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There are currently 445 symbols in this directory
A lot

MEANING

ENGLISH:

A lot, many, several, much, abundant, abundance, plenty

SPANISH:

Muchos, varios, abundante, abundancia, bastante

Family: Letters

EXPLANATION

This a abstraction combined with an abbreviated visual cue. It combines the ‘’A’’ and the ‘’L’’ from ‘’A lot’’. 


Accurate

MEANING

ENGLISH: Specific, exact, particular, precise, accurate

SPANISH: Específico, exacto, particular, preciso

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of a bullseye. When you ‘’hit the bullseye’’ you are ‘’accurate’’, ‘’on point’’.


Acute

MEANING

ENGLISH: Angle, acute, pointy, sharp

SPANISH: Ángulo, agudo, puntiagudo

Families: Math

EXPLANATION

This is the symbol for ‘’angle’’ in math. It’s also acute because an acute angle is less than 90 degrees, most likely you will draw this angle with less than 90 degrees. It’s also pointy because it has a little corner on the left is pointy (triangle sets are also pointy/sharp).


Address

MEANING

ENGLISH: Address, location, locate, position

SPANISH: Dirección, ubicación, ubicar, localizar, posición

Family: Circles, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is a visual abstraction from a radar/GPS. 


Affect

MEANING

ENGLISH: Affect

SPANISH: Afectar

Families: Letters, Medicine

EXPLANATION

 I created a new character from the letter ‘’A’’ and ‘’F’’ as in ‘’affect’’. 


After

MEANING

ENGLISH

After, afterwards

SPANISH:

Después

Families: Arrows

EXPLANATION

The arrow departs from the left (past) and moves to the right (future). Something happened before and the arrow or vertical line happens after.


Afternoon

MEANING

ENGLISH: Afternoon, evening

SPANISH: Tarde

Family: Compound symbols, image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the combination of two symbols: the moon and the sun. If you combine them, you get the moon with sun rays which means afternoon.


All

MEANING

ENGLISH: All, everything, entire, complete, total, whole

SPANISH: Todo, entero, completo, total

Family: Letters, Math

EXPLANATION

Math symbol.


Allow

MEANING

ENGLISH: Permission, permit, allow, let

SPANISH: Permiso, permitir, dejar que...

Families: Arrows, Letters

EXPLANATION

This is a combination of the ‘’good’’ symbol and a bent ‘’P’’ to make it stand out.


Alone

MEANING

ENGLISH: Alone, just, single, unique, self

SPANISH: Solo, único

Families: Arrow, Punctuation marks

EXPLANATION

The angle brackets are ‘’isolating’’ the short horizontal line. So, the line is on its own.


Always

MEANING

ENGLISH: Always, forever, eternal, infinite

SPANISH: Siempre, para siempre, eterno, infinito 

Families: Math

EXPLANATION

This is the math symbol for ‘’infinite’’ which can also mean forever in plain language. 


And

MEANING

ENGLISH: And, also

SPANISH: Y, también 

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

The ampersand symbol. It literally means ‘’and’’.


Animal

MEANING

ENGLISH: Animal, pet, dog, cat

SPANISH: Animal, mascota, perro, gato

Families: Image abstractions, Circles

EXPLANATION


Answer

MEANING

ENGLISH: Answer, reply, response

SPANISH: Respuesta, responder

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is the ‘’A’’ of ‘’Answer’’. The curved line instead of the horizontal line in the ‘’A’’ tweaks it a little bit. It’s odd enough to remember it’s the ‘’A for answer’’. 


Anxiety

MEANING

ENGLISH: Anxiety, anxious

SPANISH: Ansiedad, ansioso

Families: X family, Letters, Medicine

EXPLANATION


Apply

MEANING

ENGLISH: Apply, application

SPANISH: Aplicar, aplicación

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

There are two ways of drawing this symbol. The abbreviation is ‘’a’’ and ‘’p’’ from ‘’apply’’. The ‘’p’’ is on top of the ‘’a’’ to make it stand out as a weird ‘’a’’, ‘’p’’.The other option is the abstraction of an applicator.


Appointment

MEANING

ENGLISH: Date, appointment, schedule

SPANISH: Fecha, cita, agendar, programar

Families: Lines 

EXPLANATION

The three lines stand for DD/MM/YY (3 empty slots) _/_/_ which becomes _ _ _ 


Are

MEANING

ENGLISH: Are

SPANISH: Son, es

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is an abbreviation from ‘’Are’’. Once you choose a letter to represent something, stick to that meaning. Don’t use the same letter for something else. 


Arm

MEANING

ENGLISH: Arm, shoulder, forearm, muscle

SPANISH: Brazo, hombro, antebrazo, músculo

Families: Body parts, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a strong arm.


Arrive

MEANING

ENGLISH: Arrive, arrival

SPANISH: Llegar, llegada

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

The arrow is going somewhere and arrives at the vertical line. The vertical line indicates that the arrow has arrived at its destination.


Artery

MEANING

ENGLISH: Vein, artery, vessel

SPANISH: Vena, arteria, vaso (sanguíneo) 

Families: Body parts, Medicine, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of the ramification of veins and arteries in the body.


As

MEANING

ENGLISH: As

SPANISH: Como

Families: Slashes, Letters

EXPLANATION

The ‘’a’’ from ‘’as’’. The purpose of the slash is twofold: 1) to let me know there is an idea coming and 2) to differentiate the letter ‘’a’ to make it stand out as a unique type of ‘’a with a slash’’


Ask

MEANING

ENGLISH: Question, query, ask, inquire

SPANISH: Pregunta, preguntar

Families: Math

EXPLANATION

Standard question mark.


Attack

MEANING

ENGLISH: Attack, assault, offense, abuse, shot, weapon

SPANISH: Ataque, agresión, delito, abuso, disparar, arma

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of a pistol.


Aunt

MEANING

ENGLISH: Aunt

SPANISH: Tía

Families: Family members

EXPLANATION

This is another way of representing females and males. I add the repetition of the letters because a family is ‘’a repetition of genes’’, reproduction (produce again, repeat).

A niece is to her aunt what a daughter is to her mother. 


Avoid

MEANING

ENGLISH: Avoid, bypass, evade, prevent

SPANISH: Evitar, evadir, prevenir

Families: X family

EXPLANATION

The horizontal line is ‘’interrupted’’ by the X in the middle. This ‘’X’’ prevents these two lines from touching. 


Back

MEANING

ENGLISH: Back, spine

SPANISH: Espalda, columna

Families: Body parts, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a human spine. A lot of English verbs add the termination ‘’back’’ like call back, come back, etc. Remember that the symbol prompts you to hear a sound just like you hear the sound of words when you hear them. But you make sense of the sounds of the words with the context.


Bag

MEANING

ENGLISH: Bag, purse

SPANISH: Bolsa, bolso 

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a purse. I didn’t draw the full circle because of Gestalt (your brain completes the missing lines).


Ball

MEANING

ENGLISH: Football, soccer, ball

SPANISH: Fútbol, pelota, bola

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a football ball.


Balloon

MEANING

ENGLISH: Balloon, party, bladder

SPANISH: Globo, fiesta, vejiga

Families: Body parts, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a balloon.


Barrier

MEANING

ENGLISH: Barrier, fence

SPANISH: Barrera, verja, valla

Families: Image abstractions, Lines

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a fence.


Base

MEANING

ENGLISH: Basic, support, base, tolerate, stable

SPANISH: Básico, soporte, base, tolerar, estable

Families: Lines

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction and an arbitrary symbol. The vertical light is standing ‘’completely upright’’ on the horizontal line, it’s not wobbly, not bent, or inclined, which means the vertical line is strong enough to stand upright (support). The idea of ‘’basic’’ comes from the notion that if something is basic then there might be something advanced moving forwards, meaning that the basic units support or are the ‘’foundation’’ of  the advanced ones.


Beautiful

MEANING

ENGLISH: Beautiful, beauty, pretty, gorgeous, cute, fancy

SPANISH: Lindo, hermoso, bonito, elegante, belleza

Families: Lines

EXPLANATION

This is an arbitrary symbol. It reminds me of beautiful, elegant fonts.


Because

MEANING

ENGLISH: Because

SPANISH: Porque

Families: Connectors, Letters

EXPLANATION

The ‘’B’’ and the ‘’C’’ from ‘’Because’’


Bed

MEANING

ENGLISH: Bed, bedroom, room

SPANISH: Cama, habitación, cuarto

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a bed. 


Before

MEANING

ENGLISH:

Before, previously, in the past, former

SPANISH:

Antes, previamente, anteriormente, en el pasado

Families: Arrows

EXPLANATION

The line is pointing to the left, which means ‘’past’’. Depending on the word you may change the abbreviation on top of the arrow.


Belief

MEANING

ENGLISH: Hope, expect, believe, belief, hopeful

SPANISH: Esperar, creer, esperanza, creencia

Families: Lines, Emotions

EXPLANATION

This is an arbitrary symbol that I started to use because it reminds me of a happy face (when you hope for something, if it happens it will make you happy).


Bell

MEANING

ENGLISH: Bell, reception, buzzer

SPANISH: Campana, recepción, timbre

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a counter call bell.


Belly

MEANING

ENGLISH: Chest, belly, abdomen, stomach, torso

SPANISH: Pecho, barriga, abdomen, estómago, torso

Family: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a belly. I use the ‘’Cx’’ symbol when they say ‘’chest’’ because of the X family (Fx = fracture, Dx = Diagnosis, Bx = Biopsy), etc. I wouldn’t use Cx for ‘’belly, stomach’’, because the first thing you will think about when you see ‘’Cx’’ will be ‘’chest’’. The abstraction is more general. 


Below

MEANING

ENGLISH: Below

SPANISH: Debajo

Families: Punctuation marks

EXPLANATION

 If you put the parenthesis under another symbol, the parenthesis will be ‘’below’’ it.


Bend down

MEANING

ENGLISH: Bend down, squat

SPANISH: Agacharse, ponerse en cuclillas

Families: Arrows

EXPLANATION

This is a combination of symbols and also an abstraction. The horizontal lanes bend in an arch and then we have the arrow pointing downwards to indicate ‘’down’’ as in ‘’bend down’’.


Besides

MEANING

ENGLISH: Besides

SPANISH: Además

Families: Letters, Slashes

EXPLANATION

The ‘’b’’ and ‘’s’’ from ‘’besides’’. The purpose of the slash is twofold: 1) to let me know there is an idea coming and 2) to differentiate the letters ‘’b’’ and ‘’s’’ to make them stand out as a unique type of ‘’b and s with a slash’’


Better

MEANING

ENGLISH: Better, improve, improvement

SPANISH: Mejor, mejorar, mejoría 

Families: Arrows

EXPLANATION

This symbol derives from the symbol for good. It has the little arrow on the upper right corner to indicate it’s a special kind of good, it’s better.


Big

MEANING

ENGLISH: Big, large, huge, long

SPANISH: Grande, gigante, largo 

Families: Punctuation marks, Lines

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction. The horizontal line is very long. It occupies a large portion of the paper.


Bike

MEANING

ENGLISH: Bike, motorcycle

SPANISH: Bicicleta, motocicleta, moto

Families: Circles, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a motorcycle or bike. The two circles are the wheels.


Biopsy

MEANING

ENGLISH: Biopsy

SPANISH: Biopsia

Families: X family, Medicine

EXPLANATION


Blurry

MEANING

ENGLISH: Blurry, blurred

SPANISH: Borroso

Families: Compound symbols, Circles, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the combination of two symbols. The symbol for ‘’see’’ and a wobbly line that means insecurity. If your vision is blurry you are not sure about what you are seeing.


Board

MEANING

ENGLISH: Board, panel, dashboard

SPANISH: Board, panel, tablero

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a chalkboard.


Body

MEANING

ENGLISH: Body, corpse, physical, live

SPANISH: Cuerpo, cadaver, físico, vivir 

Families: Image abstractions, Body parts, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a human body.


Bone

MEANING

ENGLISH: Bone, bony 

SPANISH: Hueso, huesudo

Families: Body parts, Medicine, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a bone.


Bottom

MEANING

ENGLISH: Bottom

SPANISH: Abajo

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is an arbitrary symbol. The accent mark is below the letter ‘’i’’. (upside down ‘’i’’). The accent mark is at the bottom of the ‘’i’’


Bread

MEANING

ENGLISH: Bread, wheat, cereal, rice, oats, grain

SPANISH: Pan, trigo, cereal, arroz, avena, grano

Families: Image abstractions, Foods

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a wheat plant.


Breast

MEANING

ENGLISH: Breast, nipple, areola 

SPANISH: Seno, pezón, aureola 

Families: Body parts, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is a combination of a strong arm.


Bring

MEANING

ENGLISH: Bring

SPANISH: Traer, llevar

Families: Arrows, Compound symbols

EXPLANATION

This is the combination of the letter ‘’b’’ and the symbol for ‘’go’’. The result is a laid down ‘’b’’ with an arrow. I didn’t draw the full ‘’b’’ to save strokes.


