Branches of the external carotid artery (mnemonic)

Last revised by Yoshi Yu on 25 Sep 2023

Mnemonics for the branches of the external carotid artery abound. A few colorful examples include: 

  • Some American Ladies Found Our Pyramids Most Satisfactory

  • Some Anatomists Like Freaking Out Poor Medical Students

  • She Always Likes Friends Over Papa, Mama, and Sister

There are many many many other mnemonics, many of which are not suitable for inclusion on on account of foul language, inappropriate imagery or reprehensible stereotypes. 

Note: as the superficial temporal artery and maxillary artery are terminal branches of the external carotid artery, their order may be reversed. 


The branches can be remembered by pronouncing the first letters of each branch to form a word "SALFOPSM" which gives the arrangement from the first branch proximal to the common carotid artery bifurcation to one of the terminal branches (maxillary artery).

Above sequence may be altered and also be remembered as "FLOP MASS".

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