. sponge, bench, hinge

  2. banjo, angel, engine, poncho, snowshoe, spinach

  3. anchovy, engineer

  4. Angelina (name), Angelica (name), Nigeria


  1. snake, neck, snack, zinc

  2. beanbag, hanbok, insect, necklace, snooker

  3. unicorn, pancreas, sunglasses

  4. Pinocchio, anaconda, binoculars, (Hikaru) Nakamura


  1. knife, nave

  2. anvil, snowflake

  3. sunflower, envelope

  4. invitation, environment, university

Knife has a silent k.


  1. maid, mast, mat, moth, mouth, mud

  2. swimsuit, mittens, mother, moped, moustache

  3. scimitar, amethyst, behemoth, mastodon

  4. meteorite, Madagascar, mathematics, Mitsubishi

The c in scimitar is silent.


  1. moon, man, mink, mint

  2. monster, manger, miner, money, salmon

  3. Minotaur, ammonite, manatee, mayonnaise, omnibus

  4. mahonia, Minnesota, monopoly, Montenegro


  1. mime, meme, mumps

  2. mammoth, memo, mummy

  3. museum, Mombasa, mummichog

  4. (Shakhriyar) Mamedyarov


  1. Mir (Soviet/Russian space station), moor

  2. meerkat, hammer, marble, mirror

  3. samurai, boomerang, emerald, maraca, marmalade, marshmallow, mercury, sombrero, submarine, umbrella

  4. marionette, embroidery, (Diego) Maradona, merry-go-round


  1. mole, mail, milk, mule

  2. cymbal, mallet, milkshake, muscle, mussel

  3. bumblebee, millipede, mulberry, pomelo

  4. melodica, semolina, Somalia


  1. match, mash, midge

  2. machine, mushroom

  3. magician, machete

  4. majority

For majority I imagine a baying crowd in a group (so that it forms one “object"). Be careful to distinguish it from family (h3).


  1. mask, muck, mug

  2. magpie, hammock, magnet, smokestack

  3. hummingbird, magazine, mechanic, microphone, mosaic, mosquito

  4. pomegranate, macaroni, Makemake, magnesium, magnolia, mascarpone


  1. (ear)muff, mauve

  2. muffin, movie

  3. amphora, maverick

  4. amphetamine, amphibian


  1. heart, broth, Earth, rat

  2. robot, parrot, pirate, rabbit, rooster, warthog, wizard

  3. president, barrister, hairdryer, protester, radio, risotto, sourdough

  4. rhododendron, artillery, paparazzi, radiator, ratatouille


  1. brain, horn, prawn, wren

  2. heron, orange, parsnip, rainbow, ribbon, robin, siren

  3. piranha, barnacle, raisin, roundabout, soprano, Uranus

  4. rhinoceros, Esperanto, pepperoni, uranium

  5. serendipity

Although not technically accurate, for serendipity I imagine a four-leaf clover. Never led pedantry get in the way of a good image.


  1. ram, arm, broom, pram, rum, worm

  2. Roman, army, bromine, primrose

  3. pyramid, ceramic, ramekin

  4. armadillo, barometer, harmonica, supermodel

For Roman I imagine a Roman soldier. Don’t be tempted to treat it as an adjective, for example if you are remembering Roman ram, don’t memorise a ram pretending to be a Roman soldier. Always have two separate (but interacting) pictures: a Roman soldier and a ram.


  1. roar, rear, Ruhr

  2. robber, briar, harbour, razor, wrapper

  3. warrior, horseradish

  4. barbarian, arboretum, respirator

For roar I imagine a lion.


  1. pearl, rail, roll

  2. barrel, barbell, barley, bracelet, parsley, spiral

  3. cereal, porcelain

  4. roller coaster, paralegal


  1. brush, birch, broach, bridge, porch

  2. airship, archer, porridge, warship

  3. projector, archerfish

  4. Argentina, Azerbaijan


  1. rake, ark, brick, orc, ring

  2. sparkler, iceberg, orca, organ, raccoon, racket, rocket

  3. harpsichord, architect, broccoli, parakeet, porcupine, recorder

  4. orangutan, architecture, asparagus, hieroglyphics, oregano, origami, paraglider

  5. Brachiosaurus, archaeology

Be careful to distinguish Brachiosaurus from Diplodocus (a5).


