ON YOMI, WITH THEIR CORRESPONDING ENGLISH KEYWORDS
1) Think of the ONYOMI as just another radical! A sonic one, rather than a visual one.
A hundred kanji can have the same ONYOMI the same way a hundred kanji can have the same 糸 or 木 radical. OK so far? We use english keywords that LOOK like the radicals (i.e. ＝ Abe Lincoln's Hat, and =bunnyears). In the same way, we use English keywords for ONYOMI that SOUND similar : BA = barber, KA = car!
2) A lot of ONYOMI come in both short- and long-vowel versions (such as SHO / SHOU, SHU/SHUU, and KYO/KYOU) .
To help deal with this confusion, I decided that English keywords of Long-vowel ONyomis (SHOU, SHUU, KYOU,etc.) use single words, like any regular ONYOMI: SHOW me the bunny, put SHOES on yo mama’s hooves, KYOU was a nice day.
English Keywords of short-vowel ONyomi, on the other hand, will always be abbreviations: SHO becomes Smell His Odor, SHU becomes See Her Underpants, KYO becomes Keep Your Odor, etc.
Since these abbreviations are clearly 3 words, that should cue you that the ONyomi only has 3 letters, and therefore is short-vowel.
3) Some ONyomi, like KYOU or ZOKU - I honestly couldn't think of any good English words that sound similar. So instead of using English keywords, I use a more common Japanese keyword.
For example, KYOU is the word for 'day' (今日）, so every word with the ONYOMI of KYOU will use "Day" as the keyword.
an - ANN Coulter, naturally.
atsu - OUGHT TO
baku - BACK to the future.
bai - BUY some pot for mom, she has glaucoma
ben - BENny hill
bi - you BE illing.
BO - BOzack.
BOU- BOWLing is fun even if you don't like the Big Lebowski
bu - BOO! Because it is scary.
bun- BUNny. Of course.
byou - B.O. (body odor)
chi - usually, "CHEEEse mmmm. "
chiku -- CHICKS. Groovy ones. With bellbottoms and ironed hair.
cho - CHOke
chou - comedian Margaret CHO.
chu - kiss (since the Japanese sound effect of a kiss is チュ！）
da - your DAd
dai - DIE, die my darling!
Dan - speaking of die, die . . . .Glen DANzig
datsu - DATSUN! of course.
dei - DAY
den - DENtists do it in the chair.
Don- DON Quixote, naturally!
DOU - Homer Simpson says this.
doku - DON'T COok
ei -- the catchphrase of '70s icon Arthur Fonzarelli AKA the Fonz: EYYY!
en - ENjoy
FU - FUcked up
fuu - PHOOey!
fuku - clothes. Since the Japanese word for clothes ( 服 ) is pronounced FUKU.
ga - GOT
gaku - GOT COOL
gai - he's an allright GUY - for a holocaust-denier.
gan - GHANDI!!!!!
ge - GET UP (get on up)
geki - GET KEYED UP
gei - GAY
gen - say that aGAIN and so help me God. . .
gi - GEEse
GO - five (the Japanese word for five is pronounced go!)
GOU - GOOOUU to the store and get Mommy some pills.
gon - she's GONE to the liquor store.
Gotsu- you’ve GOT TO stop eating marbles
gun - GUN, duh. Gat. Piece. Roscoe. Toolie.
gu - GEE, You look tired. Maybe you should stop for now.
guu - pile of green GOO.
gyou- GET YO ass out of here.
hai -- yes! HAI!
haku - HACK apart
han - HAN Solo!!!
hatsu - HATS are wonderful
hei - HATE
hin - i guess "HIM" is the closest word.
hitsu -- HITS of acid.
ho - Hairy Obese (abbreviation)
hou - WHORE.
hyou - HE'S YOUR best friend.