Brother

MEANING

ENGLISH: Brother, bro

SPANISH: Hermano

Families: Family members, Letters

EXPLANATION

This is another way of representing females and males. I add the repetition of the letters because a family is ‘’a repetition of genes’’, reproduction (produce again, repeat).


Brother in law

MEANING

ENGLISH: Brother in law

SPANISH: Cuñado

Families: Family members, Compound symbols

EXPLANATION

This is another way of representing females and males. I add the repetition of the letters because a family is ‘’a repetition of genes’’, reproduction (produce again, repeat). 

A combination of symbols. 


Brush

MEANING

ENGLISH: Brush, scrub, broom, sweep

SPANISH: Cepillo, restregar, escoba, barrer

Families: Image abstractions, Lines

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a broom.


Building

MEANING

ENGLISH: Building, build, construction

SPANISH: Edificio, construir, construcción

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction from a city skyline.


Business

MEANING

ENGLISH: Business, company, suitcase

SPANISH: Empresa, compañía, maleta

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a business suitcase.


But

MEANING

ENGLISH: But

SPANISH: Pero

Families: Connectors, Letters

EXPLANATION

The ‘’B’’ from ‘’But’’.


Butter

MEANING

ENGLISH: Butter, margarine, lard

SPANISH: Mantequilla, margarina, manteca 

Families: Image abstractions, Foods

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a block of butter.


By

MEANING

ENGLISH: By

SPANISH: Por, a través de

Families: Slashes, Letters

EXPLANATION

The ‘’b’’ for ‘’by’’. The purpose of the slash is twofold: 1) to let me know there is an idea coming and 2) to differentiate the letter ‘’b’’ to make it stand out as a unique type of ‘’b with a slash’’


Can

MEANING

ENGLISH: Can, have

SPANISH: Poder, tener

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

The hand symbol (as in being able to do something with your own hands or have something in your hands. You can add a subscript as follows:


Cancer

MEANING

ENGLISH: Cancer, cancerous,  cancerogenic 

SPANISH: Cáncer, canceroso, cancerígeno

Families: Letters, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is an abbreviation.


Cane

MEANING

ENGLISH: Cane, limp, crutches

SPANISH: Bastón, cojear, cojo, muletas

Families: Medicine, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a cane.


Car

MEANING

ENGLISH: Car, vehicle, automobile

SPANISH: Carro, vehículo, automóvil

Families: Image abstractions, Circles

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a car.


Case

MEANING

ENGLISH: Case

SPANISH: Caso

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is a visual cue + abbreviation. The ‘’c’’ from ‘’case’’. and I draw a little line on top to make it a special kind of ‘’c’’ so I never confuse it with anything else. 


Catheter

MEANING

ENGLISH: Catheter, catheterization, port

SPANISH: Catéter, cateterismo, puerto 

Families: Image abstractions, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of an IV bag.


Cause

MEANING

ENGLISH: Cause, consequence, lead to, provoke

SPANISH: Causar, consecuencia, conllevar, provocar

Families: Connectors, Arrows

EXPLANATION

This is an arbitrary symbol. I chose it because it’s fast to draw and it’s unique.


Cell

MEANING

ENGLISH: Cell, jail, prison

SPANISH: Celda, cárcel, prisión

Families: Medicine, Legal, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of the idea of being ‘’behind bars’’.


Certification

MEANING

ENGLISH: Professional, merit, medal, certificate, certification, certify

SPANISH: Profesional, mérito, medalla, certificado, certificación, certificar

Families: Image abstractions, Circles

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a medal. When you give a medal to someone you recognize their outstanding skills, like those of a professional.


Cervix

MEANING

ENGLISH: Cervix, cervical

SPANISH: Cérvix, cervical

Families: Letters, Body parts

EXPLANATION

This is the combination of a ‘’C’’ and a ‘’V’’ into a single character.


Chair

MEANING

ENGLISH: Chair, sit

SPANISH: Silla, sentarse

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a chair.


Change

MEANING

ENGLISH: Change, modify, alter, swap, switch, modification, alteration, vary

SPANISH: Cambiar, modificar, alterar, modificación, alteración, variar

Families: Basic shapes, Math

EXPLANATION

This triangle means ‘’change’’ in math equations (especially chemistry) 

The change in temperature is equal to temperature 1 minus temperature 2 

Check

MEANING

ENGLISH: Check, monitor, supervise

SPANISH: Revisar, monitorear, supervisar

Families: Image abstractions, Circles

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of the lens of a security camera.


Chest

MEANING

ENGLISH: Chest

SPANISH: Pecho

Families: X family, Body parts

EXPLANATION


Child

MEANING

ENGLISH: Child, children, youth, baby, childish, infant 

SPANISH: Niño, niños, juventud, bebé, infantil, infante

Families: Image abstractions, Family members

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a lollipop. Children love lollipops and sweets. The lollipop is tilted because the little stick is completely vertical it could be easily confused with other symbols like that of ‘’woman’’.


Chronic

EXPLANATION

This is the symbol for ''pi'' in math. The pi number is irrational, which means it does not end. The idea of something chronic is also the idea of something constant, without an ending, like ''pi.''

MEANING

ENGLISH:Chronic, constant 

SPANISH: Crónico, constante

Families: Math

EXPLANATION

This is the symbol for ''pi'' in math. The pi number is irrational, which means it does not end. The idea of something chronic is also the idea of something constant, without an ending, like ''pi.''


Clean

MEANING

ENGLISH: Clean, cleaning, sanitize, mop, wash, disinfect, clear up, clear

SPANISH: Limpiar, limpio, limpieza, sanear, trapear, lavar, desinfectar, claro

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a broom you use to clean.


Climb

MEANING

ENGLISH: Ladder, rail, climb

SPANISH: Escalera, barandal, trepar

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a ladder.


Close

MEANING

ENGLISH: Close

SPANISH: Cerrar

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is a door. The door handle is locked. 


Closet

MEANING

ENGLISH: Closet, cupboard, pantry

SPANISH: Closet, armario, despensa

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a closet.


Cold

MEANING

ENGLISH: Cold, coldness, chills, frozen

SPANISH: Frío, frialdad, escalofríos, congelado

Families: Medicine, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a snowflake. I added a line on top so I don’t confuse it with the symbol for ‘’police’’


Comfortable

MEANING

ENGLISH: Comfortable, comfort, accommodate

SPANISH: Cómodo, comodidad, acomodar

Families: Image abstractions, Medicine

EXPLANATION

 This is the abstraction of a person with their arms laid back, sitting, calmly looking at the horizon.


Communication

MEANING

ENGLISH: Statement, communication, dialogue, conversation 

SPANISH: Declaración, comunicación, diálogo, conversación

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is a ‘’thought bubble’’ commonly used in comics.


Community

MEANING

ENGLISH: Government, community, politics, property, public

SPANISH: Gobierno, comunidad, política, propiedad, público

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of the Greek/Classic design that government buildings tend to have.


Condom

MEANING

ENGLISH: Condom, rubber, Jhonny

SPANISH: Condón, ‘’gorrito’’

Families: Image abstractions, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a condom.


Confidential

MEANING

ENGLISH: Private, confidential, secret

SPANISH: Privacidad, confidencial, secreto

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a padlock. You use a padlock to keep something away from others, just like you would do with a secret or something private. It’s a round padlock because it’s easier to draw. 


Confirm

MEANING

ENGLISH: Confirm, sure, confidence, make sure, certain, definitely, certainly, surely

SPANISH: Confirmar, claro, confianza, asegurarse, seguro, definitivamente, seguramente, desde luego 

Families: Arrows

EXPLANATION

This symbol derives from another symbol. It’s the same as ‘’good’’ but with a little tweak to make it different. So, it’s not only good, but it’s certainly good, sure, confident…


Confused

MEANING

ENGLISH: Doubt, confusion, confuse, confused

SPANISH: Duda, confusión, confundir, confundido

Families: Punctuation marks, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is a person moving their hands to their head or scratching their head as a sign of confusion.


Continue

MEANING

ENGLISH: Continue, keep on, move forwards

SPANISH: Continuar, seguir 

Families: Arrows

EXPLANATION

This is the same symbol for ‘’go’’ but with a little tweak to make it stand out. As you’ve seen, arrows have a lot of uses in note-taking.


Control

MEANING

ENGLISH: Control, controlled

SPANISH: Controlar, controlado

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is the ‘’C’’ as in ‘’control’’, the little


Cook

MEANING

ENGLISH: Bowl, kitchen, soup, stew, brew, cook, broth

SPANISH: Tazón, bol, cocina, sopa, guiso, cocinar, caldo

Families: Image abstractions, Food, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a bowl with a spoon inside.


Copy

MEANING

ENGLISH: Copy, replica, duplicate

SPANISH: Copia, réplica, duplicar, duplicado, copiar

Families: Lines

EXPLANATION

We have two identical symbols. One is the exact copy of the other. This is an arbitrary symbol. I decided to use it because I can draw it quickly and it’s weird enough to jumpstart my memory 


Cord

MEANING

ENGLISH: Cord, rope, string

SPANISH: Cuerda, soga, hilo

Families: Lines, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a cord. The little curls at the end are there to not confuse it with the symbol for ‘’soft’’.


Cough

MEANING

ENGLISH: Cough, spit

SPANISH: Toser, escupir 

Families: Compound symbols, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the symbol for mouths combined with some liens that represent ‘’saliva drops’’


Could

MEANING

ENGLISH: Could

SPANISH: Podría

Families: Modal verbs, Letters

EXPLANATION

The ''C'' and ''L'' as in ''could''.


Cousin

MEANING

ENGLISH: Cousins

SPANISH: Primos

Families: Family members, Letters

EXPLANATION

This is another way of representing females and males. I add the repetition of the letters because a family is ‘’a repetition of genes’’, reproduction (produce again, repeat).


Cover

MEANING

ENGLISH: Over, cover

SPANISH: Encima, cubrir

Family: Punctuation marks

EXPLANATION

If you put something under the parenthesis, the parenthesis will be ‘’over’’ it.


Cream

MEANING

ENGLISH: Cream, jelly, gel, ointment, paste

SPANISH: Crema, gel, unguento, pasta

Families: Image abstractions, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of a jar of cream. 


Cup

MEANING

ENGLISH: Drink, beverage, cup, alcohol

SPANISH: Beber, bebida, taza, vaso, alcohol

Families: Foods, Image abstractions, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a glass cup with a straw.


Cure

MEANING

ENGLISH: Heal, cure, soothe, alleviate, relief, recovery

SPANISH: anar, curar, aliviar, alivio, recuperar

Family: Medicine, Lines

EXPLANATION

This is an arbitrary symbol. There is no particular reason why I created this symbol. It just stuck with me and it’s distinctive enough.


Cut

MEANING

ENGLISH: Cut, chop, trim, split, divide, rupture, separate

SPANISH: Cortar, mochar, partir, dividir, romper, ruptura, separar

Families: Lines, Slashes, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of a blade cutting a continuous line and after that, the line is segmented because of the blade.


Daughter

MEANING

ENGLISH: Daughter

SPANISH: Hija

Families: Family members

EXPLANATION

The two angled brackets mean repetition. As a family member, you are part of the same, you are a copy of your grandparents or your parents, the bottom angle bracket is the offspring of the first angle bracket. I use an angle bracket to differentiate it from the parentheses I use for parents and grandparents. 


Day

MEANING

ENGLISH: Day, morning, daily, summer

SPANISH: Día, mañana, diariamente, verano

Families: Circles, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

Abstraction from the sun.


Decision

MEANING

ENGLISH: Decision, decide, pick, select, determine, vote

SPANISH: Decisión, decidir, elegir, seleccionar, determinar, votar 

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a hand pointing at something using the index finger.


Deep

MEANING

ENGLISH: Deep, profound, depth

SPANISH: Hondo, profundo, profundidad

Families: Arrows

EXPLANATION

The downwards arrow is below the surface of the horizontal line. It’s deep below.


Define

MEANING

ENGLISH: Define, definition, meaning, mean

SPANISH: Definición, definir, significado, significar

Families: Punctuation marks

EXPLANATION

You use the colon to define things, to explain their meaning. 


Deform

MEANING

ENGLISH: Deform, disfigure, distort

SPANISH: Deformar, desfigurar, distorsionar

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is the combination of the letter ‘’d’’ as ‘’deform’’ and the little curly thread below shows the deformation of the ‘’d’’. It works as a single character.


Deliver

MEANING

ENGLISH: Give birth, delivery, birth 

SPANISH: Dar a luz, parto, nacimiento 

Families: Image abstractions, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a woman with her legs open giving birth.


Depend

MEANING

ENGLISH: Depend, condition, conditional, rely on

SPANISH: Depender, condición, condicional

Families: Arrows

EXPLANATION

This is an arbitrary symbol. I use it because I can draw it quickly and it’s unique enough to remind me what it means. 


Desk

MEANING

ENGLISH: Table, desk, counter

SPANISH: Mesa, escritorio, mostrador

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a table.


