Literary Devices – Anagram (Explanation & Examples)

What do cheating and a teaching have in common?

They are anagrams of each other: the letters in cheating can be rearranged to form a new word, in this case teaching. Anagrams can be of individual words, or even of phrases or the names of people. The basic rule is that the letters of the first words or phrase must be used once and only once in the anagrammed word or phrase.

According to some historians, the first anagram was created by the Greek poet Lycophron in 260 B.C. A collection of anagrams in English published in 1925 and entitled Anagrammasia contained around 5,000 anagrams.

The most inventive anagrams are meaningful and relate in some way to the original subject. Below are some examples:
admirer = married
an alcoholic beverage = gal, can I have cool beer?
American = the main race
angered = enraged
the answer = wasn’t here
contemplation = on mental topic

Over the centuries anagrams have been:
• believed to have mystical or prophetic meanings
• created around religious texts
• adopted by famous people to anagram their own name
• used to record the results of scientists
• used in cryptic crosswords and puzzles journals

Before the advent of radio and the TV, educated people would pass their evenings creating anagrams. Anagrams then fell out of fashion, but have been revived by IT experts who have created anagram-creating software enabling us to create anagrams of the most bizarre words and names.

If you like anagrams then check these below amazing examples.
A carton of cigarettes = I got a taste for cancer.
A crisis on Wall Street = Will start a recession.
Adult novels = Love and lust!
Archaeologists = Goal is to search.
Italian crime boss = A Sicilian mobster.
Metamorphosis = Promises a moth.
Military weapon = Employ it in a war.
New Year’s Resolution = Notions we rarely use.
The National Rifle Association = Fanatical loonies are into this.
The Pope’s view on contraception = It is one concept he won’t approve.
The President of the United States of America = Incompetent, hated head of state terrifies us.

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