An Anagram Entry: 'A Mean, Angry Rant' Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

An Anagram Entry: 'A Mean, Angry Rant'

3 Conversations

An anagram is simply a rearrangement of letters in a word or sentence to form another word or sentence. They can be fairly straightforward, or quite elaborate. One simple anagram can be formed by rearranging the letters in the word 'listen' to become (rather conveniently) the word 'silent'. However, anagrams can be formed from more substantial chunks of text. For example, an anagram of the first sentence in this Entry is:

At noon I, an ace water westerner mammogram, eats no finer, rare toasted filleted prongs nor CS Ron Henry.

Incidentally, this may be a good time to mention that most anagrams make absolutely no sense. It's very easy to manipulate the English1 language to create an anagram. However, it is maddeningly difficult to create an anagram that is more than a random collection of words. Even harder to find are those which relate to the word or phrase from which they spring - as a sort of answer to an unasked question. Those kinds of anagrams are more entertaining. Since it is so difficult to create these clever anagrams, variation in punctuation and capitalisation between the two words and phrases is commonly ignored.

If you ever desire to create your own anagram, you can save yourself the agony of wasted paper and headaches by using the Internet Anagram Server.

Words and Things

There are quite a lot of things out there, and many of them have words to describe them - words whose letters can be rearranged. The incredible multitude of things increases the likelihood that some of the rearrangements will be entertaining or provide insight about the original word. However, for every word which can be pleasingly rearranged, it is important to remember that there are quite a few more that cannot be suitably jumbled.

 Word or Thing  Anagram 
 The Morse code  Here come dots 
 Dormitory  Dirty room 
 The Ten Commandments  Them contents damn me 
 Cartoons  No actors 
 The Academy Awards  Award a chesty dame 
 Gonorrhea   O, her organ! 
 Yankee Stadium  Nauseates my kid 
 A Monday morning  Man in angry mood 
 Slot Machines  Cash lost in 'em 
 Election results  Lies! Let's recount 
 Halley's Comet  Shall yet come 
 Las Vegas  Salvages 
 France's Arc de Triomphe  Charmed centre of Paris 
 The Leaning Tower of Pisa  I spot one giant flaw here 
 Monty Python's Flying Circus  Funny grin, mostly psychotic 
 The United States of America  Attaineth its cause, freedom 
 Presbyterian  Best in prayer 
 Metamorphosis  Promises a moth 
 A Chevrolet  Love the car 
 New Year's Resolution  Notions we rarely use 
 Russian roulette  Retries not usual 
 A hermaphrodite  O, I'm part he and her 
 A gentleman  Elegant man 
 Eleven plus two  Twelve plus one 
 The Olympic Games  See gym champ toil 
 The hurricanes  These churn air 
 The first lesson on guitar  It hurts one's fingers a lot! 
 Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, 'Mona Lisa I am a smiler posed on canvas, created in oil 
 Earthquakes  That queer shake 
 Mister Bellamy  Mills betray me2 


Antigrams are words that have been rearranged to form anagrams with meanings that are opposite (or nearly opposite) the original word.

 Word or Thing  Anagram of Opposite Meaning 
 Misfortune  It's more fun 
 Funeral  Real fun 
 Santa  Satan 
 Evangelists  Evil's agents 
 Violence  Nice love 
 Protectionism  Nice to imports 
 Astronomers  No more stars 
 Antagonist  Not against 
 Diplomacy  Mad policy 
 Honestly  On the sly 
 Earliest  Rise late 
 Saintliness  Entails sins 
 Within earshot  I won't hear this 
 United  Untied 
 British Broadcasting Corporation  Horrid, patrician, bigot, snob actors 


Some people are remembered for very specific things. The clever wordsmiths of our times often come up with word manipulations concerning these figures, presumably because they have little else to do. Here are a few...

 People  Anagrams 
 Alexander the Great  Axed the rare tangle3 
 Extra heart. A legend 
 Extra-hated General 
 Albus Dumbledore  A bulbous meddler 
 Astronomer  Moon starer 
 Elvis  Lives 
 Albert Einstein  Ten elite brains 
 Clint Eastwood  Old West Action 
 Charles Dickens  Darkens clichés 
 Aristotle  Tries a lot 
 Dame Agatha Christie  Crime - death saga. A hit 
 Bonnie and Clyde  Cyanide 'n' Blonde4 
 Thomas Edison  Atoms do shine 
 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley  Hey! Tall fellow! Scary monster
 Oscar Wilde  I lace words 
 William Shakespeare  I am a weakish speller 
 Sean Connery  On any screen
 Marilyn Monroe  I'm only, er... Norma 
 Douglas Adams  Loud, mad sagas 
 Chairman Mao Tse-Tung  A great communist? Nah
 Napoleon Bonaparte  No, not appear on Elba 
 Florence Nightingale  Flit on, cheering angel 
 Adolf Hitler  Hated for ill 
 William Ewart Gladstone  Wild agitator means well 
 The Beatles  The able set 
 The Rolling Stones  He'll sing so rotten 

