Words with letters in order – what are isograms?
Isograms, palindromes, pangrams, and anagrams are phrases or words with letters that are arranged in a specific way. Let’s have a closer look at each of them.
What is an isogram? – a differentiation
We differentiate isograms of first, second, and third order.
Isograms of first order
No letter is repeated, as in gasp, drown or Kylo Ren.
Some of the longer words are sometimes just made up and have not entered usage. For example subdermatoglyphic (of or relating to the area of skin directly below the fingerprint).
Second order or pair isograms
Each letter appears twice, as in couscous or intestines.
Third order or trio isograms
In these isograms each letter appears three times, which is almost as rare as an actual reprepper. Most trio isograms have only six letters, like sestettes*. If you happen to come across a third order isogram with more letters, you might be a geggee**.
Isog(r)amy – the hybrid words with letters
The word horseshoer is a half anagram and at the same time a second-order isogram. Also, if a sroh were something you could attach to an actual horse, it would also be a palindrome. Hence the rule of thumb: True palindromes can’t be isograms, but a palindrome is a true isogram.
Do you know of such a “palingram” that proves me wrong? Please share it with us!
What is a palindrome?
A palindrome is a word or phrase which reads the same backward or forward. This has absolutely nothing to do with the subliminal messages allegedly found on heavy metal records when played backwards! Palindromes work perfectly in songs though: “Bob” by American singer and comedian “Weird Al” Yankovic is an outstanding example:
Here you can read more about palindromes – a language’s 4-wheel racecar
What are perfect pangrams?
Pangrams are mostly sentences comprised of words with letters from the Latin alphabet, preferably all of them. For example, The Alphabet Song by Mozart contains every letter of the English alphabet. Other perfect pangrams, such as “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”, are used to test typewriters or computer keyboards. They can also be helpful to learners of touch typing, where certain letters on the keyboard are assigned to respective fingers.
Anagrams – words with letters made of other words
In anagrams the letters move freely back and forth, until other words or phrases are created. And this is where the fun actually begins! Here are some examples:
- newest yak – Kanye West
- wage treat – Watergate
- big mule – Belgium
- exit lava – laxative
- Benji Bustier – Justin Bieber
- Leo Rude – Lou Reed
- Disney drift plugs – Dusty Springfield
- invalid ovation – Antonio Vivaldi
- Nosferatu shoes – The Four Seasons
- Chris Uncork – Chuck Norris
- Arson Heston – Sharon Stone
- email chicane – Michael Caine
- leninist rebate – Albert Einstein
- ablaze ethyl riot – Elizabeth Taylor
- alieness newtslime – Tennessee Williams
- innate rat Quinton – Quentin Tarantino
- colic parent – Eric Clapton
- a newt casino – Isaac Newton
Anagrams are so much fun because you can almost always find something new and interesting within the old. For example speak awhile realism (William Shakespeare) or Bard Nonmoral (Marlon Brando). Anagrams do have a tendency towards being unflattering at times, for example Remitted Vandal (David Letterman) or Sunk Tridents (Kirsten Dunst). But for those who have seen “Kill Bill” it may come as no surprise that Mama Unhurt is an anagram of Uma Thurman.
* plural of ‘sestette’ a variant spelling of ‘sextet’.
** the victim of a hoax