Introducing “Anagram Families”

One of the things that sparked my interest in this site was the idea of “anagram families”, sets of words where the members are direct anagrams of each other. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to write a Python program to crunch through a dictionary (I’m using Enable as my primary dictionary for this project, although others exist – results will vary) and identify sets of related words.

A simple example is GOAT, which is a direct anagram of TOGA. Makes you wonder exactly how wild those ancient parties got.

You can also have indirect anagrams – where you split the original word into multiple words. WINE => WE IN, clearly a reference of the bonding value of drinking with your clients and prospects. In contrast BEER => BE ER, a ominous note. So the next time you’re trying to close a deal, break out the good stuff!

Scotch was a non-starter – no direct anagrams and the single vowel made it hard to build a set of indirect anagrams. I tried a couple of other forms of hard liquor with similar results.

To play along at home, you can use our Scrabble Helper – enter the letters in the word you are interested in and look at the items on the list of possible words which use all the letters in your hand.

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