|An anagram is a rearrangement of the letters of one word or phrase to form
another word or phrase.|
Often anagrams are highly amusing
and give deep insights into the text being anagrammed!
A very simple example of an anagram is rearranging the letters of "Evil" to
get "Vile". More advanced examples include rearranging "Clint
Eastwood" as "Old West action" and "The
best things in life are free" as "Nail-biting refreshes the
feet"!! (It is free after all!) (Thank
you Donald L. Holmes for this last one.) Thousands more anagrams are
in the anagram archive.
The one golden rule of anagramming is that the use of letters must be perfect. After
that, almost anything goes!
This site, www.anagramgenius.com, is devoted to the
art of creating fantastic anagrams! It is the largest and best website on the internet relating to this subject with more than 1.2 million registered users!
Special Kinds of Anagrams
- One word anagrams (where a single word is anagrammed into another single word) are sometimes
referred to by wordplay specialists as transpositions. For example,
"orchestra" is a transposition of "carthorse".
- Some anagrams are created by perfectly reversing the order of the letters. Examples include
"Naomi"->"I moan.", "Evian" -> "Naive" etc.
There is no completely established word for this type of anagram but the author of
this site is trying to establish the term anadrome for these. The word
is completely sound in terms of its derivation (from the ancient Greek "ana" meaning "back" and "dromos" meaning "running")
and was used by Douglas St. Paul Barnard in his 1963 book "Anatomy of the Crossword".
- There are even anagrams which don't involve any rearranging of the sequence of letters at all: merely
the insertion or deletion of spaces. Some great examples include "Psychotherapist" -> "Psycho, the rapist"
and "The IRS" -> "Theirs!". These have been referred to as
redividers though the term can cause confusion as the word "redivider" is
itself a palindrome.
- Many books on wordplay also include the term antigram. This is
an anagram where the meaning of the anagram is considered opposite in some way to the subject.
A classic example is "funeral"->"Real fun!".
Other anagram-related words and parts-of-speech
The verb for making anagrams is also anagram (which is both transitive and intransitive). e.g.
"I spent my evening anagramming.", "I anagrammed 'Virginia Bottomley' into 'I'm an evil tory bigot'",
"The art of anagramming", "I love to anagram the names of my friends."
For some reason almost all dictionaries
say that the verb is anagrammatize and most say that anagram isn't
even available as an alternative. However, they are wrong (or out of date) as a simple search on Google for the relative frequencies
of "anagramming" and "anagrammatizing" will show.
One word that is in some dictionaries and is useful is anagrammatist - an
exponent of the art of anagramming.