Detail

MEANING

ENGLISH: Detail, detailed, point, aspect

SPANISH: Detalle, detallado, punto, aspecto

Families: Lines

EXPLANATION

This is a very arbitrary symbol. The dot is like a small, but specific part of something. Imagine this is a macro view of a grain of sand on your fingertip. That’s the level of ‘’detail’’. Or it could be just the point of something and the arch around it is to make it stand out so we don’t miss it when we read back our notes.


Diagnosis

MEANING

ENGLISH: Diagnosis, diagnose

SPANISH: Diagnóstico, diagnosticar

Families: X family, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is an abreviation.


Die

MEANING

ENGLISH: Death, die

SPANISH: Muerte, morir

Families: Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of the cross on top of tombstones.


Different

MEANING

ENGLISH: Different, differentiate, unequal

SPANISH: Diferente, diferenciar, desigual

Families: Math

EXPLANATION

This symbol is based on an antonym, if this ‘’=’’ is equal, same then this ‘’≠ ‘’ is different, unequal. It’s the idea of crossing out the symbol with a diagonal line (forward slash) to mean the opposite.


Direct

MEANING

ENGLISH: Direct, direction, orientation, directly

SPANISH:  Dirigir, dirección, orientación, directamente

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a bow and an arrow being pulled back, ready to be thrown.


Dizzy

MEANING

ENGLISH: Dizzy, lightheaded, dizziness

SPANISH: Mareado, aturdido, mareo

Families: Image abstractions, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of the little spinning stars around somebody’s head.


Doctor

MEANING

ENGLISH: Doctor

SPANISH: Doctor, doctora

Families: Medicine, Letters

EXPLANATION

Standard abbreviation for ‘’Doctor’’ 


Dose

MEANING

ENGLISH: Dose, dosage

SPANISH: Dosis

Families: Medicine, Letters

EXPLANATION

Abbreviation of the word ‘’Dose’’ 


Down

MEANING

ENGLISH: Down, low, fall

SPANISH: Abajo, bajo, caer 

Families: Arrow

EXPLANATION

The arrow goes down.


Drug

MEANING

ENGLISH: Drugs

SPANISH: Drogas

Families: Letters, Medicine, Legal

EXPLANATION

This is a visual cue + abbreviation. The ‘’d’’ from ‘’drugs’’ and I draw a little line on top to make it a special kind of ‘’d’’ so I never confuse it with anything else. 


Dry

MEANING

ENGLISH: Dry

SPANISH: Seco, secar

Families: Image abstractions, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a washing machine. You use it to dry your clothes.


During

MEANING

ENGLISH: During

SPANISH: Durante

Family: Plotting

EXPLANATION

The line moves from left to right (passing of time)

During the day

Easy

MEANING

ENGLISH: Easy, simple, straightforward, facilitate

SPANISH:  Fácil, simple, sencillo, facilitar

Families: Arrows, Compound symbols

EXPLANATION

This is a combination of symbols.


Effective

MEANING

ENGLISH: Effect, effective

SPANISH: Efecto, efectivo

Families: Letters, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the combination of two letters ‘’F’’ and ‘’E’’ as in ‘’effect’’.


Egg

MEANING

ENGLISH: Egg, ovum 

SPANISH: Huevo, óvulo

Families: Image abstractions, Foods

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a fried egg. 


Eligible

MEANING

ENGLISH: Eligible, eligibility

SPANISH: Elegible, elegibilidad 

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is a combination o the characters ‘’E’’ and ‘’J’’ (the letter ‘’G’’ sounds very similar to the letter ‘’J’’ in this case). You can also think about the ‘’J’’ hanging below the ‘’E’’ as a half ‘’G’’. Everything is in cursive to make it stand out and to draw it more easily.


Else

MEANING

ENGLISH: Else

SPANISH: Otro

Families: Slashes, Letters

EXPLANATION

The ‘’E’’ and ‘’L’’ from ‘’else’’. The purpose of the slash is twofold: 1) to let me know there is an idea coming and 2) to differentiate the letters ‘’E’’ and ‘’L’’ to make them stand out as a unique type of ‘’E and L with a slash’’


Emotion

MEANING

ENGLISH: Emotion, emotional, sensible, sensitivity, sentiment, feeling, feel

SPANISH: Emoción, emocional, sensible, sensibilidad, sentimiento, sentir

Families: Punctuation marks, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of both a smiley and sad face. Emotions range from sad to happy.


Energy

MEANING

ENGLISH: Energy, electricity

SPANISH: Energía, electricidad

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of a lighting bolt.


Enough

MEANING

ENGLISH: Enough

SPANISH: Suficiente

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is the ‘’E’’ of ‘’Enough’’. The cursive writing is to make it stand out and make sure this ‘’E’’ is used only for ‘’Enough’’


Enzyme

MEANING

ENGLISH: Enzyme

SPANISH: Enzima

Families: Letters, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is an abbreviation + a visual cue. 


Equal

MEANING

ENGLISH: Same, result, equal, identical, outcome 

SPANISH: Igual, resultado, idéntico

Families: Math

EXPLANATION

Standard math symbol for ‘’equal to’’.


Even

MEANING

ENGLISH: Even, event, episode

SPANISH: Incluso, suceso, evento, episodio

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is an abbreviation (letter e) and a visual cue (the line above the letter e). You will know whether it’s ‘’even’’ or ‘’event’’ by the context.


Every

MEANING

ENGLISH: Every, each

SPANISH: Cada

Family: Slashes, Letters

EXPLANATION

The ‘’e’’ from ‘’every’’. The purpose of the slash is twofold: 1) to let me know there is an idea coming and 2) to differentiate the letter ‘’e’’ to make it stand out as a unique type of ‘’e with a slash’’


Example

MEANING

ENGLISH: Example

SPANISH: Ejemplo

Families: Letters, Slashes

EXPLANATION

The ‘’e’’ and ‘’x’’ from ‘’example’’. The purpose of the slash is twofold: 1) to let me know there is an idea coming and 2) to differentiate the letters ‘’e’’ and ‘’x’’ to make them stand out as a unique type of ‘’e and x with a slash’’


Exist

MEANING

ENGLISH: Exist, there is, there are, existent, to be

SPANISH: Existe, hay, existente ser

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is the math symbol for ‘’there is’’.  


Experience

MEANING

ENGLISH: Experience

SPANISH: Experience

Families: X family, Letters

EXPLANATION


Extreme

MEANING

ENGLISH: Extreme, extra, excess, excessive

SPANISH: Extremo, extra, exceso, excesivo

Families: X family

EXPLANATION

This is the ‘’X’’ that all these words have in common ‘’extreme’’, ‘’extra’’, ‘’excess’’. I used a little arrow on the top right corner to make it stand out.


Eyes

MEANING

ENGLISH: Eyes, cornea, iris, pupil, eyelid, eyelashes

SPANISH: Ojos, cornea, iris, pupila, párpado, pestañas 

Family: Body parts

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of an eye.


Face

MEANING

ENGLISH: Face, cheeks, facial

SPANISH: Cara, rostro, mejillas, facial

Families: Body parts

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a face.


Fact

MEANING

ENGLISH: Fact, factual, factor

SPANISH: Hecho, fáctico, factor

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is an abbreviation (letter F and in ‘’Fact’’) and a visual cue (the horizontal line above the F).


Families

MEANING

ENGLISH: Navel, belly button 

SPANISH: Ombligo, umbilical

Families: Body parts, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a belly button.


Family

MEANING

ENGLISH: Family, relatives

SPANISH: Familia, parientes

Families: Family members, Lines

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction that represents family bonds. This symbol looks like laces, like the bonds or ‘’threads’’ that unite families. This is also an arbitrary symbol. 


Fast

MEANING

ENGLISH:

Fast, quick, swift, prompt, sudden, soon, speed, brief

SPANISH:

Rápido, veloz, velocidad, breve pronto, repentino

Families: Arrows, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This a visual abstraction. Think about the buttons on a T.V. remote that you use to speed up or slow down the video/audio.


Fat

MEANING

ENGLISH: Fat, fatty

SPANISH: Gordo, grasa, grasoso

Families: Image abstractions, Medicine

EXPLANATION

Abstraction of a fat body. The little circle is the head, the bigger circle is the fat (belly).


Father

MEANING

ENGLISH: Father, dad, daddy

SPANISH: Padre, papá, papi  

Families: Punctuation marks, Family members

EXPLANATION

The two parentheses mean repetition. As a family member, you are part of the same, you are a copy of your grandparents or your parents, the bottom parenthesis is the offspring of the first parenthesis. 

It also includes the symbol for man.  


Father in law

MEANING

ENGLISH: Father in law

SPANISH: Suegro

Families: Compound symbols, Family members

EXPLANATION

The two parentheses mean repetition. As a family member, you are part of the same, you are a copy of your grandparents or your parents, the bottom parenthesis is the offspring of the first parenthesis. 

This is the symbol for man.

  


Fiber

MEANING

ENGLISH: Fiber, fibrous 

SPANISH: Fibra, fibroso 

Families: Image abstractions, Foods

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction. The little threads are like the threads of something fibrous. 


Filter

MEANING

ENGLISH: Filter, filtration, leak, leakage

SPANISH: Filtrar, filtración, fuga

Families: Abstraction, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a test tube with liquid inside and the liquid is leaking out of the test tube.


Finger

MEANING

ENGLISH: Nail, finger, fingertips

SPANISH: Uña, dedo, yema del dedo

Families: Body parts, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a finger.


Focus

MEANING

ENGLISH: Care, focus, attention, careful

SPANISH: Cuidado, enfoque, atención, cuidadoso

Families: Punctuation marks

EXPLANATION

The exclamation mark generally means something you have to pay attention to.


Food

MEANING

ENGLISH: Food, meal, fish, feed

SPANISH: Alimento, comida, pescado, dar de comer

Families: Foods, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a ‘’fish’’. This fish is associated with bread, fish, and wine as a meal (eucharist, Christianity). The fish reminds me of the eucharist. 


Foot

MEANING

ENGLISH: Foot, feet, toe, boot, shoe

SPANISH: Pierna, pie, dedo del pie, bota, zapato

Families: Body parts, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a foot.


For

MEANING

ENGLISH: For

SPANISH: Para

Families: Slashes

EXPLANATION

The sound of ‘’for’’ as ‘’four’’ (4) and the forward slash. The forward slash will be a very important symbol of a series of symbols like by, b/, with, w/, without, w/o, etc. The forward slash generally means that there is something else more important coming (another idea or group of ideas) 


Forget

MEANING

ENGLISH: Forget, forgetful 

SPANISH: Olvidar, olvidadizo

Families: Letters, Medicine

EXPLANATION

 This is the ‘’f’’ as in ‘’forget’’. It’s a special kind of ‘’f’’. My visual cues are the little curve at the bottom of the ‘’F’’ and/or the horizontal line on top of the ‘’F’’.


Formula

MEANING

ENGLISH: Formula

SPANISH: Fórmula

Family: Letters, Medicine, Compound symbols

EXPLANATION

This is a combination of symbols or an abbreviation + visual cue.


Fracture

MEANING

ENGLISH: Fracture, function, fractured

SPANISH: Fractura, función, fracturado

Families: X family, Medicine, Letters

EXPLANATION


From

MEANING

ENGLISH: From, source, origin

SPANISH: De, de parte de, fuente, origen

Families: Arrows 

EXPLANATION


Front

MEANING

ENGLISH: Front, frontal

SPANISH: Frente, frontal

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is the ‘’f’’ as in ‘’front’’. I add the vertical bar to differentiate it from any other kind of ‘’f’’ (the same logic we use with slashes).


Fruit

MEANING

ENGLISH: Fruit, apple, orange, berry, pear

SPANISH: Fruta, manzana, naranja, baya, pera

Families: Image abstractions, Foods

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of an orange.


Gap

MEANING

ENGLISH: Hole, gap, ring, hollow

SPANISH: Hoyo, hueco, anillo, ahuecado

Families: Circles

EXPLANATION

The smaller circle inside the larger circle creates a gap in the middle. You can see this ‘’hollow’’ space in green. 


Garbage

MEANING

ENGLISH: Dirty, trash, garbage, waste, refuse, trash can

SPANISH: Sucio, basura, desperdicio, desecho, basurero

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a trash can.


Gas

MEANING

ENGLISH: Gas, air, wind

SPANISH: Gas, aire, viento

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of the fire coming out of a burner. Don’t confuse with the symbol for ‘’fire, warm’’. This symbol (gas) is more related to air than burning. Remember that fire needs oxygen to stay alight You can also see this symbol as the letter ‘’S’’ inside another ‘’S’’.


Give

MEANING

ENGLISH: Give, donate, provide

SPANISH: Dar, donar, proveer, proporcionar

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a hand. The hand goes from left to right (from you to someone else). You are giving it out.


Go

MEANING

ENGLISH: Go

SPANISH: Ir

Families: Arrows

EXPLANATION

This symbol is more like an auxiliary symbol. It’s used right next to other symbols, especially verbs and nouns.


