Memory Tips for Learning the US Postal Abbreviations

Wonderful and funny memory tips for learning the US abbreviations. Maybe your kids can make up some of their own.

Memory tricks have always helped me when it comes to remembering both random and not-so-random facts. My kids have picked up on this, and they've come up with several of their own memory tricks to remember the US postal abbreviations.

Not all these memory tricks will work for everyone, but maybe they will give you a good place to start.

(NOTE: I didn't include the two-word states like New York and South Dakota because all of those abbreviations are formed from the first letter of each word.)

So without further ado…

Alabama (AL) — Cousin AL lives in Alabama (spoken with a thick Southern drawl).

Alaska (AK) — AK! (pronounced ack!) Who would ever want to living in Alaska where it's dark all winter? No offense to Alaskans intended. We actually lived in Alaska for three years and Jaden was even born there.

Arizona (AZ) — There's AZ in Arizona. (Read: There's a Z in Arizona.)

Arkansas (AR) — Pirates like to pronounce it AR-can-saw. (Read in your best piratey speech: Pirates like to pronounce it Arrrrrrrrrkansas.)

California (CA) — You can CA movie in Hollywood, California. (Read: You can see a movie in Hollywood, California.)

Colorado (CO) — The Colorado CO (Read: The Colorado Company.)

Connecticut (CT) —  A Connecticut Yankee couldn't get a CT scan in King Arthur's court.

Delaware (DE) — Tweedle-DE and Tweedle-Dum live in Delaware.

Florida (FL) — Florida is FL of gators. (Read: Florida is full of gators.)

Georgia (GA) — GA Georgia peach would taste nice. (Read: Gee! A Georgia peach would taste nice.)

Hawaii (HI) — Hawaiians are very friendly. They always say "HI."

Idaho (ID) — You need an ID to visit Idaho.

Illinois (IL) — You are always IL in Illinois. (Read: You are always ill in Illinois.)

Indiana (IN) — I stayed IN an IN IN Indiana. (Read: I stayed in and inn in Indiana.)

Iowa (IA) — I'm from Iowa. IA good speller. (Read: I'm from Iowa. I a good speller.) No offense to those with an Iowa education.

Kansas (KS) — KS me in Kansas. (Read: Kiss me in Kansas.)

Kentucky (KY) —  KY does Kentucky Fried Chicken sell beef? (Read: 'kay, why does Kentucky Fried Chicken sell beef?)

Louisiana (LA) — What if the smurfs moved to Louisianna? La-LA-la-la-la-la… (If you have no idea who the smurfs are, then congratulations, your life is probably better for it. And this memory trick will likely not help you in the slightest.)

Maine (ME) — It's all about ME in Maine.

Maryland (MD) — All the MDs (doctors) live in Maryland.

Massachusetts (MA) — Your MAMA lives in Massachusetts.

Michigan (MI) — Michigan loves The Sound of Music…do, re, MI!

Minnesota (MN) — There are lots of burly MN in Minnesota. (Read: There are lots of burly men in Minnesota.)

Mississippi (MS) — MS Mississippi won the pageant this year. (Read: Ms. Mississippi won the pageant this year.)

Missouri (MO) — The Three Stooges, Larry, Curly, and MO, retired to Missouri.

Montanta (MT) — There are many MTs in Montana. (Read: There are many mountains in Montana.)

Nebraska (NE) — The Knights that say "NE" live in Nebraska. If you've never seen Holy Grail, you probably won't understand this reference.

Nevada (NV) — There's likely a lot of NV in Las Vegas, Nevada casinos. (Read: There's likely a lot of envy in Las Vegas, Nevada casinos.)

Ohio (OH) — OH! So that's how you spell Ohio!

Oklahoma (OK) — You'll need your mother's OK to drive to Oklahoma.

Oregon (OR) — There were many 'Oregon OR Bust' signs on the backs of wagons on the Oregon Trail.

Pennsylvania (PA) — The Postal Abbreviation for Pennsylvania is PA.

Tennessee (TN) — They don't eat TN crumpets in Tennessee. (Read: They don't eat tea 'n crumpets in Tennessee.)

Texas (TX) — There's a lot of TXting going on in Texas. (Read: There's a lot of texting going on in Texas.)

Utah (UT) — The only thing we could think of for this one was to pronounce it "UT – ah." (Read: oot – ahh)

Vermont (VT) — I know a VT in Vermont. (Read: I know a vet in Vermont.)

Virginia (VA) — I went to the VA hospital in Virginia. (VA as in Veterans Affairs)

Washington (WA) — People cry a lot in Washington…WA-WA-WA. (No offense to Washingtonians.)

Wisconsin (WI) — In Wisconsin, you WI-n some, and you lose some. (Read: In Winsconsin, you win some, and you lose some.)

Wyoming (WY) — If you like rolling hills, WY don't you move to Wyoming? (Read: If you like rolling hills, why don't you move to Wyoming?)

This is obviously not a perfect list of memory tricks (far from it!), so if you have any suggestions of your own, please let me know (especially for Utah, which I'm still stumped on).

More Postal Abbreviation Practice

If you want more practice on your postal abbreviations, you can study here on my interactive tutorial. You may also like to download my ebook about Learning the States and Postal Abbreviations.

For an online quiz, you can go to Sheppard Software, scroll down until you find a yellow box on the left. Then click on "Play" under State Postal Abbreviations.

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  1. says

    Those are great! Thanks for sharing! BTW, my oldest was born in Alaska too. She's 16 and was born at Elmendorf AFB. We (the oldest and I) were trying to remember the abbreviations for Nebraska and Nevada the other day. FTR, I thought it was NE for Nebraska and NV for Nevada, but she wasn't sure and I wasn't absolutely positive. I'll always remember now!


  2. ashley says

    I love your site this is my first year as ahomeschool mom && im just trying to take in all this info! thanks for the help!!


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