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What are Pangrams? Why are they called Pangrams?

The word pangram comes from the Greek for all letters (pan = ALL + grámma = LETTER). A pangram is a series of words which contains all the letters of the alphabet.

Of course, it is not difficult to devise a pangram, but the art of creating a good pangram is in fulfilling not only the criterion that it contains all letters, but also that:

  • it is short, and
  • it makes sense.

For many years they have had a practical application, as typographers have required such sentences as specimen text. This is useful because it displays every possible character in sample prints. See our history of pangrams page to find out about this, and the lorem ipsum dummy text.

The most famous English pangram is probably:

The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over The Lazy Dog

But this is certainly not the shortest possible pangram. Take a look at the Pangram Examples section for a few of the less well-known ones.

Pangrams are also used frequently for typing practice since they require every letter on the keyboard to be used.

Fonts on Computers

They also make an interesting alternative to displaying characters of fonts in alphabetical order. If you double-click on a font file in Microsoft Windows, a sample sheet will open, displaying The Quick Brown Fox text in the selected font at various point sizes. On a Macintosh computer you may see the more original:

Cozy lummox gives smart squid who asks for job pen.

There is even a great pangram game you can play whilst travelling in the car. Time will fly by as you play The Pangrammatic Highway with all the road signs!

New Page! We have added dozens of our visitors' favourite pangrams on a new page. Take a look!

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