We dare you to say that 7 times fast!
What is an Anagram?
What are those? An anagram is a word or phrase that is created by rearranging the letters of another word or phrase. This is a common game at parties (i.e. wedding showers take the name of the bride and groom and try to create new words.) Below are some very clever anagrams because they mean practically the same thing.
The word anagram when composed into an
History of the Anagram
Historians differ on the origin of the anagram. Some feel that they started as far back as the 4th century B.C. with the Greek. In particular someone named Lycophron (poet) who was a favorite entertainer of the wealthier society folks by making up flattering anagrams of their names. (I assume he was well rewarded for this too!) Another idea is that Pythagoras in 6th century B.C. used anagrams to find deep philosophical meanings in words. And yet, many want to give the Romans credit for the ones who created the anagram, although the examples today that still exist are a bit flawed. However, the most famous example of an anagrammatic word play is the SATOR square. This square was first discovered at Cirencester in Rome (evacuation site) and it looks like this:
OK, it's not very square-like here when I type it, but I think you get the idea? The words read across and down the same. According to the translation of all four of the words, it means "Arepo the sower, guides the wheels at work" or if you want to go a bit deeper and more philosophical some say, "God controls the Universe." As a result, this infamous word square was believed to be of Christian origin for many years. And if you went with that idea, then these letters also got rearranged with the word "APATERNOSTEROS" going horizontal and diagonal with the "N" being the central letter making the cross. (Unfortunately I can't type that here.)
Anagrams seemed to somehow disappear after the Greeks and Roman times until suddenly popping up again around the 13th century by the Jewish Cabbalists, who used them for mystical importance.
Suddenly, anagrams represented
a sign of intelligence and learning among people throughout
Europe in the Middle Ages. They quickly spread throughout
the continent, but were especially popular in France.
Thomas Billon actually got to be appointed the "Official
Royal Anagrammatist" to King Louis XIII. Another
French King, Charles IX had a mistress named Marie Touchet whose
anagrammed name became Je Charme Tout (I guess they interchanged
the letters I and J and U and V in those days?), and the King
found this especially humorous? ;) The term "Je Charme
Tout" in French means "I charm all."
Andre Pujon (another Frenchman) transposed his name as Pendu A Rion, and then committed a murder in the town of Rion so that he could be hanged there in belief that this was his mystical anagram destiny.
However, the real priority of anagrams (especially in the Middle Ages) was for religious purposes. And I assume that since the most intelligent could do this, (remember a lot of folks were iliterate?) then it was only the aristocratic, wealthy and religious men or monks who could afford an education that were really skilled to create these anagrams. The most famous Mediaeval anagram was based on the trial of Jesus and on Pilate's question (in Latin) "Quid Est Veritas?" or What is Truth? The reply could be reformed as "Vir Est Qui Adest" or "It is the man before thee."
In the 17 centuries, scientists often recorded their results using anagrams to protect their discoveries from being stolen. Galileo, Hygens and Robert Hooke used anagrams on purpose so that they could be the first to claim fame in whatever it was they were seeking.In more recent days, many authors who want to choose a pen name often take their real name and form an anagrammed name from it. For example: A female author who is named Anne B. Wopweski might want to write as a male with an anagramed version of her name being "Weson K. Pinneba."
In the Victorian era, it was the thing of the time to rearrange the letters of a common word or phrase to form another word or phrase that had the same relevance or was pretty similar. An example: Astronomer = Moon Starer. In the 19th Century it was also the ta-dah thing to take the names of a famous or popular personality and transpose the letters. An example of this is: Florence Nightingale = Flit on, Cheering Angel. The person who came up with that was none other than Lewis Carroll (author of "Alice in Wonderland") who playfully challenged his readers to form one word from the phrase "New Door." Ironically if you rearrange the letters you get New Door = One Word!
Socially today, anagrams live on in games, crossword puzzles and even on pages like this on the internet. Dabbling with words doesn't seem to be as amusing today as it was hundreds of years ago.
Word Anagrams are:
one that I think is funny as we are all not
Every generation also creates its own words according to how it is living. Words such as Internet, Cell Phone, and Scanner didn't exist years ago, along with many of the popularities of our day such as Beanie Babies, GameBoy, Teflon, Jim Henson, Charles Schultz or even Monica Lewinsky! Our society not only is always inventing new items and "in phrases" and "Who is In and Cool", but also the words and phrases to go along with them.
Challenge yourself to take some of the newer words and phrases of today and try to make anagrams from them.
Below are some older examples to help keep the fun alive in today's new millennium of words!
