An anagram is where the letters in a word/name/etc are rearranged to create a new sentence. Usually the best are funny ones that relate to the subject.

Gavin Andrew Westwood = Wow! Now deviant grades.

Hewlett Packard =&'Wet PC = death lark'.

William Jefferson Clinton = Jilts nice women. In for fall.

President Boris Yeltsin = Endless insobriety trip.

The last two anagrams are from Anagram Genius (
More classic anagrams:
  • Statue of Liberty = Built to stay free.
  • The United States of America = Attaineth its cause: freedom!
More modern anagrams: Very long anagrams:
  • Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn't mean we deserve to conquer the universe.
    --Vonnegut =
    A masquerade can cover a sense of what is real to deceive us; to be unjaded and not lost, we must, then, determine truth.
  • 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.
    --Shakespeare =
    In one of the Bard's best-thought-of tragedies, our insistent hero, Hamlet, queries on two fronts about how life turns rotten.
A couple of British ones...

"I 'm an evil Tory bigot" is in an anagram of Virginia Bottomley. (She was a minister in a right wing British government.)

"I'm Tory Plan B" is an anagram of Tony Blair MP (the prime minister in a right wing British government).

Before 1990, the job of President of the Republic of Ireland was seen as a more or less meaningless, figurehead role, normally doled out to some inoffensive former politician as a reward for long service. This was reflected in the anagram:

President of Ireland = That refined, idle person

In 1990, Ireland got the chance to show that it had entered the twentieth century by electing a female head of state, Mary Robinson . Mrs Robinson's presidency was reasonably action-packed, and she attracted a fair amount of attention to the country. Hence the coining of this immortal anagram:

President Mary Robinson = Nation's P.R. remedy is born

In 1997, President Robinson resigned to become United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the post was won by another former lawyer, Mary McAleese. While not as popular as the outgoing President, McAleese was easily a match for the candidates running against her, as you might deduce from the following:

President Mary McAleese = Masterly media presence

And I'm afraid that's all the anagrams relating to the Irish Presidency that I have to hand.

An Anagram is a word or phrase made by transposing or rearranging the letters of another word or phrase. The following are exceptionally clever. Someone out there either has way too much time to waste or is deadly at Scrabble.

Some simple anagrams:

And now, for some truly amazing ones:

"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."

And the Anagram:

"In one of the Bard's best-thought-of tragedies, our insistent hero, Hamlet, queries on two fronts about how life turns rotten."

And for the grand finale

"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." - Neil Armstrong

The Anagram:

"Thin man ran; makes a large stride, left planet, pins flag on moon! On to Mars!"

In the 1600's anagrams were a much more serious thing than the hobby and amusement we find them now. Anagrams were a way of assuring your place in history and the fame that was rightfully yours.

Say for some reason you didn't want your discovery to be made public right away - you wanted to verify it first. When Galileo saw Saturn (the furthest distant planet at the time) he recoded the following statement:

Latin: altissimvm planetam tergeminvm obseravi

English: "I observed the highest planet in threefold shape"


Granted, this anagram is nonsense in the form above, but it doesn't have to make sense - the only thing necessary is to be able to produce the original text from it in case someone else tries to take the fame away from you.

Unfortunately, Galileo was wrong - Saturn isn't made of three parts. Its true nature was found about 50 years later when Christiaan Huygens turned his attention to the planet and recorded a sentence:

Latin: Annulo cingitur, tenui, plano, nusquam cohaerente, ad eclipticam inclinato

English: It is surrounded by a thin flat ring that does not touch it and is inclined against the ecliptic.


This sentence was then alphabetized. This anagram was published in the treatise De Saturni luna observatio nova (New observation of a moon of Saturn) in 1656 where he claimed to have an explanation for the 'handles' on Saturn that Galileo observed, and asked for anyone who had a solution to come forward. Three others proposed ideas that included explanations such as exhalations of vapor, large appendages, and a pear shaped planet. Huygens rightfuly holds the place in history for the discovery of Saturn's rings.

Other famous historical anagrams:

  • Newton to Leibniz:
    While this one was not ever translated, one possible solution is:
    data aequatione quodcumque fluentes quantitates involvente, fluxiones invenire et vice versa
    Which translates to "For a given equation with an arbitrary number of fluentes to find the fluxiones and vice versa"

  • Galileo to Kepler:
    which literally translates to "These unripe things are now read by me in vain" and is an anagram of
    cynthiae figuras aemulatur mater amorum
    Which means: "The mother of love (Venus) imitates the phases of Cynthia (Moon)"

An"a*gram (#), n. [F. anagramme, LL. anagramma, fr. Gr. back, again + to write. See Graphic.]

Literally, the letters of a word read backwards, but in its usual wider sense, the change or one word or phrase into another by the transposition of its letters. Thus Galenus becomes angelus; William Noy (attorney-general to Charles I., and a laborious man) may be turned into I moyl in law.


© Webster 1913.

An"a*gram, v. t.

To anagrammatize.

Some of these anagramed his name, Benlowes, into Benevolus. Warburton.


© Webster 1913.

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