Goal

MEANING

ENGLISH: Goal, objective, purpose

SPANISH: Meta, objetivo, propósito 

Families: Circles, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a dartboard. The ‘’bull’s eye’’. You want to hit the center (an exact place) with a dart. This abstraction works for two slightly different symbols.


Good

MEANING

ENGLISH: Good, excellent, great, awesome, fantastic, wonderful

SPANISH: Bien, excelente, grandioso, genial, fantástico, maravilloso

Families: Basic shapes, Arrows

EXPLANATION

Standard checkmark symbol


Grandfather

MEANING

ENGLISH: Grandfather, granddad

SPANISH: Abuelo, abue

Families: Family members

EXPLANATION

The top line means that he’s from another generation or an older generation (elderly must be respected, they came first than their children or grandchildren)

The two parentheses mean repetition. As a family member, you are part of the same, you are a copy of your grandparents or your parents, the bottom parenthesis is the offspring of the first parenthesis. 

This is the symbol for man, a grandfather is usually a man. 


Grandmother

MEANING

ENGLISH: Grandmother, grandma, granny

SPANISH: Abuela, abue, abuelita

Families: Family members

EXPLANATION

The top line means that she is from another generation or a superior generation (elderly must be respected, they came first than their children or grandchildren).

The two parentheses mean repetition. As a family member, you are part of the same, you are a copy of your grandparents or your parents, the bottom parenthesis is the offspring of the first parenthesis. 

This is the symbol for a woman, a grandmother is usually a woman. 


Groin

MEANING

ENGLISH: Groin, crotch

SPANISH: Ingle, entrepierna 

Families: Body parts, Letters, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a groin.


Hair

MEANING

ENGLISH: Hair, wig, haircut

SPANISH: Cabello, pelo, vello, peluca

Families: Image abstractions, Body parts

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of hair strands. 


Hand

MEANING

ENGLISH: Hand, finger, palm, touch, knuckle

SPANISH: Mano, dedo, palma, tocar, nudillo

Families: Image abstractions, Body parts

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a hand.


Handcuff

MEANING

ENGLISH: Handcuff, crime, corruption

SPANISH: Esposas, crimen, corrupción

Family: Legal, Image abstractions, Letters

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of real-world handcuffs. I keep the ‘’C’’ on both sides to remind me of the words ‘’crime’’, ‘’corruption’’, ‘’handcuff’’ (all with a C). 


Hang

MEANING

ENGLISH: Hang, hanging

SPANISH: Colgar, colgando

Families: Image abstractions, Lines

EXPLANATION

The horizontal line is a surface, the curvy line below is attached to. Imagine it’s something hanging, like a thread moved by the wind. 


Happy

MEANING

ENGLISH: Happy, joyful, please, glad, cheerful

SPANISH: Feliz, regocijado, encantado, alegre, contento

Families: Emotions

EXPLANATION

Typical smiley face


Have

MEANING

ENGLISH: Have, to do, can, use

SPANISH: Tener, hacer, poder, usar

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of a hand. When you have something in your hand, you own it, possess it. The idea of something in your hands is always that of ‘’having’’. If you have it you are able to use it, to do something, you can. 


He

MEANING

ENGLISH: Man, men, male, he, him, masculine, boy, sir, mister, guy

SPANISH: Hombre, masculino, él, niño, señor, tipo

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

Standard gender symbols.


Head

MEANING

ENGLISH: Head, skull, cranium, brain, scalp

SPANISH: Cabeza, cráneo, cerebro, cuero cabelludo

Families: Body parts, Circles

EXPLANATION

The circle is the head. The line on top helps make this circle stand out as the symbol for the head. Your head is on top of your body. This line also helps differentiate the symbol for ‘’head’’ from the symbol for ‘’we’’.


Height

MEANING

ENGLISH: Height, tall

SPANISH: Altura, alto

Families: Arrows, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a measuring line used in blueprints.


Help

MEANING

ENGLISH: Help, assist, assistance

SPANISH: Ayudar, asistir, asistencia 

Families: Punctuation marks, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of two helping hands.


Hemorrhoids

MEANING

ENGLISH: Hemorrhoids, piles 

SPANISH: Hemorroides, almorranas 

Families: Letters, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is an abbreviation + a visual cue. The little string next to the ‘’H’’ is supposed to be the swollen blood vessel (hemorrhoid) that protrudes outside of the ‘’H’’.


Here

MEANING

ENGLISH: Today, here, now

SPANISH: Hoy, aquí, ahora 

Family: Arrow, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This arrow reflects a hand movement that I’ve seen people do when they say ‘’now’’.

Notice how the arrow at the bottom is curved and not pointy. I want to differentiate it from ‘’fall’’ ↓. I would use abbreviations to know the exact word 

Hernia

MEANING

ENGLISH: Hernia

SPANISH: Hernia

Families: Medicine, Letters

EXPLANATION

Abbreviation


Hip

MEANING

ENGLISH: Waist, hip

SPANISH: Cintura, cadera 

Families: Body parts, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a belly button.


History

MEANING

ENGLISH: History

SPANISH: Historial, antecedentes

Families: Letters, X family, M

EXPLANATION

Abbreviation.


Hit

MEANING

ENGLISH: Hit, collision, crash, fight, confrontation

SPANISH: Golpe, golpear, choque, fight, confrontación

Families: Punctuation marks, Lines

EXPLANATION

The two parentheses are facing each other, the horizontal line ‘’pushes’’ the parentheses until they ‘’crash’’ (hit each other).


Honest

MEANING

ENGLISH: Honest, true, sincere, genuine, authentic

SPANISH: Honesto, verdad, sincero, genuino, auténtico

Families: Compound symbols, Circles

EXPLANATION

This is an arbitrary symbol. There is no logic behind it. I use it because it reminds me of the symbol for head and good. If your ‘’head is in a good place, you are honest’’. That’s a weak association, but the symbol is easy to draw and remember.


Hope

MEANING

ENGLISH: Hope, hopeful, hopefully

SPANISH: Esperar, esperanza

Families: Emotions, Basic shapes

EXPLANATION

There are two options. You have to pick one and stick to it.  


Hormone

MEANING

ENGLISH: Hormone, hormonal

SPANISH: Hormona, hormonal

Families: Medical, Letters

EXPLANATION

This is an abbreviation.


Hospital

MEANING

ENGLISH: Hospital, clinic

SPANISH: Hospital, clínica

Families: Medicine, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of the ‘’red cross’’ symbol, but square (to differentiate from ‘’medicine’’).


Hot

MEANING

ENGLISH: Warm, hot, fire, burn, heat

SPANISH: Tibio, caliente, fuego, quemar, calor

Families: Image abstractions, Medicine, Lines

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of the fumes coming out of something hot or burning.


House

MEANING

ENGLISH: House, apartment, residence, dwelling, roof, home

SPANISH: Casa, apartamento, residencia, vivienda, techo

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction from a sloped roof.


How

MEANING

ENGLISH: How

SPANISH: Cómo

Families: W questions, Letters

EXPLANATION

The ‘’H’’ and ‘’W’’ from ‘’How’’ 


How long

MEANING

ENGLISH: How long

SPANISH: Desde cuándo, hace cuánto

Families: Letters, W questions

EXPLANATION

This is the abbreviation of ‘’how long’’.


How much

MEANING

ENGLISH: How many, how much

SPANISH: Cuánto

Families: Letters, W questions

EXPLANATION

This is an abbreviation.

T


How often

MEANING

ENGLISH: How often

SPANISH: Con qué frecuencia, cada cuánto, cuán frecuente, qué tan frecuente…

Families: Letters, W questions

EXPLANATION

This is the abbreviation of ‘’how often’’.


However

MEANING

ENGLISH: However

SPANISH: Sin embargo

Families: Letters, Connectors

EXPLANATION

The ‘’H’’ and ‘’E’’ from ‘’However’’ combined in one character. Notice how I ‘’inserted’’ the ‘’H’’ into the ‘’E’’ (line in blue) to draw faster instead of drawing ‘’H.E.’’ 


Husband

MEANING

ENGLISH: Husband, fiance

SPANISH: Esposo, prometido

Families: Family members

EXPLANATION


If

MEANING

ENGLISH: If

SPANISH: Si

Families: Letters, Connectors

EXPLANATION

I combine the ‘’I’’ and the ‘’F’’ from ‘’if’’ in one single character.


Ignore

MEANING

ENGLISH: Ignore, disregard, ignorance

SPANISH: Ignorar, hacer caso omiso, ignorancia

Families: Compound symbols, X family, Circles

EXPLANATION

This is a combination of symbols. The circle with a line on top represents the head. The ‘’X’’ represents negation, something you don’t want (you don’t want to ‘’pay it any mind’’).


Implant

MEANING

ENGLISH: Implant, graft, prosthesis

SPANISH: Implante, injerto, prótesis 

Families: Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction. 


Important

MEANING

ENGLISH: Important, main, significant, relevant, critical

SPANISH: Importante, principal, significativo, relevante, crítico

Families: Math

EXPLANATION

When you draw an asterisk next to something, you try to make it stand out (it’s important). You can use the asterisk on its own to mean ‘’important’’   


Improve

MEANING

ENGLISH: Improve, growth, develop, progress, development

SPANISH: Mejorar, crecimiento, desarrollar, progreso, desarrollo

Families: Arrows

EXPLANATION

This is like the checkmark symbol but a little different. There are peaks and falls at the beginning but then the line goes up. The arrow on top accentuates that it’s going up, hence improving. 


Increase

MEANING

ENGLISH: Increase, accumulate

SPANISH: Incrementar, acumular

Families: Math, Arrows

EXPLANATION

This is a combination of symbols. We have the line going up, but instead of drawing an arrow at the end, we draw a ‘’plus’’ sign which means increase.


Inflammation

MEANING

ENGLISH: Explode, explosion, swell, inflammation, irritation, swelling

SPANISH: Explotar, explosión, hinchar, inflamación, irritación, hinchazón

Families: Image abstraction, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of the sparks that come out of an exploding bomb.


Information

MEANING

ENGLISH: Information, idea

SPANISH: Información, idea

Families: Letters, Circles

EXPLANATION

This is an abbreviation combined with a visual cue. The letter ‘’I’’ alone wouldn’t help you a lot to remember because it’s not memorable. Putting it inside a circle makes it a special kind of ‘’I’’. The ‘’I’’ for information, idea. 


Injection

MEANING

ENGLISH: Injection, inject, injectable, shot, vaccine

SPANISH: Inyección, inyectar, inyectable, vacuna

Families: Medicine, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

Abstraction from a real syringe.


Inside

MEANING

ENGLISH: Inside, interior, inner

SPANISH: Dentro, interior, interno 

Families: Punctuation marks, Circles

EXPLANATION

This is an arbitrary symbol. It means that I just decided to use and stick to it. This symbol also works by putting any symbol inside of it (usually a noun) and it means inside. For example:


Instead

MEANING

ENGLISH: Instead

SPANISH: En vez de

Families: Letters, Connectors

EXPLANATION

This is the ‘’I’’ of ‘’Instead’’. The weird ‘’I’’ with a line on top is just to make it stand out. You have two options. Choose one and stick to it. 


Insurance

MEANING

ENGLISH: Insurance

SPANISH: Seguro

Families: Letters, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the combination of a symbol and an abbreviation (visual cue).


Interval

MEANING

ENGLISH: Interval, range

SPANISH: Intervalo, rango 

Families: Punctuation marks, Math

EXPLANATION

When we write intervals in math, we use squared brackets, parenthesis, curled brackets, etc. I used the square bracket and a parenthesis to make it stand out and also to differentiate it from the symbol for ‘’inside’’.


Join

MEANING

ENGLISH: Join, meet, union, gather, connection, bond, include, unite, mix, link, connect

SPANISH: Unir, reunir, unión, conexión, incluir, mezclar, vínculo, vínculo, conectar

Families: Image abstractions, Punctuation marks

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction from a Venn diagram. The ‘’intersection’’ between two circles is the ‘’match’’, ‘’union’’ and the circles are ‘’joined’’.


Joy

MEANING

ENGLISH: Happy, fun, joyful, funny, hilarious, laugh

SPANISH: Feliz, divertido, jovial, gracioso, hilarante, reirse, risa

Families: Emotions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a happy face with the mouth open, laughing.


Juice

MEANING

ENGLISH: Juice, juicy

SPANISH: Jugo, jugoso

Families: Letters, Compound symbols, Foods

EXPLANATION

This is a combination of two symbols or an abbreviation + a visual cue. Think of the accent mark on top of the ‘’J’’ as a straw.


Jump

MEANING

ENGLISH: Jump, leap, hop up

SPANISH: Saltar, brincar

Families: Math, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of the trajectory an object follows when you throw it up in the air (according to physics, free-fall motion). I draw it vertically to not confuse it with the symbol ‘’amount’’.


Justify

MEANING

ENGLISH: Justify, justification

SPANISH: Justificar, justificación

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is an abbreviation and a visual cue. The ‘’j’’ as in ‘’justify’’. The accent mark is the visual cue.