  1. raft, reef, surf

  2. perfume, earphones, prefect, prophet, raven, rifle

  3. referee, privateer

  4. ravioli, Orvieto (wine), profiterole, supervisor


  1. sloth, belt, lathe, light, lute, salt

  2. lobster, ladder, laptop, lettuce, lipstick, pilot, wallet

  3. bulldozer, albatross, Hollywood, ocelot, wildebeest

  4. lederhosen, Elizabeth (name), politician, polyester, solicitor

Be careful to distinguish lobster from crab (g4).


  1. plane, lynx

  2. balloon, blanket, lantern, linnet

  3. alien, Bologna, bullion

  4. jalapeño, Albania, Bolonoodle, polonium

  5. planetarium, hallucinogen

Be careful to distinguish plane from jet (f1).

The first letter of jalapeño sounds like an h, so we ignore it when finding the target square.

Don’t use lion, because it conflicts with the picture word roar (d4).


  1. lamb, blimp, lamp, lime, loom, plum, slime

  2. lemur, helmet, lamppost, lamprey, lemon, llama

  3. policeman, halloumi, limousine, salami

  4. salamander, Lamborghini, Olympian, palomino (horse), policewoman


  1. lore, lair, lark

  2. sailor, lawyer, leper, lorry, slipper, walrus

  3. wheelbarrow, blueberry, celery, Labrador, wallpaper

  4. allosaurus, celebrity, Liberia, pliosaurus

For lore I imagine a medieval manuscript or something that would appear in a fantasy novel.


  1. lol, Lil (name)

  2. lily, label, lilac, loophole

  3. lollipop, Lilliput

  4. hallelujah, Lilliputian

Lol is the online shorthand for laugh out loud. I imagine a jester. For hallelujah I imagine a colourful banner.


  1. leech, bleach, sledge, slush

  2. polish, ledger, lodger, lotion

  3. eyelashes, plush velvet

  4. Algeria, zoology

Remember that eyelashes is plural, three syllables.


  1. hulk, leek, log, lung, sling, slug

  2. blackboard, logo, luggage, (Judit) Polgar

  3. alpaca, alcohol, blackberry, bulgogi, liquorice, pelican

  4. helicopter, alligator, balaclava, electrician

  5. Alexandria, polycarbonate


  1. wolf, leaf

  2. lava, lifeboat, lifeguard, liver, olive

  3. elephant, lavender, wolverine, xylophone

  4. Bolivia, Slovakia, Slovenia

Be careful to distinguish elephant from mammoth (c3).


  1. jet, jade, sheath, shed, sheet

  2. cheetah, chestnut, hatchet

  3. shuttlecock, chapati, Jupiter

  4. Chateaubriand (steak), Shostakovich

Be careful to distinguish jet from plane (e2). I imagine a jet pack.


  1. jeans, chain, gin

  2. genie, chainsaw, ginger, pigeon, potion

  3. chinchilla, chancellor, chandelier, janitor, Shinkansen

  4. generator, gingerbread man


  1. jam, gem, Jim (name)

  2. gymnast, champagne, chimney, shampoo

  3. chimpanzee, chamber pot, champion, pyjama

  4. gymnasium, chimichurri


  1. shark, chair, jar, shirt, shorts, shrew, shrimp

  2. giraffe, badger, cherry, shepherd, sheriff

  3. chariot, chardonnay, shawarma

  4. budgerigar, jabberwocky, Jeremiah (name), Jerusalem


  1. shell, chalk, gel

  2. cello, chilli, jelly, shallot, shelduck

  3. jellyfish, gelatin, jalfrezi, shipbuilder

  4. shopaholic, geologist, Juliana (name)


  1. judge, Josh (name)

