Practical Use of AnagramsHere are some possible uses of anagrams in your life:
- Informal encryption
Replace each word (or line) of your document with its anagram. Of course, it doesn't give you military-grade encryption but for most informal applications, anagrams are serviceable.
Also Newton supposedly used an anagram in describing calculus in a letter to Leibniz. See this and the book A Passion for Mathematics: Numbers, Puzzles, Madness, Religion, and the Quest for Reality (page 30).
- Generating passwords
It's a good idea to have a separate password for each email account, online account, etc. What's difficult is having to remember all those passwords. Try using various anagrams of your favorite word or phrase as passwords.
- Generating mnemonics
Not sure of the best course of action? Whether to major in computer science or in philosophy at college... whether to start a comics store or a pet-sitting business? Let anagrams serve as your oracle. For example, if your name is Joe Smith, try anagramming "Joe Smith philosophy" and "Joe Smith computer science", and see what anagrams divine for you. Try these tips for finding great anagrams.
- Securely recording secret numbers (by Brian Thompson)
Never keep a copy of your pin number, membership number, online banking pass number ... So we are advised. I find it impossible to remember strings of numbers, but like most people, I find that a memorable phrase is easily recalled. Your number is tied to a phrase (Subject) which is anagrammed. The resulting permutation of the number string may then be written down with the Subject. You need only remember the anagram!
Suppose we have a 4-digit PIN, say 8915. An anagram with more than four letters is needed; let us choose ASTRID = TARDIS.
8 9 1 5 * #
A S T R I D subject)
T A R D I S permutation)
1 8 5 # * 9 encoded no. )
See that A is tied to 8, S to 9, T to 1, etc.. The # and * may be chosen arbitrarily. All we need to write in the note-book is Astrid 185679, but the anagram "Tardis" must not be forgotten! Reversing the process reveals the original number. Dealing with Repeated Letters etc.
Longer strings call for larger anagrams, and the likelihood is there will be repeated letters. This is no problem. Working from the left hand side, simply strike out the recurrences. Here is an example for a 10-digit number, say 1235711131. The subject could be "Hereford Picnic". This rearranges to : "Frederic Chopin". Note that e, r, i and c occur more than once. From the left, strike out repeaters, thus: 1.. 2...3.. 5....7.. 1.. 1. .1.. 3.. 1
H..E..R.. F.. O...D..P. .I. .C. .N
F..R..E. .D.. .I....C..H..O. .P.. N
5.. 3.. 2.. 1....1.. 3. .1...7.. 1.. 1
We record only Hereford picnic 5321131711.
- Trusted timestamping
- Marqee signs
A great use for anagrams is rearranging marquee signs outside movie theaters and churches.
Do you have a suggestion for adding something to this page? Write to us at (words at wordsmith.org).
What's New | Awards & Articles | Site Map
© 1994-2023 Wordsmith