An anagram is a play on words created by rearranging the letters of the original word to make a new word or phrase. Anagrams can be fun and witty and often end in hilarious results. One example is the word anagram itself. It can be turned into "nag a ram."
Basic Anagram Functions and Examples
You can often find examples of anagrams in everyday life. They can be seen in crossword puzzles and games such as Scrabble or Upwards. Kids and adults both can enjoy the fun in creating anagrams by rearranging letters of words and phrases to make something new and exciting.
Anagrams are often words or phrases that don't mean anything but are fun to say. There are basic anagrams of words that turn into other words but are not relevant to one another. Examples include:
- Tar = Rat
- Arc = Car
- Elbow = Below
- State = Taste
- Cider = Cried
- Dusty = Study
- Night = Thing
- Inch = Chin
- Brag = Grab
- Cat = Act
- Bored = Robed
- Save = Vase
- Angel = Glean
- Stressed = Desserts
A more creative way to use anagrams is to make them relevant to the original word or phrase. A great example of this is debit card = bad credit. Some more examples of relevant, yet funny, anagrams are:
- Dormitory = Dirty room
- School master = The classroom
- Conversation = Voices rant on
- Listen = Silent
- Astronomer = Moon starer
- The eyes = They see
- A gentleman = Elegant man
- Funeral = Real fun
- The Morse Code = Here comes dots
- Eleven plus two = Twelve plus one
- Slot machines = Cash lost in me
- Fourth of July = Joyful Fourth
Anagrams Throughout History and Literature
Anagrams and have been popular throughout the ages. They can be traced back to ancient Greece and Biblical times. For example, Plato and his followers thought that anagrams could unveil the words' hidden meanings. In the middle ages scientists like Galileo coded their findings in anagrams until they were ready to reveal them.
Anagrams can also be found in both classic and modern literature. Many writers rearrange the letters of names to create new and interesting names for their characters. Some examples of anagrams in literature include:
- William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" is actually an anagram of "Amleth," a Danish prince.
- In Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Gulliver visits Tribnia, also known as Langden, anagrams of Britain and England.
- J.K. Rowling uses the anagram "I am Lord Voldemort" for the of character Tom Marvolo Riddle to unveil the two separate identities of the villain of the Harry Potter series.
- In Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code clues left by a murdered museum curator are hidden in anagrams:
O, Draconian devil! = Leonardo da Vinci
Oh, lame saint = The Mona Lisa
So dark the con of man = Madonna of the Rocks
- Anagrams are everywhere in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Most often it's the author's name, such as Loney M. Setnick, and Count Olaf's name, such as Al Funcoot.
Famous Anagram Example
Anagrams have often been created out of a famous person's name, sometimes by the person themselves as an alter ego. The results are often hilarious and quite relevant. Below are some examples:
- Jim Morrison = Mr. Mojo Risin'
- Damon Albarn = Dan Abnormal
- George Bush = He bugs Gore
- Clint Eastwood = Old West action
- Ronald Reagan = A darn long era
- Elvis = Lives
- Madonna Louise Ciccone = One cool dance musician
- Bart (as in Bart Simpson) = Brat
Anagrams can be created out of place names too. Some examples include:
- Paris = Pairs
- San Diego = Diagnose
- Denver = Nerved
- Las Vegas = Salvages
- Statue of Liberty = Built to stay free
You can also find many examples of anagrams in the movies. For example, the movie October Sky is based on the book Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam. October Sky = Rocket Boys. Other examples of anagrams in movies are:
- The movie and book The Shining by Stephen King has the character Danny scream REDRUM and write the word on the mirror using lipstick. REDRUM = Murder.
- In the movie, The Silence of the Lambs, the character Hannibal Lecter loved using anagrams as clues. One example of this was when he gave detectives the name Louis Friend. Louis Friend = Iron Sulfide. Iron sulfide is known as fool's gold.
Fun with Words
Whether it is for a game or just to have fun, you can use anagrams for a variety of reasons. They are easy to make out of any name or phrase. Writers often use them to add mystery or intrigue to a novel. Anagrams are an interesting play on words and challenge us to be creative and witty.
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"Anagram Examples." YourDictionary, n.d. Web. 16 October 2018. <http://examples.yourdictionary.com/anagram-examples.html>.
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