Using Mnemonics To Remember Networking Details

networking mnemonics
Image courtesy of The Pioneer Woman

Per Wikipedia – A Mnemonic is “A device such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations that assists in remembering something”

As network engineers, we are constantly tasked to remember details (and recall easily) about how networking technology works.   One of the easiest ways to commit some of these facts and details to memory is by the use of a Mnemonic.

There’s are lots of different mnemonics in use within the networking industry and more being created everyday.

Here are three different topics within networking that are often hard to remember and some mnemonics to help commit these to memory.

THE 7 Layers of ISO Model Mnemonic

I think every new network engineer had trouble remembering the 7 layers of the OSI model.

  • Application
  • Presentation
  • Session
  • Transport
  • Network
  • Data Link
  • Physical

Here are some famous (and not so famous) mnemonics for helping you remember the OSI model.

Please Do Not Throw Salami Pizza Away” — this works for bottom-to-top. If you don’t like salami pizza, then you can try seafood or spinach pizza instead?
All People Seem To Need Data Processing” — a top-to-bottom reminder.


BGP Best Path Algorithm Mnemonic

BGP makes its decision to route packets based on best path.  But remembering what determines the best path in BGP can be a challenge.

  • Weight (Highest is better)
  • LOCAL_PREF (Highest is better)
  • Originated Locally
  • AS_PATH (shortest)
  • ORIGIN Type (IGP is lower than EGP and EGP is lower than Incomplete)
  • MED (lowest is better)
  • Paths (External > Internal)
  • RID (Router ID – lowest is better)

A cool Mnemonic we found on Richard Bannster’s Blog for remembering BGP’s best path is:

We Love Oranges AS Oranges Mean Pure Refreshment”


Mnemonic to Remember Syslog Message types

The only time I really needed to remember this order of syslog messages was when I was studying for the CCNP SWITCH test.

  • Emergency (0)
  • Alert (1)
  • Critical (2)
  • Error (3)
  • Warning (4)
  • Notifications (5)
  • Information (6)
  • Debug (7)

Here’s a great mnemonic we found on, to help you to remember them in the correct order.

“Every Alley Cat Eats Watery Noodles IDoors”


Do you have any Mnemonics that you use to help you study or remember the details of networking?  Leave a comment below to let us know!



About Joe

Senior Network Engineer, technology enthusiast, guitar and bass player. Joe Wilson is the creator of as well as other niche websites that can be found around on the Internets.

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  1. Bogart’s Frames Per Second Did Document Drama

    The PDUs for each layer of the OSI Model


  2. Emergency Alerts Create Early Warning Notifications In Disasters

    This one to me helps me also realize Emergency is at Level 0 and Events are at Level 3. Notice it also uses several of the actual event log message word types in the Mnemonic itself.
    Now if I could just figure out a mnemonic to help me remember how to spell the word mnemonic!
    And kudos to prince a koka, Please Do Not Touch Steve’s Pet Alligator is the one I teach in my Cisco classes since my first name is Steve 🙂 You wouldn’t happen to be one of my former students by chance???

    One other tip I can offer is try to keep the words inside the mnemonics limited to one syllable when possible. (though I didn’t do so with syslog, so I am still working on that one). But by keeping the words to one syllable when possible, it helps one in recalling the actual mnemonic itself!

    Here is a good one to remember EIGRP K-values:
    Beth Likes Deep Relaxing Massages
    K1- Bandwidth, K2-Load, K3- Delay, K4-Reliability, K5- MTU
    When configuring however there is a first value of type of service (tos) that is always zero, then that value is followed by the five K values.
    So the command would be default-metric 0 1 0 1 0 0
    K1 and K3 are the only ones set to 1 by default. All others are zero.,

  3. Syslog events: “Everyone Always Complains Even When Nothing Is Different”

  4. Syslog:

    Even A Critical Error Message Would Not Interest Donkeys

  5. sc_gamecock_eng

    Syslog severity levels: Eat Asian Cuisine Early With Ninjas In Dubai. I saw that somewhere when I was studying for my CCNP, lol.

  6. I always liked this one for the OSI model:

    Please Don't Network These Stupid People Again

  7. Syslog Message types

    Emergency (0)

    Alert (1)

    Critical (2)

    Error (3)

    Warning (4)

    Notifications (5)

    Information (6)

    Debug (7)

    "Emergency Alert & Critical Error Warning Notifyes Information Bug"

  8. I always liked this mnemonic for the OSI Model (top -down)








  9. OSI

    All People Seems To Need Data Processing

  10. Don't forget 'Attempt' in that OSPF mnemonic….

  11. OSPF Neighbour States:

    DI wanted a 2-WAY so took a couple of Es got loaded and then was F***d

    Down, Init, 2-WAY, Exstart, Exchange, Loading, Full.


    • Down —————————–Does
      Full——————————–Fully ?

  12. Great Mnemonics guys! Keep them coming!

  13. I love DORA in DHCP

    1.- Discover

    2.- Offer

    3.- Request

    4.- Acknowledge

  14. For the Syslog severity levels, I use Eventually All Critical Errors Will Not Involve Damage. It even includes 2 of the actual severity levels in the pneumonic.

  15. OSI Model

    Pretty Damn Nasty Transport Sessions Present Applications

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