How many pangrams are there in the OED?
A pangram is a sentence containing all 26 letters of the alphabet at least once. The canonical example in English is “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”, which is clearly contrived to be pangrammatic. But pangrams can also occur accidentally. For example, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) contains 66 pangrammatic quotations. Two of these are references to “The quick brown fox…”; but the remainder appear to be quotations that just happen to contain all 26 letters.
Here are some examples (shortest first):
1970 R. F. Miller One Hundred Thousand Tractors iv. xiv. 341: “They argued, with some justification perhaps, that the kolkhozes were unable to use and maintain their expensive equipment properly.” (justification)
1993 Sci. Amer July 63/2: “Quantum philosopher Max Black applied multivalued logic to lists, or set of objects, and in so doing drew the first fuzzy set curves.” (multivalued)
c1503 R. Arnold Chron. f. xvi v/2: “The price af a quarer whet iijs. The ferthing Symnell poise xv vuncis & dim. q’t’. The ferthing whit loof coket poise xvij vuncz dim & ob’.” (cocket)
1970 Rolling Stone 30 Jan. 1/2: “Blue blazer, grey flannel pants, shirt and a beautiful scarf with a chunky Mexican turquoise/silver bracelet and ring which blew the white-shirted jury’s minds.” (blow)
1997 Nature 27 Mar. 319/2: “A moon orbiting a superjovian planet outside the normally accepted habitable zone might be able to support liquid water, thanks to the added heat flux from its primary.” (primary)
1993 Times 10 July 20/6: “Coming back from a jolly night out, slightly tanked up and woozy on the old pins, a quick blast of Bhangra would have me dancing exotic and erotic moves until I tripped over the cat. (bhangra)
1978 Daily Tel 8 June 2/5: “The nearest known quasar in space, an object the size of the solar system but emitting the energy of 100 galaxies, has been discovered by an X-ray experiment aboard an American satellite. (quasar)
It’s curious that these tend to be very recent (at least by the standards of the OED, where quotations go back to Old English). The one early example – the 1503 quotation – only succeeds as a pangram by using ‘j’ in its roman numerals, which makes it questionable. Most of the others are from the 1970s onwards.
Finally, here’s OED’s pangrammatic definition for Hot Lips: “(a) (a nickname for) an energetic or exciting jazz trumpeter; (b) (freq. humorous) the lips of a person who kisses passionately; (a nickname for) an attractive or sexy person; one who is or is believed to be a passionate kisser.”