Keep

MEANING

ENGLISH: Save, keep, maintain

SPANISH: Guardar, mantener

Families: Basic shapes

EXPLANATION

This is an arbitrary symbol, I just use it because it’s unique. You can also think of it as an anagram of the letter ‘’K’’ as in ‘’keep’’ or as if the triangle were restraining the little vertical line within its space.


Kidney

MEANING

ENGLISH: Kidney, liver, pancreas

SPANISH: Riñón, hígado, páncreas

Families: Body parts, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This symbol is the abstraction of a pancreas. Also, it only works when you use superscripts and subscripts because it could mean 3 different things: pancreas, kidney, or liver.


Knot

MEANING

ENGLISH: Knot, tangle, to tie 

SPANISH: Nudo, enredar, amarrar, anudar, hacer un nudo

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a thread loop.


Know

MEANING

ENGLISH: Know, knowledge, understand, comprehend, think

SPANISH: Saber, conocimiento, entender, comprender, pensar 

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is a little head with the ‘’O’’ as in ‘’Know’’.  The line of the ‘’O’’ projects further to the right to make it stand out. 


Label

MEANING

ENGLISH: Label, labeled, sticker, peel

SPANISH: Etiqueta, etiquetado, pegatina, despegar, pelar

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of something that can be peeled off or a small tag.


Law

MEANING

ENGLISH: Court, legal, law

SPANISH: Tribunal, legal, leyes, derecho

Families: Legal, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

Abstraction of the scales of justice.


Lawyer

MEANING

ENGLISH: Lawyer, counsel

SPANISH: Abogado

Families: Compound symbols, legal

EXPLANATION

Combining two symbols: law + people = people of law (lawyer)


Left

MEANING

ENGLISH: Left

SPANISH: Izquierda

Families: Arrows

EXPLANATION

Arrow pointing to the left. But this is not the regular arrow for past or before. It has to be a special arrow that’s different to the others.


Leg

MEANING

ENGLISH: Leg, knee, thigh

SPANISH: Pierna, rodilla, muslo

Families: Body parts, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a pair of legs.


Less than

MEANING

ENGLISH: Less than

SPANISH: Less than

Families: Math, Arrows

EXPLANATION:

Math symbol. This symbol is usually used in between symbols, especially after verbs. For example:

This literally means: ‘’to talk less than to do’’ but your brain will correct the tenses, articles, grammar, etc. from what you are able to remember. 

Level

MEANING

ENGLISH: Level

SPANISH: Nivel

Families: Lines, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

The horizontal lines on top and at the bottom are in two different levels (heights). Also, if you remove the line on top you have an ‘’L’’ for ‘’Level’’. This is also an abstraction of a measuring line used in architecture blueprints.


Lie down

MEANING

ENGLISH: Lie down

SPANISH: Acostarse, acostar

Families: Punctuation marks

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a bed but it’s not complete, it only includes the part where you lie down. 


Light

MEANING

ENGLISH: Light, bright, shiny

SPANISH: Luz, luminoso, brillante

Families: Lines, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

The three tilted lines are the abstraction of rays of light.


Like

MEANING

ENGLISH: Want, desire, love, like, enjoy, heart, cardiac

SPANISH: Querer, desear, amar, disfrutar, gustar, corazón, cardíaco

Families: Basic shapes, Medicine, Emotions

EXPLANATION

When you ‘’heart’’ something, you like it.


Limit

MEANING

ENGLISH: Limit, limitation

SPANISH: Limitar, límite, limitación

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is the ‘’L’’ of ‘’Limit’’. The cursive writing is to make it a special kind of ‘’L’’ (only used for ‘’limit’’) and to make it stand out. I do this with several letters. The cursive letter could be capital or lowercase.


Liquid

MEANING

ENGLISH: Water, liquid, oil, fluid, urine, blood, droplet, drop

SPANISH: Agua, líquido, aceite, fluido, orina, saliva, gota

Families: Image abstractions, Medicine

EXPLANATION

Abstraction of a droplet. 


Listen

MEANING

ENGLISH: Hear, ear, listen

SPANISH: Oir, oreja, oído, escuchar

Families: Body parts, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of an ear.


Lung

MEANING

ENGLISH: Lung, breathe, respiratory, pulmonary

SPANISH: Pulmón, respirar, respiratorio, pulmonary

Families: Image abstractions, Body parts, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a lung.


Matter

MEANING

ENGLISH: Material, matter

SPANISH: Material, materia, asunto

Families: Circles, Letters

EXPLANATION

This is the ‘’M’’ as in ‘’material’’. The circle is to make the symbol different enough so it jumpstarts your memory. 


Maybe

MEANING

ENGLISH: Maybe, perhaps, maybe, chance, possibility, likely 

SPANISH: Quizás, puede que, probabilidad, posibilidad, probable 

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of a symbol. Abstracting is one of the hardest skills to master, but train your eye to see abstractions. This is a deconstructed ‘’P’’ from ‘’Possibility’’, then we have all the possible synonyms or at least related words. Why do we deconstruct the ‘’P’’? Because we want our symbol to stand out, bizarre things help you remember more. 


Me

MEANING

ENGLISH: My, mine

SPANISH: Mi, mio

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This symbol combines the cursive ‘’M’’ and the cursive ‘’E’’ and mixes them into a single character. 


Meantime

MEANING

ENGLISH: Meantime

SPANISH: Mientras tanto

Families: Plotting, Letters

EXPLANATION

Notice how instead of drawing ‘’MT’’ I only drew the 00M00 and used the very last vertical line of the M to add the T, just by drawing a horizontal line. 


Meanwhile

MEANING

ENGLISH: Meanwhile

SPANISH: Mientras tanto

Families: Letters, Plotting

EXPLANATION

This is an abbreviation + a visual cue. The ‘’m’’ for ‘’mean’’ ‘’w’’ for ‘’while’’ that projects a horizontal line.


Measure

MEANING

ENGLISH: Measure, meter, measurement, distance

SPANISH: Medir, medidor, medida, distance

Families: Image abstractions 

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a ruler. You use a ruler to measure distance. 


Medicine

MEANING

ENGLISH: Medicine, medication, medical, healthy, health

SPANISH: Medicina, medicamento, médico, sano, saludable, salud

Families: Circles, Medicine, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of the ‘’red cross’’ symbol, but it is round because round shapes are easier to draw. Also, to not confuse the ‘’plus sign inside a square’’ that usually means ''hospital''.


Message

MEANING

ENGLISH: Message, send, mail

SPANISH: Mensaje, enviar, correo

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a mail envelope. Notice how I didn’t draw some of the lines to save strokes (red). Your brain ‘’completes the image’’ (Gestalt) without needing to draw the rest.


Middle

MEANING

ENGLISH: Center, middle, intermediate, central, mid

SPANISH: Centro, medio, intermedio, central, medio 

Families: Lines

EXPLANATION

This is a visual abstraction. The little dot is in the middle of the two lines, which is also the center.


Mileage

MEANING

ENGLISH: Miles, mileage, dashboard

SPANISH: Millas, millaje, tablero

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of the dashboard of a car.


Milk

MEANING

ENGLISH: Milk

SPANISH: Leche

Families: Foods, Letters, Compound symbols

EXPLANATION

This is a combination of symbols or an abbreviation + visual cues. 


Minus

MEANING

ENGLISH: Less, minus, negative

SPANISH: Menos, negativo 

Families: Lines, Math

EXPLANATION

Standard minus symbol. 


Miss

MEANING

ENGLISH: Miss, skip, lost, lose

SPANISH: Pedir, perdido, faltar

Families: Lines

EXPLANATION

This is a vertical line with something missing in the middle (the continuity of the line is broke up by a dot). The line missed that particular spot.


Moderate

MEANING

ENGLISH: Moderate, moderation

SPANISH: Moderar, moderado

Families: Basic shapes, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is an arbitrary symbol. I started to use it and it stuck with me. I like to think that horizontal line crossing the triangle is in the middle because it’s moderately elevated, not to high, not too low.


Month

MEANING

ENGLISH: Month, monthly

SPANISH: Mes, mensualmente

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

Abbreviation from the word ‘’Month’’. 


More

MEANING

ENGLISH: More, add, mostly, plus, sum, positive

SPANISH: Más, mayormente, sumar, añadir, positivo 

Families: Math

EXPLANATION

Standard plus symbol.


More than

MEANING

ENGLISH: More than

SPANISH: Más que

Families: Math, Arrows

EXPLANATION

Math symbol. This symbol is usually placed between two symbols, especially after verbs. For example:

This literally means: ‘’to talk more than to do’’ but your brain will correct the tenses, articles, grammar, etc. from what you are able to remember 

Mother

MEANING

ENGLISH: Mother, mom, mommy

SPANISH: Madre, mama, mami 

Families: Family members

EXPLANATION

The two parentheses mean repetition. As a family member, you are part of the same, you are a copy of your grandparents or your parents, the bottom parenthesis is the offspring of the first parenthesis. 

The two parentheses mean repetition. As a family member, you are part of the same, you are a copy of your grandparents or your parents, the bottom parenthesis is the offspring of the first parenthesis. 


Mother in law

MEANING

ENGLISH: Mother in law

SPANISH: Suegra

Families: Compound symbols, Family members

EXPLANATION

The two parentheses mean repetition. As a family member, you are part of the same, you are a copy of your grandparents or your parents, the bottom parenthesis is the offspring of the first parenthesis. 

This is the symbol for woman, a mother is usually a woman.

Combination of symbols 

 


Mouth

MEANING

ENGLISH: Eat, mouth, ingest, lips

SPANISH: Comer, boca, ingerir, labios

Families: Body parts, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a mouth (lips).


Movement

MEANING

ENGLISH: Move, movement, flow, circulation, motion, twist

SPANISH: Mover, movimiento, flujo, circulación, doblar

Families: Lines, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of what you do when you pour a liquid from one cup to another to mix it well. 


Music

MEANING

ENGLISH: Music, wheezing, wheeze

SPANISH: Música, silbido, silbar

Families: Image abstractions, Medical

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a musical note. It was inverted to the right for easy of drawing.


Name

MEANING

ENGLISH: Name

SPANISH: Nombre, nombrar

Families: Letters, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is a visual cue combined with an abbreviation. It’s a bizarre N for name. The little circle could even represent the head of somebody, hence the name (of a person).


Narrow

MEANING

ENGLISH: Tight, narrow, narrowing, constriction, pressure

SPANISH: Apretado, estrecho, estrechamiento, compresión, presión

Families: Punctuation marks

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of two lines squeezing against each other. There are two ways of drawing this symbol. One of them is usually in the adjective or noun form and the other is in the verb form.


Nature

MEANING

ENGLISH: Natural, tree, park, herbs, forest, plant, plant, grass, salad, vegetables

SPANISH: Natural, árbol, parque, hierbas, bosque, planta, césped, ensalada, vegetales

Families: Image abstractions, Foods

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of a tree. Trees are the basic icon of nature. 


Nausea

MEANING

ENGLISH: Nausea

SPANISH: Náuseas

Families: Medicine, Letters, Slashes

EXPLANATION

Abbreviation. The slash works as a visual cue.


Nausea and vomit

MEANING

ENGLISH: Nausea and vomit

SPANISH: Nausea and vomit

Families: Letters, Slashes, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is an abbreviation.  


Neck

MEANING

ENGLISH: Neck, nape

SPANISH: Cuello, nuca

Families: Compound symbols, Body parts, Circles

EXPLANATION

The circle is the head. The line on top helps make this circle stand out as the head. Your head is on top of your body. This line also helps differentiate the symbol for ‘’head’’ from the symbol for ‘’we’’.


Need

MEANING

ENGLISH: Need

SPANISH: Necesitar

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is the ‘’N’’ from ‘’Need’’. Be careful with the N for ‘’No’’. Most of the time you will figure it out by context.


Nephew

MEANING

ENGLISH: Nephew

SPANISH: Sobrino

Families: Family members

EXPLANATION

This is another way of representing females and males. I add the repetition of the letters because a family is ‘’a repetition of genes’’, reproduction (produce again, repeat).

I use the angle brackets because your nephew is like your second son, the child of your sibling. I use the cursive ‘’O’’ because it’s shorter than the two ‘’O’’ as in brother. In this case, this ‘’O’’ only indicates the gender of your nephew and differentiates it from the symbol for ‘’son’’.


New

MEANING

ENGLISH: New, novelty, renew

SPANISH: Nuevo, novedad, renovar

Families: Punctuation marks, Letters

EXPLANATION

Abstraction and visual cue with a deconstructed letter. Do you remember ‘’possible’’? It uses the same concept of breaking up a letter to make it stand out.


Niece

MEANING

ENGLISH: Niece

SPANISH: Sobrina

Families: Family members

EXPLANATION

This is another way of representing females and males. I add the repetition of the letters because a family is ‘’a repetition of genes’’, reproduction (produce again, repeat).

I use the angle brackets because your niece is like your second daughter, the child of your sibling. I use the ‘’double q’’’ because it specifies the gender (female) and also differentiates it from the symbol for ‘’daughter’’.


Night

MEANING

ENGLISH: Night

SPANISH: Noche

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

Moon abstraction.


