"The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" is an English-language pangram — a sentence that contains all the letters of the
alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written graphemes (called letters) that represent the phonemes of certain spoken languages. Not all writing systems represent language in this way; in a syllabary, each character represents a sylla ...
. The phrase is commonly used for touch-typing practice, testing
typewriter A typewriter is a mechanical or electromechanical machine for typing characters. Typically, a typewriter has an array of keys, and each one causes a different single character to be produced on paper by striking an inked ribbon selectivel ...
s and
computer keyboard A computer keyboard is a peripheral input device modeled after the typewriter keyboard which uses an arrangement of buttons or keys to act as mechanical levers or electronic switches. Replacing early punched cards and paper tape technology, ...
s, displaying examples of
font In metal typesetting, a font is a particular size, weight and style of a typeface. Each font is a matched set of type, with a piece (a " sort") for each glyph. A typeface consists of a range of such fonts that shared an overall design. In mo ...
s, and other applications involving text where the use of all letters in the alphabet is desired.


The earliest known appearance of the phrase was in '' The Boston Journal''. In an article titled "Current Notes" in the February 9, 1885, edition, the phrase is mentioned as a good practice sentence for writing students: "A favorite copy set by writing teachers for their pupils is the following, because it contains every letter of the alphabet: 'A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.'" Dozens of other newspapers published the phrase over the next few months, all using the version of the sentence starting with "A" rather than "The". The earliest known use of the phrase starting with "The" is from the 1888 book ''Illustrative Shorthand'' by Linda Bronson. The modern form (starting with "The") became more common even though it is slightly longer than the original (starting with "A"). A 1908 edition of the '' Los Angeles Herald Sunday Magazine'' records that when the '' New York Herald'' was equipping an office with typewriters "a few years ago", staff found that the common practice sentence of "now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party" did not familiarize typists with the entire alphabet, and ran onto two lines in a newspaper column. They write that a staff member named Arthur F. Curtis invented the "quick brown fox" pangram to address this. As the use of typewriters grew in the late 19th century, the phrase began appearing in typing lesson books as a practice sentence. Early examples include ''How to Become Expert in Typewriting: A Complete Instructor Designed Especially for the Remington Typewriter'' (1890), and ''Typewriting Instructor and Stenographer's Hand-book'' (1892). By the turn of the 20th century, the phrase had become widely known. In the January 10, 1903, issue of ''Pitman's Phonetic Journal'', it is referred to as "the well known memorized typing line embracing all the letters of the alphabet".
Robert Baden-Powell Lieutenant-General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, ( ; (Commonly pronounced by others as ) 22 February 1857 – 8 January 1941) was a British Army officer, writer, founder and first Chief Scout of the wor ...
's book ''
Scouting for Boys ''Scouting for Boys: A handbook for instruction in good citizenship'' is a book on Boy Scout training, published in various editions since 1908. Early editions were written and illustrated by Robert Baden-Powell with later editions being extens ...
'' (1908) uses the phrase as a practice sentence for signaling. The first message sent on the Moscow–Washington hotline on August 30, 1963, was the test phrase "THE QUICK BROWN FOX JUMPED OVER THE LAZY DOG'S BACK 1234567890". Later, during testing, the Russian translators sent a message asking their American counterparts, "What does it mean when your people say 'The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog'?" During the 20th century, technicians tested typewriters and
teleprinter A teleprinter (teletypewriter, teletype or TTY) is an electromechanical device that can be used to send and receive typed messages through various communications channels, in both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint configurations. Initi ...
s by typing the sentence. It is the sentence used in the annual Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Competition, a cursive writing competition which has been held in the U.S. since 1991.

Computer usage

In the age of computers, this pangram is commonly used to display font samples and for testing
computer keyboard A computer keyboard is a peripheral input device modeled after the typewriter keyboard which uses an arrangement of buttons or keys to act as mechanical levers or electronic switches. Replacing early punched cards and paper tape technology, ...
s. In
cryptography Cryptography, or cryptology (from grc, , translit=kryptós "hidden, secret"; and ''graphein'', "to write", or '' -logia'', "study", respectively), is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of adve ...
, it is commonly used as a test vector for hash and encryption algorithms to verify their implementation, as well as to ensure alphabetic character set compatibility. This phrase is also used in showing all the collections of letters in fonts.
Microsoft Word Microsoft Word is a word processing software developed by Microsoft. It was first released on October 25, 1983, under the name ''Multi-Tool Word'' for Xenix systems. Subsequent versions were later written for several other platforms includ ...
has a command to auto-type the sentence, in versions up to Word 2003, using the command , and in Microsoft Office Word 2007 and later using the command .

Cultural references

Numerous references to the phrase have occurred in movies, television, books, video games, advertising, websites, and graphic arts. The lipogrammatic novel '' Ella Minnow Pea'' by Mark Dunn is built entirely around the "quick brown fox" pangram and its inventor. It depicts a fictional island off the
South Carolina )'' Animis opibusque parati'' ( for, , Latin, Prepared in mind and resources, links=no) , anthem = " Carolina";" South Carolina On My Mind" , Former = Province of South Carolina , seat = Columbia , LargestCity = Charleston , LargestMetro = ...
coast that idealizes the pangram, chronicling the effects on literature and social structure as various letters are banned from daily use by government dictum.Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters, by Mark Dunn, Anchor, 2001

Other pangrams

With 35 letters, this is not the shortest pangram. Shorter examples include: *"Waltz, bad nymph, for quick jigs vex." (28 letters) *"Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow." (29 letters) *"How vexingly quick daft zebras jump!" (30 letters) If abbreviations and non-dictionary words are allowed, it is possible to create a perfect pangram that uses each letter only once, such as "Mr. Jock, TV quiz PhD, bags few lynx".

See also

* Filler text ** ** * *


External links

{{DEFAULTSORT:Quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog English phrases Filler text Pangrams Typography 1880s neologisms