  2. shisha, japchae, sheepshank (knot), shoji

  3. jujube, chapshoro, jajangmyeon, Joshua (name), jujitsu

  4. shabu-shabu, Chachapoya, Jojo Rabbit, shachihoko


  1. chick, jug, shack

  2. hedgehog, chicken, jackpot, jigsaw, jockey, juggler, sheepdog, shekel

  3. jaguar, cicada, shopkeeper

  4. washing machine, Chicken Little, geographer, shakuhachi


  1. chef, chaff, chief

  2. shovel, chaffinch, Java

  3. shoveler, Chevrolet, shaving foam

  4. shaving powder, chauvinism, shaving mirror


  1. squid, cat, coat, cot, goat, kite

  2. kitten, baguette, bucket, guitar, kestrel, scooter, skittle, wicket

  3. catapult, basketball, cuttlefish, octopus, pagoda, spaghetti

  4. caterpillar, bacteria, psychiatrist


  1. gun, can, cone, gown, skin

  2. canoe, bacon, candle, candy, conker, cannon, gibbon, kidney, wagon

  3. candyfloss, bikini, buccaneer, canopy, canister, conifer, signalman

  4. Pocahontas, begonia, economist, iguanodon

If you dislike visualising realistic violence with a gun, you can imagine a water pistol, finger gun, or tranquilizer gun.


  1. gum, comb, game

  2. camel, comet, kimchi

  3. kimono, Camelot, computer, Komodo (dragon)

  4. chameleon, aquamarine, camellia, hippocampus, oximeter


  1. crab, car, crane, cream, cross, crow, crown, corn, grass, scar, scarf, screw, skirt

  2. ogre, boxer, carrot, cricket, crystal, speaker, squirrel

  3. crocodile, acrobat, caravan, cormorant, grasshopper, gorilla, scorpion, screwdriver

  4. accordion, carburetor, chrysanthemum, coriander, Krakatoa, secretary


  1. skull, clam, claw, clock, coal, glass, glove, glue

  2. eagle, bagel, cola, gazelle, igloo, seagull

  3. skeleton, clarinet, goalkeeper, icicle, koala

  4. gladiator, calculator, kaleidoscope, ukulele

Be careful to distinguish gladiator from warrior (d4).


  1. coach, cage, cash, quiche

  2. ketchup, cabbage, cashew

  3. kedgeree, acacia

  4. cappuccino, Saskatchewan

Be careful to distinguish cappuccino from coffee (g8).


  1. cake, cog, gong

  2. peacock, cockroach, cookie, cuckoo, cupcake, goggles, kayak, pickaxe

  3. coconut, cockatrice, cockerel, cucumber, kingfisher, skyscraper, wobbegong

  4. kookaburra, cucamelon, guacamole


  1. gift, cave, cuff, skiff

  2. coffee, gopher, guava

  3. saxophone, governor, scaffolding

  4. cafetière


  1. foot, vat, vest, vet

  2. feather, father, football, softball, voter

  3. footballer, avocet, physicist, veteran, video, vitamin

  4. phytoplankton, afterburner, photography


  1. fan, fawn, phone, sphinx, van, vane

  2. phoenix, fountain, puffin, Venus, vinyl

  3. sousaphone, vinegar

  4. ventriloquist, ventilator


  1. foam, Vim (software)

  2. vampire, vomit

  3. family, Fumika (name), sophomore

  4. feminism, famotidine

For family, I imagine a small family hugging (so that it forms one “object”). Be careful to distinguish it from majority (c6). For feminism, I imagine Mrs Banks wearing a “votes for women” sash, from the film Mary Poppins.


  1. frog, fern, fir, fridge, sphere

  2. fairy, beaver, farmer, ferry, saffron, sapphire, viper

  3. ivory, hovercraft, officer, overalls, overcoat

  4. firefighter, frangipani, fortepiano, vermicelli


  1. flute, flag, flan, flea, flint, foal, foil, fowl, veil, vole

  2. waffle, flower, fossil, soufflé, vessel

  3. flamingo, buffalo, falafel, flamethrower, viola, vulture

  4. philosopher, Floridian, flowerpecker


  1. fish, fudge

  2. (Mount) Fuji, (Bobby) Fischer, fishcake

  3. fisherman, fishmonger

  4. vigilante, fisherwoman, vegetable


  1. fox, fax, fig, fog

  2. Viking, foghorn, vaccine, vicar

  3. Victory, factory, vicarage

  4. avocado, focaccia

For Victory, I imagine Horatio Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory.


  1. five, fife, Viv (name)

  2. fiver, viva

  3. favela, Vivaldi, Vivian (name)

  4. vuvuzela, Vesuvius

For five I imagine a seahorse in the shape of a 5.

  1. In the unlikely event that you move candidate piece V+ to a different target square, just take the one-syllable picture word and cover it with sticky oil, for example toast covered in sticky oil would be a move to a1 with candidate piece V. I have never needed to do this.