I - "I" think that you have a disease which you are ashamed of.
iki - ewww, that's ICKY
ji - JESUS christ, Kanji is hard.
jin - GIN and tonic
jo - Jack Off
jou- JOE Stalin
ju - Juicy Underwear
juu - Jews invented monotheism! And psychology, communism, and sarcasm too!
jitsu - ju JITSU
juku - JUKE box
ka - CAR
kaku - COCKs!!!! Droopy ones!!!
katsu - CATS!!!! Droopy ones!
kai - KITES are fun to fly. . . .after you have learned every single kanji.
kan - Ghengis KHAN
Ken - KENny, the kid who you killed.
ketsu - KETCHUP
ki - mnemonics are the KEY to remembering whatever - KEEP this in mind.
kin - your KINfolk. I don’t cotton to them.
ko - KODOMO ( 子供 )
kou - COLON. COcaine.
kon - CORN on the cob.
koku - COKE as in 'white lines, don't do it, baby!'
ku - KUchi, （’口’） ｍｅａｎｉｎｇ mouth
kun - raCOON
kyo - Keep Your Odor to yourself.
kyou - TODAY. the Japanese word for today ( 今日 ) , which is pronounced kyou,
mai - i hate MYself and i want to die
mei - You MAY be able to read German one day.
mo -MORE money more problems.
mou - MOmar kadaffy
moku - MO COOL (than the other mnemonics).
mu - a COW
myou - MEET YOUR maker.
nai - NIIIIIce
nan - the wonderful bread from india
nen - YEAR - the Japanese word for year ( 年） which is pronounced NEN
ni - vince NEIL
nou - NOOOO way!
nyo - R&B sensation NEYO.
NYU = there IS no short-vowel "nyu" so don't worry about it.
nyuu - NEWW and improved mnemonics are what makes
ra - the sun god
rai - RAIghtning
raku- ROCK(with a thick Japanese accent, naturally)
rei - RAY smuckles, bitches! also, raygun!
ren - MC REN, bitches!! you can KIZZ his black AZZ.
retsu -LET'S, of course
ri - bruce LEE, of course!
rin - a RING, is what I was supposed to give my wife on our wedding day. (i gave her some waffles)
ritsu - RE-TOOL
ro - ROAD
row -things in a ROW
roku- ROCK and roll.
rui - RUIN
ryu - there IS NO short-vowel RYU.
ryuu - RE-USE
ryo - Regulate Your Odor
ryou - RE-ORDER
ryoku- RE-OCCUR. Sorry that is the best I could do.
sa- i SAW what you did with that bear.
sai - SIGH with despair
san- SANTA claus
saku -- you're all on my nutSAC
satsu − I ＳＡＷ ＴＷＯ ｏｆ ｔｈｅｍ．
sei - SAY that one more time and I will bank you
sen - SEND it straight to hell!
setsu - i SAID TO him , "setsu!" is what i said to him.
sha - I SHAll return.
shaku - a SHACK
shin - SHINing.
sho - Smell Her Odor
shou - SHOWme that you love me.
shoku - SHOCKing!!!
shu - See Her Underpants
shuu - SHOES
shuku - i SHOOK hands with your dad.
shutsu -- elmer fudd SHOOTS a wabbit.
SO - Some One
SOU- SOOOOO much
soku -- SOCKS are useful
SU- the Japanese word for nest ( 巣） which is pronounced su
sui - SWEET
tai - TIE up a guy and make him your gimp
ta- TATAs!!! Asouthern word for boobies!!
taku - TALK TO
ｔａｎ − TAN, ｔｈｅ ｃｏｌｏｒ
tei - TAKE me to your leader
teki - the Japanese word for enemy ( 敵） which is pronounced TEKI
to - Take Off
TOU- big TOE
toku - inhale marijuana.
TSU- there IS NO short-vowel tsu.
TSUU- TO (i.e. go to the room)
u - UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUrusai!!!
wa - christopher WAlken
ya - YAAAAwn
yaku - a hairy smelly YAK
yo - YOYO
you - YODEL
YU- Your Underpants
YUU - YOU are reading some real science right now
zan -- ZOMbies
zai -- XYlophone
zen -- ZEN monks
zo - ZORRO
zou - the Japanese word for elephant ( 象） which is pronounced ZOU.
zoku - bandit (because the japanese word for bandit 賊 IS PRONOUNCED 'ZOKU')