The following have been sent to me in
e-mail over time.
I don't know who the clever person or people are who discovered these.
These are called "Cognate Anagrams" because the letters of a word or phrase transpose to form another word or phrase that redefines the original word or phrase.
|Dormitory||A Dirty Room|
|Desperation||A Rope Ends It|
|The Morse Code||Here Come Dots|
|Slot Machines||Cash Lost in 'em|
|Animosity||Is No Amity|
|Snooze Alarm||Alas! No More Z's|
|Alec Guinness||Genuine Class|
|Semolina||Is No Meal|
|The Public Art Galleries||Large Picture Halls, I Bet|
|A Decimal Point||I'm a Dot in Place|
|The Earthquakes||That Queer Shake|
|Eleven Plus two||Twelve Plus One|
|Contradiction||Accord Not In It|
|Year Two Thousand||A year To Shut Down!|
|A Decimal Point||I'm a dot in place.|
|An Old Shoe||Had No Sole|
|The Countryside||No City Dust Here|
|The Washington Post||Ah, Spotting Hot News!|
|Southern California||Hot Sun or Life in a Car?|
|Norwegians||Swen or Inga|
|School Cafeteria||Hot Cereal Fiasco|
|Alien Forms||Life On Mars|
|The Archeologist||He's Got a Hot Relic|
|Slot Machines||Cash Lost in 'em|
|Roast Turkey||Try our steak?|
|A Psychiatrist||Sit, Chat, Pay, Sir.|
|Pub's Motto =||Bottom's Up!|
|Life's Aim =||Families|
|Television Set||See, it's not live|
|Actions Speak Louder than Words||Talk or airs can not show up deeds|
|Bargain Sale||An Aisle Grab|
|Alphabetically||I play all the ABC|
|The Dawning||Night Waned|
|Considerate||Care is noted|
|Grand Finale||A flaring end|
|Income Taxes||Exact Monies|
|Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott||A novel by a Scottish writer|
|Lubrication||Act, Rub, Oil in|
|Many a true word is spoken in jest||Men joke and so win trusty praise|
|The leaning Tower of Pisa||What a foreign stone pile|
|Measurements||Man uses meter|
|The Mona Lisa||Ah, not a smile?|
|Miguel Cervantes De Saavedra||Gave us a damned clever satire|
|Payment Received||Every Cent Paid Me|
|Oliver Wendell Holmes||He'll do in mellow verse|
|One Good Turn Deserves Another||No, rogues never do endorse that!|
|Pittance||A Cent Tip|
|Ralph Waldo Emerson||Person whom all read|
|William Shakespeare||We all make his praise|
|Say it with flowers||We flirt so this way|
|A Sentence of Death||Faces one at the end|
|Retractions||To recant, sir|
|Silver and Gold||Grand old evils|
|Skin Care||Risk Acne|
|Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter||"Time's running past" we murmur.|
|A Stitch in time saves nine.||This is meant as incentive?|
|Absence makes the heart grow fonder.||He wants back dearest gone from here.|
|The active volcanoes.||Cones evict hot lava.|
|Adolf Hitler||Hated for ill.|
|An Aisle||Is a lane.|
|An alcoholic beverage.||Gal, can I have a cool beer?|
|Alphabetically||I play all the ABC.|
|The amateur thespians||Inapt hams use theatre.|
|The American Indian||I am in a thinned race|
|America's Cartoonists||No artists are as comic|
|The Arabian Desert||It's a heated barren|
|The Arctic Circle||Chart ice circlet|
|The Artesian wells||Water's in all these|
|The Associated Press||Had editor's set space|
|Bargain Sale||An Aisle Grab|
|Bathing Girls||In slight garb|
|Big mean huns||Human beings|
|Beer saloons||Boosers' Lane|
|The Blarney Stone||Blather sent on ye|
|The Breweries||Where it's beer|
|The California Gold Rush||Fools hunt a real rich dig.|
|The cantakerous man||Thus note a mean crank|
|The Carnegie Library||Be literary -- charge in!|
|The centenarians||I can hear ten "tens"|
|Charitableness||I can bless earth|
|Christianity||Charity's in it|
|Clothespins||So let's pinch|
|Compassionateness||Stamps one as so nice|
|Compensations||Pass coin to men|
|Compound interest||To do sum in per cent|
|The compulsory education law||You must learn; police do watch.|
|A confirmed bachelor||I face no bold charmer.|
|Considerate||Care is noted.|
|The countryside||No city dust here|
|Crime does not pay||Damper on society?|
|The dentist||Dints teeth|
|Distillation||Do it in a still|
|Divorce scandal||Love can discard|
|The earthquakes||That queer shake|
|The Emerald Island||Ireland lads' theme|
|Emotional insanity||A loony taint is in me|
|Five dollars||I'd sell for a V|
|Fluctuations of stocks in Wall Street||A little luck wins: fortunes scoot fast|
|The Ford touring cars||Tin roadster|
|The game of billiards||Aim ball for this edge|
|Garnet, Amethyst, Emerald||Three neat art gems, my lad!|
|A good name is better than great riches.||Be not a hoarder; right acts gain esteem.|
|Grand Finale||A flaring end|
|Intrusion||Is to run in|
|Investigators||Great on visits|
|Jesus Christ, the savior of the world||Tis the just child who saves of error|
