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William Shakespeare

Anagrams as a Play with Letters – Anagram Solver as Part of Literary Play

created on by  in Word trivia

Do you know what the sentence “I am a waekish speller” comes out to be when you arrange it in another way? It is one of the most famous anagrams. If you arrange the nouns in another way you get the original words: William Shakespeare!

The example shows how anagrams work. They arise when you can easily shift letters, syllables, or even complete words or sentences. But you can only use the original letters once, thus building brand new meanings. For example orchestra is converted to carthorse or Mary to Army.

For anagram addicts, has developed the Anagram Solver. Here you can, for example, see which surprising words your name or your favorite word can be transformed into. Of course you can also solve difficult anagrams.

Without an Anagram Solver Working in the Background – Anagrams Used as Encryption Technology

In the past, especially in ancient times, anagrams were used as a tool for encryption, in Jewish Cabal cryptographs for example.

In medieval times texts or blasphemous assertions were coded as anagrams: Galileo Galilei paraphrased his discoveries about the phases of Venus as anagrams to escape the Holy Inquisition.

Galilei transformed the sentence

(The mother of love mimics the shapes of the moon goddess)


(This immaturity is still far argued in vain of me).

The Greek poet and grammarian Lykophron from Chalkis (born 320 BC, died later than 280 BC) is considered to be the inventor of anagrams. He lived and served at the court of the Egyptian King Ptolemaios II and flattered his monarch with anagrams of names:

From the Greek font of Ptolemaios – Πτολεμαίος- he changed the order to form απο μελίτος, which means from honey. Decryption had to be made without an anagram solver this made it very secure.

Even in our times some authors use anagrams as an alias. One example would be the German-speaking poet Paul Ancel, who is better known as Paul Celan.

A Whole Poem as an Anagram

And some poets do in fact write entire poems as anagrams. All of the lines are built using the same letters. But they have to be in an optimal context.

One of the most famous ones is the delicate work of Olin and Billy Foblioso. Not only is every line an anagram in and of itself, but it also rhymes. And even better: The content is special and moving!

The Tot and the Elder

By Olin & Billy Foblioso

The tiny tot went: “When I eat I mess up.”
The elder replied: “O, that makes two of us.”
“I soil myself,” went the tot with shame
And the elder added: “O, I do the same.”
On the tot told him: “I sob a lot.”
“O, not only you,” answered gramps to the tot.
“And what`s totally bad,” the tiny tot told,
“I think mom and dad don`t love me at all.”
While grandpa simply, pitiably smiled,
Then said: “O, I understand, my child.”

By the way, someone who builds anagrams is an anagrammatist. So it is a nice play on letters, words, and sentences.

Which anagrams can be built using your name or your favorite sentence? Try it out with ours! And tell us here on this page or also on Facebook.

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image sources

  • chando_shakespeare: By John Taylor (Unknown) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons