An Anagram Entry: 'A Mean, Angry Rant'
Created | Updated Jan 12, 2018
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|
|The Ten Commandments||Them contents damn me|
|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|
|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|
|Protectionism||Nice to imports|
|Astronomers||No more stars|
|Honestly||On the sly|
|Within earshot||I won't hear this|
|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...
|Alexander the Great||Axed the rare tangle3|
|Extra heart. A legend|
|Albus Dumbledore||A bulbous meddler|
|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.