Anagram Examples and Their Functions

Updated December 10, 2021
Bighorn Sheep-Ram as Anagram Examples
    Bighorn Sheep-Ram as Anagram Examples
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When you scramble a word to create a new word, you've created an anagram. For example, you can turn the word anagram into ragman, ma rang or nag a ram! Anagram examples can be fun and witty, and they often end in hilarious results.

Examples of Simple Anagrams

Many anagrams of simple words are random, new words that are not relevant to the original.

angel = glean

arc = car

brag = grab

bored = robed

cat = act

cider = cried

dusty = study

elbow = below

inch = chin

night = thing

peach = cheap

players = parsley

sadder = dreads

save = vase

state = taste

Clever Anagram Examples

A creative way to use anagrams is to make them relevant to the original word or phrase. A great example is debit card and its anagram, bad credit. Additional examples of relevant (yet funny) anagrams are:

a gentleman = elegant man

astronomer = moon starer

Christmas = trims cash

conversation = voices rant on

dormitory = dirty room

eleven plus two = twelve plus one

Fourth of July = joyful Fourth

listen = silent

schoolmaster = the classroom

slot machines = cash lost in 'em

snooze alarms = alas, no more Z's

the detectives = detect thieves

the eyes = they see

the Morse Code = here come dots

vacation time = I am not active


Famous Anagram Examples

You can even create anagrams from a famous person's name. Some of these anagrams describe that person quite well, while others are quite silly! Examples of writers, actors, scientists, athletes, and politicians whose names work as anagrams include:

Clint Eastwood = old west action

Elvis Presley = Presley lives

Emily Dickinson = income is kindly

George Bush = he bugs Gore

Jim Morrison = Mr. Mojo Risin'

Madam Curie = me: radium ace

Madonna Louise Ciccone = one cool dance musician

Michael Jordan = jam on, rich deal

Ronald Reagan = A darn long era

Russell Crowe = scowler rules

Saoirse Ronan = rare as onions

Shaquille O'Neal = one equals a hill

Thomas Edison = notes said "Ohm"

T.S. Eliot = toilets

William Shakespeare = I'll make a wise phrase


Examples of Anagrams in Literature and Movies

Anagrams are popular clues in both literature and movies. Many writers also rearrange the letters of names to create new and interesting names for their characters. Some examples of anagrams in literature and movies include:

  • William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" is actually an anagram of "Amleth," a Danish prince.
  • In Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Gulliver visits Tribnia, also known as Langden, anagrams of Britain and England, respectively.
  • J.K. Rowling uses the anagram "I am Lord Voldemort" as an anagram for the Dark Lord’s prior name, Tom Marvolo Riddle.
  • In Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, clues left by a murdered museum curator are hidden in anagrams: O, Draconian devil (Leonardo da Vinci), Oh, lame saint (the Mona Lisa), so dark the con of man (Madonna of the Rocks).
  • Anagrams are everywhere in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Most often it's the author's name (Loney M. Setnick) and Count Olaf's name (Al Funcoot).
  • The movie October Sky is based on the book Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam. The titles are anagrams of one another.
  • In the movie and book The Shining by Stephen King, the character Danny screams REDRUM and writes the word on the mirror using lipstick. REDRUM is an anagram for Murder.
  • In The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal Lecter gave detectives the name Louis Friend. Louis Friend is an anagram for iron sulfide. Iron sulfide is known as Fool's Gold, meaning that Lecter's clue was meaningless.

Have Fun With Words

Anagrams are an interesting play on words and challenge us to be creative and witty. To use wordplay in even more challenging (and hilarious!) ways, check out: