What Are Anagrams? (with Examples)

by Craig Shrives

Anagrams

Anagrams are words that share the same letters as each other.

anagrams examples

Easy Examples of Anagrams

  • stop, tops, opts, pots, and spot
  • (These words are all made up of the same letters. They are anagrams.)
  • stool and tools
  • secure and rescue

Examples of Funny Anagrams

Anagrams are usually created just for fun. They are most effective when their meanings are associated or even the same. For example:
  • Dormitory and Dirty Room
  • Elvis and Lives
  • The country side and No City Dust Here
  • Heavy Rain and Hire a Navy
  • Eleven plus two and Twelve plus one

An Example of a Long and Clever Anagram

If there's a better anagram than this one by Cory Calhoun, then I haven't seen it:
"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
"In one of the Bard's best-thought-of tragedies, our insistent hero, Hamlet, queries on two fronts about how life turns rotten."

A Widget to Build Anagrams

The Longest Single-Word Anagrams

Here are the longest single-word anagrams:
  • hydroxydeoxycorticosterones and hydroxydesoxycorticosterone
  • conversationalists and conservationalists
  • (This the longest non-scientific single-word anagram.)

Why Should I Care about Anagrams?

Anagrams are usually created just for fun, but, for teachers, creating anagrams can be a useful way to encourage students to play with letters and words.

Anagrams can also have another, more business-like use though as they can make a message more impactful and memorable. Consider these anagrams:
  • The country side and no city dust here
  • Heavy rain and Hire a navy
The first anagram could help with making an anti-pollution message more impactful and memorable, while the second could help in a bid to improve flood defences. (You might have to point out that they're anagrams though.)

Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

Try our anagram builder. What is a palindrome? What is an oxymoron? What is alliteration What is assonance? What is consonance? What is a logosglyph? Glossary of grammatical terms