Phrases, Quotes and Longer Ones

Many serious anagram enthusiasts spend their time working on finding clever anagrams in quotes or phrases. Some can apparently reveal truths, or at least a complete sentence.

 Phrases or quotes  Anagrams 
 'That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.' Neil A. Armstrong  A thin man ran; makes a large stride; left planet, pins flag on moon! On to Mars
 What is the destiny of mankind?  Think: 'Why dominate, find asset?' 
 John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost  Jolliest sociopath pans prime demon 
 For the evil that men do...  ...doth live on after them 
 Order Chinese takeout food  Adored the fortune cookies 
 The World's Oldest Profession  Whores, priests, felons? Odd lot! 
 'Religion is the opium of the masses.'  Sometimes, if theologian is pusher! 
 hydrogen + zirconium + tin + oxygen + rhenium + platinum + tellurium + terbium + nobelium + chromium + iron + cobalt + carbon + aluminum + ruthenium + silicon + ytterbium + hafnium + sodium + selenium + cerium + manganese + osmium + uranium + nickel + praseodymium + erbium + vanadium + thallium + plutonium  nitrogen + zinc + rhodium + helium + argon + neptunium + beryllium + bromine + lutetium + boron + calcium + thorium + niobium + lanthanum + mercury + fluorine + bismuth + actinium + silver + cesium + neodymium + magnesium + xenon + samarium + scandium + europium + berkelium + palladium + antimony + thulium5 
 'And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.'  A youthful, affluent Kennedy, on accession, he asks aloud: we, both domestic and world communities, try to look for a way to unify for the common good of all, rather than worry away at your cozy corner of the turf. 
 A ham sandwich goes into a bar and the bartender declares, 'We don't serve any food here.'  A horse wandered into a bar. Soon the bartender came, served and said, 'Why the long face?' 
 '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.'  In one of The Bard's best-thought-of tragedies, our insistent hero, Hamlet, queries on two fronts about how life turns rotten 
 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band  Crap LP sung by the LSD-prone Beatles 

Uses for Anagrams

Proficiency in anagrams can be used for other kinds of word play. For instance, certain kinds of crossword puzzles frequently make use of anagrams as clues (generally giving the anagram as the clue, then leaving the reader to rearrange the letters into the original word for the solution). Another type of wordplay often found in newspapers is the Word Jumble, which is essentially a rearrangement of the letters of a word into a meaningless mess, or jumble. Basically, they're anagrams without a new meaning. For instance, the clue might be 'D-U-Q-I-L-I' and the solution would be 'liquid'.

The board game 'Scrabble' requires a mind which can mentally reshuffle letters with speed. For instance, 'S-T-A-I-N' may not fit on the board, whereas 'S-A-T-I-N' would.

Anagrams of screen names also make handy 'costumes' - it's become a tradition on h2g2 to scramble nicknames for Halloween, albeit a somewhat controversial one. The fictional vampire Count Dracula is also known to disguise himself in this way, and Harry Potter's arch nemesis, Lord Voldemort, acquired his chosen appellation through use of an anagram6.

1Since making an anagram relies on using exactly the same letters, the American spelling of words is sometimes used in this Entry where the original anagram was in American English.2'Mister Bellamy' is a track on the Paul McCartney album 'Memory Almost Full', released just after his divorce from Heather Mills. The name of that album can also be rearranged to be 'For My Soulmate LLM'.3A reference to one legend of Alexander the Great, which states that upon finding the Gordian Knot, which no one could untangle, he simply took his sword and cut it up.4She wasn't blonde.5This anagram is most impressive because if you replace each element with its atomic number and add each side up, the two sides are in balance.6Spoiler alert: He rearranged the letters of his given name, Tom Marvolo Riddle, to form the phrase 'I am Lord Voldemort'.

Bookmark on your Personal Space

Edited Entry


Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry

Categorised In:

Written by


h2g2 Entries

External Links

Not Panicking Ltd is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more