|The judgment day of the blessed savior||Jesus, thy advent so famed be our delight|
|The Leaning Tower of Pisa||A foreign heap tilts enow|
|Leprachaun (variant spelling)||Unreal chap|
|"The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby."||Fine tale; find thou a novel by Charles Dickens|
|The liquor habit||Quit! I rob health|
|The lost paradise||Earth's ideal spot|
|Love's young dream||Go luny over dames|
|Lubrication||Oil acts in rub|
|Many a true word is spoken in jest||Men joke and so win trusty praise|
|The married man||I'm her darn mate|
|Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island||Two Canadian province: lands I dread!|
|The nude in art||Nature hinted|
|An old-time Christmas||St. Nicholas made trim|
|One's birthday suit||This nudity so bare|
|A pair of patent leather shoes||Thereat a foot-apparel shines|
|The pastries||Pies, tarts, eh?|
|The paths of glory lead but to the grave.||The poet Gray doubts that Hell forgave.|
|The pharmacist||Ah, part chemist|
|Pittance||A cent tip|
|Plowshare||Helps a row|
|Polly wants a cracker?||Sly wan parrot, cackle.|
|Poorhouse||O, our hopes!|
|Porcupines||Use pin crop|
|Positively no admittance.||No place to visit any d___ time.|
|The Postmaster General||He's letter-post manager|
|Precaution||I put on care|
|Predomination||I'd remain on top|
|Premeditation||At times I ponder|
|Prestidigitation!||Presto! A digit in it.|
|A promissory note||Payor remits soon|
|The railroad train||Hi! I rattle and roar.|
|The reckless automobilist||He kills; some courts abet it.|
|The Red, White and Blue||Hah, we bled under it.|
|A Remington Rifle||I'm long neat firer|
|The Republican Party||A public partner, they|
|The rings of Saturn||O, hunt star fringes|
|A rolling stone gathers no moss.||Stroller on go, amasses nothing.|
|Roosevelt's Rough Riders||Gov. R's true hero soldiers|
|Saint Elmo's Fire||Is lit for seamen|
|Say it with flowers||So we flirt this way?|
|A scoundrel||An old curse|
|Seclusion||Closes us in|
|The Secret Service of the United States||These stout detectives ferret each sin|
|A sentence of death||Faces one at the end|
|Separation||One is apart|
|A set of harness||Fastens a horse|
|Shakespeare, the immortal Bard of Avon||Oh, this remarkable man's a favored poet.|
|The shoe manufacturer||Ouch! A man's feet-hurter|
|A shoplifter||Has to pilfer|
|A signal of distress||It's S.O.S. read in flags|
|The sign of the cross||He's right to confess|
|Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Hound of the Baskervilles."||A rather nosy Sherlock hunts bad evil hole, routs fiend.|
|Six and three||IX stand here|
|Skin Care||Irk Acne|
|The soldier of fortune||To hustle friend or foe|
|Somebody's darling||So boy demands girl|
|The Soprano Singer||Her top noises rang|
|Special Delivery Stamps||Price speeds mail vastly|
|Spirit of the dead||This is of departed|
|The Star Spangled Banner||Blest pennant has regard|
|A state reform school||Home to foster rascal|
|Statue of Liberty||A style of tribute|
|Steaminess||Seen as mist|
|Stenographer's handiwork||In shorthand workers'|
|A stick of chewing gum||Thing of magic we suck|
|A strip-teaser||Attire sparse|
|The submarine warfare||Fine rare water ambush|
|Sunshine and Shadow||Show in sun and shade|
|Surgical Instruments||Smart curing utensils|
|Swedish Nightingale||Sing high, sweet Linda|
|Sweetheart||She we treat|
|Tambourined||I beat on drum|
|A telephone girl||Repeating "Hello?"|
|That settles it||Let this attest|
|Theatrical costumes||I am art's cute clothes|
|The Thirteen Original Colonies||One coalition retireth English|
|Time card||I'm traced|
|To be your valentine||Yet none but a lover I|
|To cast pearls before swine||One's labor is perfect waste|
|Traffic rules||Careful first|
|The trained nurses||Tender hearts in us|
|Transgressions||As stronger sins|
|The treason of Benedict Arnold||Lo! None defend the traitor scab|
|Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil||God grew food in Eden! Eve took fall.|
|"Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea"||Huge water tale stuns. End had you tense.|
|The typewriter||Write pretty, eh?|
|An unmarried woman||A man-admirer unwon|
|The U.S. Library of Congress||It's only for research bugs|
|Valedictorian||Lead in a victor|
|Volunteer Fire Departments||Run to divert flame ere spent|
|Washington at Valley Forge||A few, they all go on starving|
|Weird Nightmares||Thing we dream, Sir|
|Weather Vanes||Ah, veer at N.E.S.W.|
|Western Union||No wire unsent|
|Presbyterian||Best in prayer|
Source: "Palindromes and
Anagrams" by Howard W. Bergerson
Dover Publications, NY © 1973
This books listed 1,169 anagrams. I picked out the most interesting.
