This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Nuts and Bolts: anagrams.

You can't make up an anagram unless you know how to spell.

Now, this was a real nuisance until someone standardised English spelling, especially as anagrams had been used by many ancient and highly respectable men, like Moses, to do all sorts of magical things.

Still, anagrams could be used in various codes, and sometimes scientists (Galileo, for example) printed anagrams of the titles of his discoveries so he could prove they were his if someone stole them before the whole thing was published.

Similar things still happen: the secret BBC plans for one of Dr Who's regenerations was code-named TORCHWOOD.

Anagrams have long been used to disguise people. Dan Abnormal = Damon Albarn, for example.

And there never was a Hamlet, Prince of Denmark - but there was one called Amleth.

Anagrams are also good for a sly insult. It wasn't Salvador Dali's fault that his name is an anagram of Avida Dollars, but it must have stung, all the same.

And how about the rather wonderful Spy Allure?
It's the only way I'm ever going to sound anything like a Bond girl!

Thing To Use Today: an anagram. These are extremely useful for passwords - especially if they're really simple ones, like Amleth.

The word anagram is from the Greek word ana, which means again, and gramma, letter.


  1. Thanks, Cesar - that's a good tip, and a site I hadn't come across before.