Introduction to anagrams

An anagram is a word or phrase formed by transposing the letters of another word or phrase. Examples include simply rearranging the letters of "vile" to make "evil", taking "The best things in life are free" and saying "Nail-biting refreshes the feet!" or satirizing a singer by starting with "The artist formerly known as 'Prince'" and rearranging it to reveal the hidden message:  "No first-rate workmanship recently!" The results can be hilarious, wondrous, satirical or just downright bizarre!

The concept of anagramming has been around for as long as there have been alphabets: at least from ancient Greece. In many cases (and still by some to this day) anagrams were thought to have magical powers. The Cabbalists (thirteenth century Jewish mystics) revered the Hebrew alphabet and believed that reciting letters in different orders could create human beings from dust and work miracles. Louis XIII of France appointed a Royal Anagrammatist - a post which carried a high salary - and of course anagrams have always been used for political satire: Lewis Carroll (the famous 19th century author) created many anagrams including the transformation of "William Ewart Gladstone" into "Wild agitator! Means well."

The first version of this software was started in 1988 and initially released for Acorn computers. Its release resulted immediately in hundreds of hitherto undiscovered gems being revealed. The move to Microsoft Windows a few years later brought the software into the reach of millions of new computer users and the years since have seen a transformation of people's understanding of the concept and the uncovering of more high quality anagrams than had previously been discovered in the last two centuries!

A book of high quality anagrams created with the software was published by Hodder and Stoughton in 1995 (Anagram Genius by William Tunstall-Pedoe and Donald L. Holmes) and anagrams now crop up frequently on television, radio and in printed publications.

Version 8 of the product was first released in 1998 and brought about radical improvements over version 7.

This version (version 9) was released in 2003 and incorporates many thousands of hours of further effort including a complete rewrite of the user-interface and work on every aspect of the artificial intelligence, its knowledge base, the software's features and its core anagram-generating engine.

One of the great things about anagrams is that there are always new subjects to try. Every day brings fresh new people, products and companies into the news all of whom are ripe for anagramming. There are billions of yet-to-be-discovered gems still hidden in the names of the world's people, companies, publications, movies, businesses and products.

As an Anagram Genius owner you have a chance to discover something new every time you start up the software!

For a  few further examples see the topic Example Anagrams or check out the thousands of examples in the Anagram Genius Archive online at