No individual credit for each one was given in the book.
If some of mine are the same as on other sites, I assure you I did not steal from another site.
This page was one of the first I made when my site began. I had people email me with some also.
But, to keep a record of all those emails is impossible. In no way can I provide individual credits. Sorry!
Every day spoken examples:
They are often the result of what happens when a person talks faster than he thinks.
Include me out.
Nowadays, every Tom, Dick and Harry is named Mike.
If people don't want to come to your party, nobody can stop them.
This feels like deja vu all over again.
That restaurant is so crowded, nobody goes there anymore.
Either way, you win or lose.
It ain't that I'm pessimistic; it's just that we ain't got a chance.
For your information, I would like to ask a question.
The future just ain't what it used to be.
I feel a draft. Raise that window down.
All right, I want you to listen very slowly...
A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on.
While I write this letter, I have a pistol in one hand and a sword in the other.
They intend to cut off our heads and throw them in our faces.
I can't remember if I told you to stop forgetting?
If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, then it's good enough for me.
To ___ with the public. I'm here to represent the people.
I'm not guilty and I won't do it again.
I am defending the right of this girl to be judged innocent until she is proved innocent.
Don't use a big word where a diminutive one will suffice.
I'm scared to death to get sick.
I'm scared to death to marry you.
This is so well-written, one can hardly comprehend it.
If you've never seen it, it's worth seeing again.
I can't eat on an empty stomach.
For a change, give me the usual.
It hasn't been touched by human hands, only me.
Say "No!" to negativity.
It's the people I tell things to that can't keep a secret, not me.
Generally speaking, can you be more specific please?
It didn't hurt at first, but then I got used to it.
No one is faster than me. I take my time.
If you want instant coffee, please wait one minute.
Just how long have you had your birthmark?
This could be done much faster if we only had more time.
It's twelve in the morning.
Half of all children born are boys or girls.
I can be brainless if I put my mind to it.
Occasionally I decide to be impulsive.
I'll be there when I get there.
Anonymity is my claim to fame.
There's a certain universality of feeling which is almost worldwide.
If God had meant people to go nude they would have been born that way.
I've known him since he was born.
Every number is greater than the one that follows it.
Bless you, Sister. May all your sons be bishops.
I'm not trying to belittle you. I'm just trying to knock you down to size.
For your information, I'd like to ask you a question.
If you can't keep quiet, shut up!
Go see it and see for yourself why you shouldn't see it.
I made that before I died.
Predictions about the future are difficult.
If you don't know where you are going, you must be careful or you might not get there.
There's just no stopping tomorrow.
The only way to beat them is to get more points.
99% of this is half-mental.
You can observe a lot by watching.
When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
Our similarities are different.
Malapropisms of Samuel Goldwyn
Hollywood director Samuel Goldwyn was very popular for his verbal potpourri and mixed metaphors. It got to the point where they were quoted in the press, and then re-quoted over and over until his publicity department simply started to makeup crazy Goldwyn quotes for promotions. So the following quotes are said to come from Mr. Goldwyn, but many feel they are the creations of his publicity team to help promote his films. Below are just a few that I feel are the best:
I'm having a bust made of my wife's hands.
Don't talk to me while I'm interrupting you.
Go ahead and destroy those old files, but make copies of them first.
This book has too much plot and not enough story.
The scene is dull. Tell him to put more life into his dying.
