Anagram Definition
The definitive site for fun anagrams!

Definition of anagram

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.

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(e.g. saddam)
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