No

MEANING

ENGLISH: No

SPANISH: No

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

Abbreviation. It’s mandatory to add the period after the N because without it, ‘’N’’ can mean ‘’need’’.


Normal

MEANING

ENGLISH: Normal, standard, average, common, usual, typical, general

SPANISH: Normal, estándar, promedio, común, usual, típico, general

Families: Math, X family

EXPLANATION

This is the math symbol for ‘’average’’. This is called ‘’x-bar’’. 


Nose

MEANING

ENGLISH: Nose, nostril, smell, nasal

SPANISH: Nariz, orificio nasal, olor, oler, nasal 

Families: Body parts, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a nose.


Number

MEANING

ENGLISH: Number, digit, code, figure

SPANISH: Número, dígito, código, cifra

Families: Math

EXPLANATION

Standard number pad symbol. I dropped one of the horizontal lines to draw faster, but I always make sure the vertical lines are inclining. 


Nurse

MEANING

ENGLISH: Nurse

SPANISH: Enfermero

Families: Compound symbols, Medicine, Image abstraction

EXPLANATION

Combination of symbols.


Object

MEANING

ENGLISH: Object, thing, stuff, area, environment

SPANISH:Objeto, cosa, área, ambiente

Families: Basic shapes

EXPLANATION

The square is the most basic shape of all. A basic idea is that of ‘’object’’. An object can be pretty much anything and so is a square.


Obstacle

MEANING

ENGLISH: Obstacle, block, blocked, obstruction, obstruct, occluded

SPANISH: Obstáculo, bloquear, bloqueado, obstrucción, obstruir, ocluido

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a traffic cone that blocks the way.


Off

MEANING

ENGLISH: Off

SPANISH: Desactivar, desactivado, apagado

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is an arbitrary symbol. I use it because it’s quick and I can remember. It’s also an abstraction of a switcher.  When the switch is up, it’s on, when the switch is down, it’s off.


Often

MEANING

ENGLISH: Frequent, often, frequency, frequently

SPANISH: Frecuente, seguido, a menudo, frecuencia, con frecuencia

Families: Lines

EXPLANATION

This symbol derives from the symbol of ‘’repetition’’. If you have two lines, it means repetition, if you have three lines it is frequent (even more than mere repetition).


On

MEANING

ENGLISH: On, active, activate, activity

SPANISH: Activo, prendido, activar, actividad

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is an arbitrary symbol. I use it because it’s quick and I can remember. It’s also an abstraction of a switcher.  When the switch is up, it’s on, when the switch is down, it’s off.


Open

MEANING

ENGLISH: Open, entrance

SPANISH: Abrir, entrada

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is a door. The door handle has the shape of an ‘’O’’ from ‘’Open’’.


Opposite

MEANING

ENGLISH: Opposite, contrary, to oppose, against, counterpart

SPANISH: Opuesto, contrario, oponerse, en contra

Families: Lines

EXPLANATION

This is an arbitrary symbol. The vertical lines are facing each other, like against each other.


Option

MEANING

ENGLISH: Option, alternative, opportunity

SPANISH: Opción, alternativa, oportunidad

Families: Lines

EXPLANATION

This is an arbitrary symbol. The horizontal line branches in two lines, so you have an option to follow one or the other line.


Or

MEANING

ENGLISH: Or

SPANISH: O

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

Mixing the ‘’O’’ and the ‘’R’’ of ‘’Or’’ in one character. This symbol can be drawn without lifting your pen from the paper and it’s very peculiar. Unusual shapes, letters, and symbols help us remember more quickly. 


Organ

MEANING

ENGLISH: Organ, organism

SPANISH: Órgano, organismo

Families: Compound symbols, Medicine, Body parts

EXPLANATION

This is the combination of two symbols: ‘’part’’ and ‘’person/body’’. An organ is part of your body.


Outside

MEANING

ENGLISH: Outside, out, leave, remove

SPANISH: Fuera, salir, quitar

Families: Circles, Arrows

EXPLANATION

The line is moving from left to right, moving away from the circle, leaving the circle, eventually, outside of the circle 


Ovaries

MEANING

ENGLISH: Uterus, ovaries, womb

SPANISH: Útero, ovarios, matriz 

Families: Medicine, Body parts, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of the female reproductive system.


Own

MEANING

ENGLISH: Own, ownership, possession

SPANISH: Adueñarse, posesión

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This symbol applies the concept of ‘’visual cue’’ + ‘’abbreviation’’. It means that we use a letter with a strange design to make it stand out and help us remember. This is the cursive ‘’O’’ for ''owner'' with a little tweak. 


Oxygen

MEANING

ENGLISH: Oxygen

SPANISH: Oxígeno

Families: Medicine, X family, Letters

EXPLANATION


Paper

MEANING

ENGLISH: Paper, sheet, letter, form

SPANISH: Papel, hoja, cara, formulario

Families: Image abstractions, Lines

EXPLANATION


Partial

MEANING

ENGLISH: Partial, partially, period, part

SPANISH: Parcial, parcialmente, periodo, parte

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is a visual abstraction. Imagine it as an incomplete circle. Also, a phase or period is part of an overall process or age. For example, there are 3 phases in one process (they are PART of that process). The same goes for the word ''period,'' we have the Modern Age, the Middle Ages, the 90s, Prehistoric Ages, etc. but all of them are PART of a general timeline.


Patient

MEANING

ENGLISH: Patient, patience, disability, disabled, handicap, handicapped

SPANISH: Paciente, paciencia, discapacidad, discapacitado

Family: Medicine, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

Abstraction of the patient in a wheelchair.


Peace

MEANING

ENGLISH: Peace, peaceful, calm, quiet

SPANISH: Paz, pacífico, calmado, tranquilo

Family: Circles

EXPLANATION

Standard symbol for peace.


Penis

MEANING

ENGLISH: Penis, testicles, testes, glans

SPANISH: Pene, testículos, glande

Family: Body parts, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

Image abstraction of a penis


People

MEANING

ENGLISH: People, person, individual, someone, somebody

SPANISH: Persona, gente, individuo, alguien

Families: Plotting, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the symbol for ‘’people’’, ‘’human’’ in Kanji. 


Percentage

MEANING

ENGLISH: Percentage, percentile, proportion, percent, rate

SPANISH: Porcentaje, percentil, proporción, porciento, tasa

Families: Math

EXPLANATION

The standard symbol for ‘’percent’’.


Pharmacy

MEANING

ENGLISH: Pharmacy

SPANISH: Farmacia

Families: Medicine, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of the ‘’red cross’’ symbol but drawn with an arch above (to differentiate from ‘’medicine’’).


Phone

MEANING

ENGLISH: Phone, call, cellphone

SPANISH: Teléfono, llamar, celular

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction from a telephone chord.


Photo

MEANING

ENGLISH: Photo, camera, video, picture, painting, image

SPANISH: Foto, cámara, video, imagen, pintura

Families: Image abstractions, Basic shapes

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a camera. This symbol takes some time to draw. I usually don’t draw it completely but it still makes me remember.


Pill

MEANING

ENGLISH:

Pill, tablet, capsule, lozenge

SPANISH:

Pastilla, tableta, cápsula, comprimido

Family: Image abstractions, Medical

EXPLANATION

Abstraction of the image of a pill 


Plan

MEANING

ENGLISH: Order, plan, organization, organize, coordinate

SPANISH: Orden, ordenar, plan, organización, organizar, coordinar

Families: Lines

EXPLANATION

This is an arbitrary symbol. I chose it because it works for me. The three lines coming from the left ‘’vertex’’ of the symbol represent the idea of delegating tasks, hence, organizing, planning.


Please

MEANING

ENGLISH: Please

SPANISH: Por favor

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

ENGLISH: The cursive ‘’P’’ from ‘’Please’’. Cursive writing is good to make symbols stand out. 


Police

MEANING

ENGLISH: Police, cops

SPANISH: Policía

Families: Legal, Basic shapes, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

Abstraction of a ‘’sheriff star’’


Potato

MEANING

ENGLISH: Potato

SPANISH: Papa

Families: Foods

EXPLANATION

This is an abbreviation + visual cue. The abbreviation is the ‘’P’’ on top of the oval which is the abstraction of a potato.


Practice

MEANING

ENGLISH: Practice, train, exercise

SPANISH: Practice, entrenar, ejercicio

Families: Circles, Image abstractions, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a dumbbell you use to exercise. And exercising is all about practice (repetition).


Pregnant

MEANING

ENGLISH: Pregnancy, pregnant

SPANISH: Embarazo, embarazada 

Families: Image abstractions, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction.  


Prescription

MEANING

ENGLISH: Prescription, prescribe, refill

SPANISH: Receta, recetar, surtir

Families: Medicine, X family, Letters

EXPLANATION


Problem

MEANING

ENGLISH: Difficult, complicated, problem, problematic, issue

SPANISH: Difícil, complicado, problema, problemático

Families: Arrows

EXPLANATION

This is an arbitrary symbol and an abstraction. We have two symbols facing each other (confrontation), sharp, pointy edges (visual tension) and tension always leads to problems.


Process

MEANING

ENGLISH: Process, procedure

SPANISH:Proceso, procedimiento

Families: Arrows, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is an arbitrary symbol. This symbol has a starting point, curved lines in between representing the process, and an endpoint.


Prognosis

MEANING

ENGLISH: Prognosis

SPANISH: Pronóstico

Families: X family, Medicine, Letters

EXPLANATION


Pull

MEANING

ENGLISH: Pull, pluck

SPANISH: Halar, arrancar 

Families: Arrows, Punctuation marks

EXPLANATION

The angle bracket is pulling the parenthesis towards the right.


Push

MEANING

ENGLISH: Push, press, pump

SPANISH: Presionar, empujar, bombear 

Families: Arrows, Punctuation marks

EXPLANATION

The angle bracket is pushing the parenthesis.


Qualify

MEANING

ENGLISH: Qualify, qualification, quality

SPANISH: Calificar, calificación, cualidad 

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is the ‘’q’’ as in ‘’quality’’. I make the vertical line a little longer than usual in both sides to make it stand out (visual cue), so it’s not a regular ‘’q’’


Rain

MEANING

ENGLISH: Rain, snow, storm

SPANISH: Llover, lluvia, nieve, nevar, tormenta

Families: Lines, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of rain falling.


Receive

MEANING

ENGLISH: Get, receive, obtain

SPANISH: Recibir, obtener

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a hand. The hand goes from right to left (from someone else to you). You are receiving something.


Recommend

MEANING

ENGLISH: Recommend, suggest, encourage, advise

SPANISH: Recomendar, sugerir, animar, aconsejar

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a ‘’thumbs up’’.


Red blood cell

MEANING

ENGLISH: Red blood cell

SPANISH: Glóbulos rojos

Families: Letters, Medicine

EXPLANATION

Standard abbreviation 


Reduce

MEANING

ENGLISH: Deduct, deduction, derive, derivation, deduce, reduce, lower, decrease, lessen, lower

SPANISH: Descontar, deducción, derivar, derivación, deducir, reducir, bajar

Families: Math, Lines, Letters

EXPLANATION

This is the combination of the letter ‘’d’’ and the letter ‘’e’’. I created a new character. You can use both symbols or just one of them.


Rehabilitation

MEANING

ENGLISH: Rehab

SPANISH: Rehabilitación

Families: Medicine, Letters

EXPLANATION

Abbreviation


Remember

MEANING

ENGLISH: Remember, recall

SPANISH: Recordar

Families: Medicine, Letters

EXPLANATION

This is the abbreviation of the word ‘’Remember’’ 


Remote

MEANING

ENGLISH: Remote, remotely

SPANISH: Remoto, remotamente

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a wave (like wifi or water) and the ‘’R’’ for ‘’remote’’.


Repeat

MEANING

ENGLISH: Repeat, repetition, again, duplicate

SPANISH: Repetir, repetición, otra vez, duplicar

Families: Lines

EXPLANATION

You draw one line and then another line. You repeated your drawing. If you have three lines it is frequent (even more than mere repetition).


Report

MEANING

ENGLISH: Claim, complaint, complain, report

SPANISH: Reclamo, queja, quejarse, reporte, informe

Families: Circles, Punctuation marks

EXPLANATION

The exclamation mark is used to emphasize a word or phrase; when you complain about something you want somebody to pay attention to you. I added the circle around it to make it stand out and differentiate it from the exclamation mark. You can also see the circle as the ‘’O’’ in ‘’complain’’.


Research

MEANING

ENGLISH: Investigate, research, find, investigation

SPANISH: Investigar, buscar, investigación

Families: Circles, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a magnifying glass. I added the dot in the center to not confuse it with the symbol for ‘’woman’’ or any other symbol.


Resource

MEANING

ENGLISH: Resource, to resort, resourceful

SPANISH: Recurso, recurrir a, ingenioso 

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is the abbreviation of ‘’resource’’.


Responsibility

MEANING

ENGLISH: Responsibility, responsible

SPANISH: Responsabilidad, responsable

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is the ‘’R’’ for abstraction. I add a little circle on top to differentiate this ‘’R’’ from any other ‘’R’’.