I'll give you a definite maybe.
If you won't give me your word of honor, will you give me your promise?
We're overpaying him, but he's worth it.
Our comedies are not to be laughed at.
You're going to call him William? Every Tom, Dick and Harry is called William.
I don't care if it doesn't make a nickel. I just want every man, woman and child in America to see it.
I've gone where the hand of man has never set foot.
taken from "The Confused Quote Book" by Gwen Foss
© 1997 by JSA Publications, Printed by Gramercy Books
40 Engelhard Avenue, Avenel, NJ 07001
I own hundreds
of humor, joke and word books. When I first started my site, I was naive
about listing book credits at the bottom. I began first on a free page on Erols Internet (now gone).
Then, I was in Yahoo Geocities, before I bought my own domain.
So, this page is one of the first I made and originates back to 1995.
But all my stuff does come from published sources or my own creations!
Tell Me A Story - Party Game
This is a game that I played with my friends. What you do is take 5 bowls and label each bowl: NOUN, VERB, ADJECTIVE, GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION and SPECIFIC LOCATION.
Give each person a lot of paper and a pen/pencil. Ask each person (the more people the better) to write down on separate pieces of paper 5 of each of the categories above.
(If you want to add adverbs you can. But that's a bit harder)
Now, determine what kind of story this is to be:
Sci-Fi, Romance, Western, Soap Opera, Mystery, or Fairy Tale.
(Note: Don't determine the type of story first because that tends to influence the creative input of the players.)
Let everyone dump their slips of paper (they folded them of course) into the proper bowls.
Somehow, (dice, flip coin, whatever...) determine who goes first, then second, third and so on. Each person will pull one slip of paper from each bowl and tell their part of the story using the words on the slips they drew.
They can be presented in any order as long as all of them are used.
You can change the verb tense if necessary. For example if you got the verb "Sing" you could use "sang" "sung" or "singing."
It's OK if you draw one of your own submissions.
( And, if you get stumped it's ok to ask for help. The only points are the laughs. The winners are everyone!)
Here is an example:
This will be Sci-Fi story. The first person starts out the story using the words he has drawn. Here is an example using each of the first words I came up with:
"I've got to DASH" said the spaceman as he ran out of his HOUSE that was made of a new SMOOTH aluminum siding that Dupont's main office in PARIS created and that he bought on sale at the MALL on Pluto.
Then the next person continues the story....till you reach
You can also make the game interesting by setting specific rules: 1. All words have to be in one sentence only. 2. Or, you can use up to 5 different sentences and make one sentence per word drawn. (This all depends on the number of players and the time you have.)
The hardest spot is to be last because you have to end the goofiness somehow!
Here is a poem I wrote a while ago. I was born and raised in a small town. We had two movie theatres. The oldest one was called the "State Theatre" and was made in the classical theatre architecture with fancy decorated walls, velvet chairs, a stage with a real curtain, etc. After xx years the owners decided they didn't want to run it any more and sold the property for a parking lot. How sad. :( This building was an architectural legend and an icon of memories for generations. They remodeled the other theatre (I know, building and fire codes right? ) into Cinema 1 and 2. Today those have been replaced by Multi-Plex Theatres or whatever. And, I hate to think what kind of theatre will exist by 2050.
"FAREWELL TO THE STATE"
It seems like only yesterday,
Maybe it was at that
When on Friday or Saturday night
It was at the State theatre I sat.
As I stayed glued to that velvet seat,
By passion, humor or fright,
I picked off the old bubble gum
That belonged to someone else
The previous night.
Many, many times I sat there
Indulging in that gourmet food (?)
While the people behind me
Would be acting very rude.
Some would be throwing popcorn
To all their friends below,
While others were madly passionate
Providing a great sideshow.
There'd be others who were quietly watching
Their idols on that gigantic screen,
And yet others who were silently thinking,
"What does this movie mean?"
I will always remember
Those beautifully decorated walls,
And the smell of freshly popped popcorn
That lingered in the halls;
Those long, dark, steep stairs
That climbed to the top above
Where those of us sat
Who really were in love. :)
Even though the building's gone now,
Our memories we shall keep
Of those irreplacable two hours we had
For only $1.25 each.
We still can go to the movies
For we have something new
They've divided you in half
And now call it Cinema 1 and 2.
Progress comes and so some things must go
All in their due time;
But there's one thing that hasn't changed yet,
There's still that long, long line!
(Sheila Cicchi 1977)
For additional word fun, visit our other pages:
Midi listed on Credits page has been removed
for easier mind concentration.
All Word Fun pages have no midi files.