Have you ever seen a word jumble or newspaper anagram puzzle asking you to rearrange letters to find the hidden word? Anagrams are designed to get your brain active and think outside the box to find a real word in what can sometimes look like total nonsense.
Anagrams don’t necessarily need to start out as jumbled letters. It can also be a word already, with another word inside. For example, the word “listen” and the word “silent” both have the same letters, and are therefore anagrams of one another.
Anagrams can also be multiple words or a phrase, and can even have significant or comedic meanings behind them. Anagrams can also be two words that mean the same thing, or synanagram, or two words meaning the opposite, also known as an antigram. These are a great way to not only improve your vocabulary, but also make it more fun for children.
Further subgroups of anagrams include pairagrams that are two words with a linked meaning that forms further meaning when compared side by side. An example of this would be “Married” and “Admirer”. Trianagrams are anagrams that have three words in a single set of letters. For example, “Mastering”, “Streaming” and “Emigrants” and all anagrams of one another.
Perhaps one of the most famous anagram examples in recent culture came from the Harry Potter book series. JK Rowling’s character Tom Marvolo Riddle is actually an anagram for “I am Lord Voldemort”. This was done purposefully by Rowling to not only connect the two characters, but also give a hint to readers long before the secret is revealed.
Other popular anagrams include Jim Morrison referring to himself as “Mr. Mojo Risin’” in the classic Doors song LA Woman, and Elvis being an anagram for “Lives”, feeding plenty of conspiracy theories. Some interesting anagrams that seemed to have somewhat been self-fulfilling prophecy are Clint Eastwood rearranged into “Old West Action” and George Bush turning into “He bugs Gore”.
Anagrams that are synanagrams include
Anagrams that are antonyms of the word include
Anagrams that have relevant meanings to the original word include
If you ever caught an episode of the British numbers and letters game Countdown, or one of its spin offs, you will see plenty of examples of anagrams. The Letters portion of the show features the random selection of tiles with consonants and vowels on the by players, who are given 30 second to make the longest possible word out of the nine letters provided. The show ends with a Countdown Conundrum, which is a nine letter anagram created by the show beforehand that the players will need to solve it in thirty seconds.
This Conundrum acts as a tie breaker or a way for players to make a comeback with its high point value. The Conundrum starts out as a nine letter word or phrase, but may not have any correlation to the anagram beyond sharing letters. Whether you are a fan of word puzzles or not, it is difficult not to play along as you watch.
Anagrams are a great way to both increase your vocabulary, and keep your brain active. This is because they are a simple, yet extremely satisfying word game that makes your brain look at the collection of letters to create something new, rather than just accepting the given word. They can also be paired with pictures to provide even further cognitive recognition to identify the name of the subject. Anagrams with related meanings can also be a great way to remember information by creating a shortcut for your brain.