Restaurant

MEANING

ENGLISH: Restaurant, cafeteria, bar, cafe

SPANISH: Restaurante, cafetería, bar

Families: Food, Image abstraction, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a wine glass.


Return

MEANING

ENGLISH: Return, revert, go back, come back

SPANISH: Devolver, invertir, regresar

Families: Arrow

EXPLANATION

The line is drawn from bottom to top. You are moving your pen forwards and then back (circular motion). The arrow accentuates the direction of the line.


Ribs

MEANING

ENGLISH:  Ribs, ribcage

SPANISH: Costillas, caja torácica 

Families: Body parts, Medicine, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a set of ribs.


Risk

MEANING

ENGLISH: Risk, danger, dangerous, risky

SPANISH: Riesgo, peligro, peligroso, riesgoso

Families: Punctuation marks, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of the ‘’danger’’ sign.


Rule out

MEANING

ENGLISH: Rule out

SPANISH: Descartar

Families: Medicine, Compound symbols, Image abstractions, Arrows

EXPLANATION

This is the combination of two symbols. 


Sad

MEANING

ENGLISH: Sad, depressed, depression, sadness, pain, hurt, sick, disease, sickness, suffer, bad, poor

SPANISH:  Triste, deprimido, depresión, tristeza, dolor, doler, enfermo, enfermedad, sufrir, malo

Families: Emotions, Medicine

EXPLANATION

Typical sad face. Notice how this is a very wide umbrella of meaning that goes from sad, to sickness, and suffering. But all the words are closely related.


Salt

MEANING

ENGLISH: Salt, salty

SPANISH: Sal, salado 

Families: Foods, Letters

EXPLANATION

Abbreviation + visual cue. The phonetic spelling of the word ‘’salt’’ is ‘’ˈsɔlt’’ (with an ‘’o’’).


Scratch

MEANING

ENGLISH: Scratch, itchy, itch, scrape, rash

SPANISH: Rascar, picazón, picar, raspar, sarpullido

Families: Image abstractions, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a cat paw scratching something. 


Scream

MEANING

ENGLISH: Scream, yell, shout 

SPANISH: Gritar, vocear

Families: Emotions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a face with the eyes closed very tightly and the mouth open (yelling).


See

MEANING

ENGLISH: See, watch, view, outlook, perspective, notice, observe

SPANISH: Ver, mirar, perspectiva, notar, observar, fijarse 

Families: Circles, Medicine, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is an eye and a pupil. However, it only means the verb ‘’see’’, ‘’watch’’, for the anatomical eye we use a different symbol.


Serious

MEANING

ENGLISH: Serious, severe

SPANISH: Serio, grave

Families: Lines, Image abstractions, Emotions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a straight, serious face.


Session

MEANING

ENGLISH: Session

SPANISH: Sesión

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is the ‘’S’’ for ‘’session’’. I use the little line on top to make it stand out so I can remember.


Sex

MEANING

ENGLISH: Sex, intercourse, coitus

SPANISH: Sexo, relaciones sexuales, coito

Families: Medicine, Circles

EXPLANATION

I will let you think about this one.


Share

MEANING

ENGLISH: Trade, exchange, deal, share

SPANISH: Intercambiar, intercambio, trato, compartir

Families: Image abstractions, Compound symbols

EXPLANATION

This is a combination of symbols.


She

MEANING

ENGLISH: Woman, women, female, she, girl, miss, lady, feminine

SPANISH: Mujer, mujeres, femenino, ella, niña, señora, señorita 

Families: Image abstractions, Medicine

EXPLANATION


Should

MEANING

ENGLISH: Should, obligation, mandatory, must

SPANISH: Debería, debe, obligación, obligatorio, tiene que

Families: Letters, Punctuation marks, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

The ‘’S’’ and ‘’H’’ for ‘’Should’’. The other option is an abstraction of a paper plus the exclamation mark (an obligation).


Sibling

MEANING

ENGLISH: Siblings

SPANISH: Hermanos (y hermanas)

Families: Letters, Family members

EXPLANATION

This is another way of representing females and males. I add the repetition of the letters because a family is ‘’a repetition of genes’’, reproduction (produce again, repeat).


Side

MEANING

ENGLISH: Side

SPANISH: Lado

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is the ‘’s’’ as in ‘’side’’. I add the vertical bar to differentiate it from any other kind of ‘’s’’ (the same logic we use with slashes).


Signature

MEANING

ENGLISH: Sign, signature

SPANISH: Signo, firma, firma

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is an ‘’S’’ with a special tweak to make it stand out.


Similar

MEANING

ENGLISH: Like, similar, about, approximately 

SPANISH: Como, similar, aproximadamente

Families: Math 

EXPLANATION

The wobbly lines represent some insecurity. Some it’s something like something else, but not quite (not for sure). This symbol is often used for comparisons.


Since

MEANING

ENGLISH: Surface, superficial

SPANISH: Superficie, superficial

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is the ‘’S’’ as in ‘’surface’’ accompanied by a flat line (which is the surface itself). This is what we call a visual cue. It’s like creating a new letter based on a letter of the alphabet.


Sister

MEANING

ENGLISH: Sister

SPANISH: Hermana

Families: Family members, Letters

EXPLANATION


Sister in law

MEANING

ENGLISH: Sister in law

SPANISH: Cuñada

Families: Compound symbols, Family members

EXPLANATION

This is another way of representing females and males. I add the repetition of the letters because a family is ‘’a repetition of genes’’, reproduction (produce again, repeat). 

A combination of symbols. 


Skin

MEANING

ENGLISH: Skin, flesh, meat, leather, tissue

SPANISH: Piel, cuero, carne, tejido

Families: Image abstractions, Body parts, medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a cut of meat.


Slow

MEANING

ENGLISH:

Slow, delay, behind

SPANISH:

Lento, retraso, retrasado

Families: Arrows, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This a visual abstraction. Think about the buttons on a T.V. remote that you use to speed up or slow down the video/audio. This is also the ‘’visual’’ opposite of the ‘’fast’’ symbol, so the two of them work as a pair of antonyms.


Small

MEANING

ENGLISH: Small, tiny, little, few, some

SPANISH: Pequeño, diminuto, poco, algunos

Families: Punctuation marks, Lines

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction. The horizontal line is very small in comparison to the previous line. These two symbols work as antonyms 


Smoke

MEANING

ENGLISH: Smoke, cigarette, cigar

SPANISH: Fumar, cigarrillo, cigarro 

Families: Image abstraction, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a cigarette and its smoke. 


So

MEANING

ENGLISH: So, then, therefore

SPANISH: Entonces, por consiguiente, así que

Families: Math, Connectors

EXPLANATION

These three dots mean ‘’therefore’’ in math. It’s a logical symbol. 


Soft

MEANING

ENGLISH: Bland, soft, smooth, flexible, elastic

SPANISH: Suave, blando, flexible, elástico

Families: Lines

EXPLANATION

The drawing of this line is very smooth. Continuous strokes, no harsh corners. In a way, this is an arbitrary symbol. 


Solid

MEANING

ENGLISH: Solid, solidify

SPANISH: Sólido, solidificar 

Families: Food, Medicine, Letters

EXPLANATION

Abbreviation + visual cue.


Solution

MEANING

ENGLISH: Solution, solve, fix, tool

SPANISH: Solución, solucionar, arreglar, herramienta

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a tool. You use tools to solve or fix problems. 


Someone

MEANING

ENGLISH: Someone

SPANISH: Alguien

Families: Slashes, Letters

EXPLANATION

The ‘’s’’ and ‘’o’’ from ‘’someone’’. The purpose of the slash is twofold: 1) to let me know there is an idea coming and 2) to differentiate the letters ‘’s’ and ‘’o’’ to make them stand out as a unique type of ‘’s and o with a slash’’


Something

MEANING

ENGLISH: Something

SPANISH: Algo

Families: Letters, Compound symbols

EXPLANATION

This is an abbreviation of the word ‘’something’’. The incomplete square around it is the same square we use for ‘’thing’’, ‘’object’’. We use this ‘’incomplete square’’ because we want to differentiate it from the ‘’ST’’ of ‘’sometimes’’.


Sometimes

MEANING

ENGLISH: Sometimes

SPANISH: A veces

Families: Circles, Letters, Compound symbols

EXPLANATION

This is an abbreviation of the word ‘’sometimes’’. The circle drawn around it is the same circle we use for ‘’time’’. We draw this circle because we want to differentiate it from the ‘’ST’’ of ‘’sometimes’’.


Somewhere

MEANING

ENGLISH: Somewhere

SPANISH: En algún lugar

Families: Slashes, Letters

EXPLANATION

This is a slash symbol. ‘’S’’ and ‘’W’’ from ‘’somewhere’’. Remember that I use the slash to make this symbol stand out, instead of a simple SW.


Son

MEANING

ENGLISH: Son

SPANISH: Hijo

Families: Family members

EXPLANATION

The two angled brackets mean repetition. As a family member, you are part of the same, you are a copy of your grandparents or your parents, the bottom angle bracket is the offspring of the first angle bracket. I use an angle bracket to differentiate it from the parentheses I use for parents and grandparents.

This is the symbol for man. 


Sorry

MEANING

ENGLISH: Sorry

SPANISH: Perdón, disculpe, lo lamento, lo siento

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is the abbreviation of the word ‘’sorry’’.


Sound

MEANING

ENGLISH: Sound, noise, wave

SPANISH: Sonido, ruido, onda

Family: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a sound wave.


Speak

MEANING

ENGLISH: Talk, say, speak, chat, conversation, tell

SPANISH: Hablar, decir, conversación, conversar 

Families: Punctuation marks

EXPLANATION

These are the quotation marks that you use to repeat what somebody else has said.


Spoon

MEANING

ENGLISH: Spoon, scoop, tablespoon

SPANISH: Cuchara, cucharada

Families: Foods, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a spoon. I add the horizontal line so I don’t confuse this symbol with the one for ‘’woman’’.


Spray

MEANING

ENGLISH: Spray, sprinkle, spritz, sprinkle

SPANISH: Espray, atomizador, rocear

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a spray bottle. The little, short lines you see are supposed to be the water spreading out. 


Stairs

MEANING

ENGLISH: Step, stairs

SPANISH: Escalón, escalera

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of real stairs.


Start

MEANING

ENGLISH: Start, begin, initiate, initial, beginning

SPANISH: Comenzar, empezar, iniciar, inicial, comienzo 

Families: Arrows, Lines

EXPLANATION

The line goes starts left to right. The vertical line to the left marks the ‘’departure point’’


Sticky

MEANING

ENGLISH: Glue, sticky, stick, mucus, slime, slippery, slip

SPANISH: Pegamento, pegajoso, pegar, moco, baba, resbaloso, resbalar

Families: Image abstractions, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of something slimy dripping from a surface.


Stop

MEANING

ENGLISH: End, finish, final, terminate, stop

SPANISH: Final, terminar, finalizar, parar

Families: Arrows, Lines

EXPLANATION

The line goes from left to right until a vertical line stops it. That’s why it’s not moving further. You can add abbreviations to make it mean different things:


Street

MEANING

ENGLISH: Street, road

SPANISH: Calle, carretera

Families: Image abstractions, Letters

EXPLANATION

This is the standard abbreviation used in addresses. Click here to see more common address abbreviations. When people use the word ‘’street’’ not as part of an address, but as a generic noun, it’s drawn as a symbol.


Stress

MEANING

ENGLISH: Stress, stressful

SPANISH: Estrés, estresante

Families: Emotions, medicine

EXPLANATION

Combination of symbols. 


Strong

MEANING

ENGLISH: Hard, strong, strength, rigid, tense 

SPANISH: Duro, fuerte, fuerza, rígido, tenso

Families: Medicine, Compound symbols, Lines

EXPLANATION

This symbol derives from another symbol. The ‘’stable’’ symbol. If you have ‘’two stable symbols’’ together, you have more than stability, you have strength. Why is the symbol for stable the ‘’upside-down T’’?, because the horizontal line represents the surface, and the vertical line is a ‘’pole’’ or ‘’stick’’ strong enough to stand upright on its own, it’s stable (perfectly vertical), not inclined sideways.


Study

MEANING

ENGLISH: School, academy, college, university, learn, classroom, teach, study

SPANISH: Escuela, academia, universidad, instituto, aprender, salón de clases, enseñar, estudiar

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of a book. You learn by reading books.


Such

MEANING

ENGLISH: Such

SPANISH: Tal

Families: Slashes, Letters

EXPLANATION

The ’s’’ from ‘’such’’. The purpose of the slash is twofold: 1) to let me know there is an idea coming and 2) to differentiate the letter ‘’s’’ to make it stand out as a unique type of ‘’ s with a slash’’


Such as

MEANING

ENGLISH: Such as

SPANISH: Tal como

Families: Letters, Slashes, Connectors

EXPLANATION

The ‘’s’’ and ‘’a’’ from ‘’such as’’. The purpose of the slash is twofold: 1) to let me know there is an idea coming and 2) to differentiate the letters ‘’s’’ ‘’a’ to make them stand out as a unique type of ‘’ s and a with a slash’’


Sue

MEANING

ENGLISH: Sue, suit 

SPANISH: Demandar, demanda, querella

Families: Legal, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a red flag. For example, a flag a referee or someone uses to indicate that something is wrong. 


