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. ipv6 scope types:
    In Louisiana Snakes Always Shed On Grass
    Interface-Local, Link-Local, Subnet-Local, Admin-Local, Site-Local, Organization, Global

    Administrative Distance
    During Super Extraordinary Events Every Infested Ocean Is Rapidly Endangering Eels Ingesting Unknowns
    Direct, Static, eIGRP Summary, external BGP, eIGRP, IGRP, OSPF, IS-IS, RIP, EGP, External eIGRP, Internal BGP, Unknown

    All Cisco Engineers Will Need Icecream Daily

    Made up a few more studying for CCNA, but those come to mind.

  2. Nicholas Richardson

    Every Arsehole Complains Even When Network Isn’t Doerwrong. You’re welcome.

  3. OSI Model (Top-Down)

    From where I come from, this is very relevant lol!

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