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Aren't words a fun blessing?! Long time readers of my blog know that I love words and word play. One kind of word play that I have not done much with is the anagram — a word or phrase that is made by transposing or rearranging the letters of another word or phrase. The closest I've come to doing anything with anagrams is playing Boggle and Text Twist.

Students in my French lit courses always seem to be surprised to learn that several great names in French literature wrote under pseudonyms that were actually anagrams of their real names. In the sixteenth century Rabelais published his first book under the pseudonym of Alcofribas Nasier — an anagram of François Rabelais, minus the cedilla. The eighteenth-century author François-Marie Arouet wrote under a pseudonym. The Latinized spelling of his surname, Arouet, plus the initial letters of the sobriquet "le jeune" ("the younger," like our "junior," but spelled ieune back then instead of jeune) was rendered "AROVET LI." The anagram of that is the better-known name Voltaire.

Today's blog post is a some anagrams that I have accumulated through the years. Someone out there has way too much time on his hands. Remind me never to play Boggle or Scrabble with the person who came up with these!

The Original → The Anagram

dormitory → dirty room

the Morse code → here come dots

animosity → is no amity

snooze alarms → alas, no more Z's

the public art galleries → large picture halls, I bet

slot machines → cash lost in 'em

the eyes → they see

Presbyterian → best in prayer

semolina → is no meal

a decimal point → I'm a dot in place

schoolmaster → the classroom

Western Union → no wire unsent

the countryside → no city dust here

conversation → voices rant on

microwave → warm voice

Statue of Liberty → built to stay free

debit card → bad credit

the earthquakes → that queer shake

election results → lies - let's recount

contradiction → accord not in it

eleven plus two → twelve plus one

astronomer → moon starer

desperation → a rope ends it

year two thousand → a year to shut down

Alec Guinness → genuine class

Washington → hogs want in

George Bush → he bugs Gore

mother-in-law → woman Hitler

Here are several that took a lot of work.

The original:
"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." - Neil Armstrong

And the anagram, including his name:
"Thin man left planet, ran, makes a large stride, pins flag on moon! On to Mars!"

This next one is truly amazing!

The original:
"To be or not to be: that is the question, whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune."

The anagram:
"In one of the Bard's best-thought-of tragedies, our insistent hero, Hamlet, queries on two fronts about how life turns rotten."

I wonder if Shakespeare knew the anagram would work out that way when he wrote the original lines.


I found the following picture online recently. The message on the right is an anagram of the message on the left.

picture of long anagram

All I can say is, wow!

There's a page on wordsmith.org where you can enter text and have it converted to all the possible anagrams. It's fun to see what anagrams can come from your name. When I put in Barack Hussein Obama, here's one of the anagrams it came up with — "a casaba rube monkish." It doesn't say much, I guess, but....

You can play Text Twist for free online at games.yahoo.com

If you come up with any funny anagrams, I hope you'll post them in a comment.

Becka returned safe and sound from Detroit this afternoon. I'm glad she had a good week with our daughter and her family, but I have to say it's awfully nice to have her back home. 🙂

For any of you BJ grads who read my blog — today was Heritage Day on campus (formerly known as Founder's Day). This year's program was about the history Rodeheaver Auditorium and the people heavily involved with it from the start. The Tozer quotation below figured heavily in the program.


"Life is a short and fevered rehearsal for a concert we cannot stay to give. Just when we appear to have attained some proficiency we are forced to lay our instruments down." - A. W. Tozer

=^..^= =^..^=

All wight - Rho sritched mg kegtops awound?

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6 Comments on “Anagrams”

  1. #1 Deb Crater
    on Oct 29th, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    I put my full proper name in the wordsmith anagram maker.
    Deborah Marie Crater
    It came up with:
    A Matriarch Bee Order

    If you look up the meaning of Deborah, it is “the Queen Bee.”

  2. #2 Rob
    on Oct 30th, 2009 at 6:50 am

    @Deb – That’s interesting. I just did my full name too. Here are some of the weirdest anagrams the site generated:

    Acrobat Hollered
    Cathedral Bolero
    Trachea Doorbell
    Bachelor Leotard
    A Tolerable Chord
    Caballero Red Hot
    Cabal Herder Tool
    Readable Loch Rot
    Cathedral Rob Ole
    Charade Blot Role
    Carload Broth Eel
    Earache Bolt Lord
    Lacteal Herb Odor
    Area Botched Roll
    Errata Lobed Loch
    Aha Trebled Color
    Altar Blood Cheer
    Aorta Belch Older
    Cab Leather Drool
    Bleached Oral Rot
    Caboodle Halt Err
    Brocade All Other
    Bleacher Lard Too
    Cerebral Had Loot
    Bachelor Read Lot
    Adorable Chortle

    What a hoot!

  3. #3 Michael
    on Oct 30th, 2009 at 9:30 am

    These are very interesting. The tedium required to keep track of using all the letters would probably drive me crazy. I was particularly impressed by the one “eleven plus two” and “twelve plus one” since it is an anagram of sorts linguistically and mathematically. Happy Heritage Day and Happy Reformation Day.

  4. #4 Vikki
    on Oct 30th, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    I put my full name, Vikki Jo Ivey, and it came back with “no anagrams found”. However, my husband’s name came up with 1422! Like I said in my comment in the last posting, I guess I’m weird. : (

  5. #5 Kathleen
    on Oct 30th, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    I put in my full name, and got:

    Input too long (20 letters).

    The permitted input length (maximum 30 letters) varies depending on the server load. Currently it’s limited to 0 letters.

    I guess it doesn’t like me? Maybe all the ivman readers rushed over to try out their own anagram ideas, and crashed the site? Once it finally let me do it, I got 50001 results… A random sampling:

    A Gallanter Geckoes Hen
    A Archangel Keenest Log
    A Archangel Geek Stolen
    A Garage Clothes Kennel
    A Lasagne Choker Gentle
    A Tracheae Glen Elk Song
    A Tracheae Kens Ell Gong…

    By the way, I have never choked lasagne, gently or otherwise. 🙂

  6. #6 Rob
    on Nov 2nd, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    @Michael – I found several of them quite interesting, including the one you mentioned. I did not take (or have) the time to check all of the anagrams, especially the really long ones. Someone has a lot more patience than I. Thanks for the greetings for Heritage Day and Reformation Day. They were both a blessing.

    @Vikki – That’s wild that your name has no anagrams using every letter. I wonder how many names for which that is true. My full name had 66,667 results, of which the first 1,000 are displayed.

    @Kathleen – I think my readers did indeed max out the site sometimes.