A self-referential word or phrase is one that is an example of the thing it describes.

Self-referential phrases

  • This is a sentence.
  • This sentence has five words.
  • This sentence does not have five words.
  • No verb.
  • is not a sentence.
  • The letter e appears everywhere here.

Self-referential words

  • Mispelled
  • Pentasyllabic
  • Short
  • Recondite
  • Word


An autogram is a sentence that describes itself by providing a count of its own characters:

This sentence employs two a’s, two c’s, two d’s, twenty-eight e’s, five f’s, three g’s, eight h’s, eleven i’s, three l’s, two m’s, thirteen n’s, nine o’s, two p’s, five r’s, twenty-five s’s, twenty-three t’s, six v’s, ten w’s, two x’s, five y’s, and one z.

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