Sugar

MEANING

ENGLISH: Sweet, sugar, sweetener, sugary

SPANISH: Dulce, azúcar, endulzante, azucarado 

Families: Food, Medicine, Letters

EXPLANATION

Abbreviation + visual cue. 


Surgery

MEANING

ENGLISH: Surgery, surgical, operation

SPANISH: Cirugía, quirúrgico, operación

Families: Image abstractions, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a surgical bed or stretcher (where you are laid down to be operated on).

 


Swab

MEANING

ENGLISH: Swab

SPANISH: Hisopo

Families: Image abstractions, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a swab. 


Symptom

MEANING

ENGLISH: Symptom

SPANISH: Symptomatic

Families: X family, Medicine, Letters

EXPLANATION


System

MEANING

ENGLISH: System, device, technology, tech, machine

SPANISH: Sistema, dispositivo, tecnología, técnico. máquina

Families: Circles, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a wall outlet. Why? Because in order to make technology work you always have to connect to an outlet.


Team

MEANING

ENGLISH: Friend, companion, partner, team

SPANISH: Amigo, acompañante, pareja, equipo 

Families: Letters, Compound symbols

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of two people right next to each other, accompanying each other.


Temporary

MEANING

ENGLISH: Temporary, temporal

SPANISH: Temporal 

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a sand clock. Eventually, the sand will fall into the bottom of the clock.


Tendon

MEANING

ENGLISH: Ligament, tendon

SPANISH: Ligamento, tendón 

Families: Body parts, Image abstractions, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the combination of the symbol for ‘’bone’’ + the line connecting each end of the bone is a band of tissue like a ligament or tendon.


Test

MEANING

ENGLISH: Test, exam, assessment, assess, evaluation, evaluate

SPANISH: Prueba, examen, evaluación, evaluar

Families: Image abstractions, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a sheet of paper and a checkmark (usually to indicate a good grade on a paper).


Thanks

MEANING

ENGLISH: Thanks, thankful

SPANISH: Gracias, agradecido 

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is the ‘’T’’ from ‘’Thanks’’. In Spanish, we never put accent marks on consonants. This T has an accent mark on top, which makes it a weird T. The T for thanks. 


Them

MEANING

ENGLISH: Them

SPANISH: Ellos, ellas

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is an abbreviation. We use the last two letters of ‘’them’’.


Thereby

MEANING

ENGLISH: Thereby

SPANISH: Así, de este modo

Families: Legal, Letters, Connectors

EXPLANATION

This is the abbreviation of the word ‘’thereby’’. I combine the letters T and B to create a new character. I also use cursive letters because they make this abbreviation stand out more.


They

MEANING

ENGLISH: They

SPANISH: Ellos, ellas

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is an abbreviation. We use the last two letters of ‘’they’’


Thin

MEANING

ENGLISH: Thin, slender, fine, lightweight

SPANISH: Delgado, esbelto, fino, ligero 

Families: Medicine, Line

EXPLANATION

The line is thin. Its thinness is even more accentuated by the two short, horizontal lines.


Throat

MEANING

ENGLISH: Throat, larynx, pharynx, thyroid, swallow

SPANISH: Garganta, laringe, faringe, tiroides, tragar

Families: Body parts, Medicine, Compound symbols

EXPLANATION

This is a combination of symbols.


Time

MEANING

ENGLISH: Time, wait, moment, clock

SPANISH: Tiempo, esperar, momento, reloj

Families: Image abstractions, Circles 

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction from a clock


Tongue

MEANING

ENGLISH: Tongue, taste

SPANISH: Lengua, saborear 

Families: Body parts, Image abstractions, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a tongue.


Tooth

MEANING

ENGLISH: Tooth, teeth, bite, chew

SPANISH: Diente, dientes, morder, masticar

Families: Medicine, Image abstractions, Body parts

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a set of teeth.


Top

MEANING

ENGLISH: Top, tip, upper

SPANISH: Arriba, superior

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

This is an arbitrary symbol. The accent mark is on top of the letter ‘’i’’. 


Transfer

MEANING

ENGLISH: Transfer, intersection, transplant, cross, pass, intersect

SPANISH: Transferir, intersección, trasplante, cruzar, pasar, intersectar

Families: Lines

EXPLANATION

These lines are crossing over, intersecting.


Travel

MEANING

ENGLISH: Travel, plane, trip

SPANISH: Viajar, avión, viaje

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a plane


Treatment

MEANING

ENGLISH: Treatment, treat

SPANISH: Tratamiento, tratar

Families: X family, Medicine, Letters

EXPLANATION


Tremor

MEANING

ENGLISH: Tremor, shaking, irregular, shaky

SPANISH: Temblor, temblar, irregular, tembloroso 

Families: Medicine, Lines

EXPLANATION

Abstraction, arbitrary symbol.


Try

MEANING

ENGLISH: Try, attempt

SPANISH: Intentar, probar

Families: Arrows, Letters, Lines

EXPLANATION

This is a visual cue + abbreviation. It combines the ‘’T’’ for ‘’try’’ but also the little arrow → that indicates movement or action (like going to).


Tube

MEANING

ENGLISH: Tube, duct, pipe

SPANISH: Tubo, conducto, tubería

Families: Medicine, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a tube.


Tumor

MEANING

ENGLISH: Lump, bump, cyst, tumor, nodule, blister, polyp

SPANISH: Masa, bolita, quiste, tumor, nódulo, ampolla, pólipo

Families: Medicine, Lines

EXPLANATION

This is an arbitrary symbol.


Type

MEANING

ENGLISH: Type, kind, classification, category, classify

SPANISH: Tipo, clasificación, categoría, clasificar

Families: Lines, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a tournament flowchart or a mind map that branches (classifies) different ideas.


Uncle

MEANING

ENGLISH: Uncle

SPANISH: Tío

Families: Family members

EXPLANATION

This is another way of representing females and males. I add the repetition of the letters because a family is ‘’a repetition of genes’’, reproduction (produce again, repeat).

A nephew is to his uncle what a daughter is to her mother. 


Until

MEANING

ENGLISH: Until, once

SPANISH: Hasta, una vez que

Families: Letters, Lines, Connectors

EXPLANATION

I created a new character from the letters ‘’U’’ and ‘’N’’. It’s like you are going to draw the letter ‘’U’’, change your mind, and finish with half an ‘’N’’.


Up

MEANING

ENGLISH: Up, high, elevated, lift

SPANISH: Arriba, alto, elevado, levantar 

Families: Arrows

EXPLANATION

The arrow goes up.


Urethra

MEANING

ENGLISH: Urethra, ureter

SPANISH: Uretra, uréter

Families: Medicine, Body parts, Letters

EXPLANATION

This is the ‘’U’’ with a little drop at the bottom that represents urine. Both the urethra and ureter are urinary ducts. You would differentiate one or the other with superfixes and subscripts.


Us

MEANING

ENGLISH: Us

SPANISH: Nosotros

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

You have two options to draw this symbol. Pick the one you like and stick to it. 


Vacation

MEANING

ENGLISH: Vacation, beach, holiday

SPANISH: Vacaciones, vacacionar, playa, día festivo

Families: Image abstractions, Lines

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a palm tree (associated with the beach, which is also associated with ‘’vacations’’). The three projections of this line are the fronds of the palm tree.


Vagina

MEANING

ENGLISH: Vagina, vaginal, vulva

SPANISH: Vagina, vaginal, vulva

Families: Body parts, Letters, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is the ‘’v’’ as in ‘’vagina’’. The horizontal line above the ‘’v’’ is just to differentiate this ‘’v’’ from any other ‘’v’’.


Visit

MEANING

ENGLISH: Visit

SPANISH: Visita, consulta, visitar 

Families: Medicine, Letters, Compound symbols

EXPLANATION

This is a combination of symbols or an abbreviation + visual cue. 


Vitamin

MEANING

ENGLISH: Vitamin, mineral, stone

SPANISH: Vitamina, mineral, piedra

Families: Medicine, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of a jewel. A diamond is a mineral, stones have minerals. Also, we see this symbol as the letter ‘’V’’ as in ‘’vitamin’’ with another ‘’v’’ on top to differentiate it from others.


Volunteer

MEANING

ENGLISH: Volunteer, voluntary, willingly

SPANISH: Voluntario, voluntad, voluntariamente

Families: Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a person raising her hand to volunteer.


Vomit

MEANING

ENGLISH: Vomit, vomiting

SPANISH: Vomitar, vómito

Families: Letters, Slashes, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is an abbreviation 


Walk

MEANING

ENGLISH: Walk, run, stroll

SPANISH: Caminar, correr, pasear

Families: Image abstractions, Medicine

EXPLANATION

This is an abstraction of two little legs running or walking.


Wall

MEANING

ENGLISH: Wall, container, contain, lining

SPANISH: Pared, muro, contenedor, envase, contener, revestimiento 

Families: Lines, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a plain wall.


Way

MEANING

ENGLISH: Way

SPANISH:  Forma, camino

Families: Letters, Slashes, Image abstractions, Compound symbols

EXPLANATION

This is the combination of the letter ‘’W’’ from ‘’way’’ and the symbol for ‘’street’’.


We

MEANING

ENGLISH: We

SPANISH: Nosotros

Families: Circles

EXPLANATION

The circle represents union. ‘’We’’ means a group of 2 or more people. ‘’We’’ as in a team, together. We usually use this symbol at the beginning of sentences. It must also be small, otherwise, it could be confused with ‘’ball, circle’’. So, make sure to draw a tiny circle for ‘’we’’. 


Weak

MEANING

ENGLISH: Weak, fragile, weakness

SPANISH: Débil, frágil, debilidad

Families: Lines

EXPLANATION

This symbol derives from the ‘’stable, support’’ symbol. When the vertical line is so heavy that breaks the horizontal line it creates a point of weakness.


Week

MEANING

ENGLISH: Week, weekly

SPANISH: Semana, semanalmente

Families: Letters

EXPLANATION

Abbreviation from the ‘’W’’ and the ‘’K’’ from ‘’Week’’. I combine these two letters in one letter.  


Weight

MEANING

ENGLISH: Weight, scale

SPANISH: Peso, báscula

Families: Medicine, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of one of those old weight scale. The drawing also looks like a ‘’T’’ as in ‘’weight’’ if you remove the two vertical lines ‘’attached’’ to the horizontal line.


What

MEANING

ENGLISH: What

SPANISH: Qué

Families: W questions

EXPLANATION

Combining the ‘’W’’ and the ‘’T’’ in one single character.


Wheelchair

MEANING

ENGLISH: Wheelchair

SPANISH: Silla de ruedas

Families: Medicine, Image abstractions

EXPLANATION

This is the abstraction of a wheelchair.


When

MEANING

ENGLISH: When

SPANISH: Cuando

Families: W questions

EXPLANATION

The ‘’W’’ and ‘’N’’ from ‘’When’’


Where

MEANING

ENGLISH: Where

SPANISH: Donde

Families: W questions

EXPLANATION

The ‘’W’’ and the ‘’R’’ from ‘’Where’’. You may have noticed that the ‘’R’’ looks like a small 2. The reason behind it is Gestalt and saving strokes. 1st, the fewer strokes a symbol needs, the better (speed). 2nd, Gestalt means that even if you skip some strokes you still get the overall idea because your brain ‘’completes’’ the missing lines.


Which

MEANING

ENGLISH: Which

SPANISH: Cual

Families: W questions

EXPLANATION

The ‘’W’’ and the ‘’H’’ from ‘’Which’’. You have two ways of drawing this. One is a continuous line between ‘’W’’ and ‘’H’’ and the other is ‘’W’’ and ‘’H’’ separated. Choose the one that works best for you and


While

MEANING

ENGLISH: While

SPANISH: While

Families: W questions, Plotting

EXPLANATION

This is an abbreviation + a visual cue. The ‘’w’’ for ‘’while’’ has a horizontal line. Below the line you can add things as follows:


White blood cell

MEANING

ENGLISH: White blood cell

SPANISH: Glóbulos blancos

Families: Medicine, Letters

EXPLANATION

Standard abbreviation 


Who

MEANING

ENGLISH: Who

SPANISH: Quien

Families: W questions, Compound symbols

EXPLANATION

You have two options. Pick the one you like and stick to it. You have the ‘’W’’ and ‘’O’’ from ‘’Who’’. The other option is more abstract.


Why

MEANING

ENGLISH: Why

SPANISH: Por qué

Families: Compound symbols, W questions

EXPLANATION

You have two options for this symbol. Pick one and stick to it. One option combines the ‘’W’’ and ‘’Y’’ of ‘’why’’, the other option is more abstract. It uses the ‘’root square’’. When you find the root square you find ‘’the reason why’’ that number is what it is. For example, the root square of 4 is 2 because of 2x2