Recently I heard the following quiz question: “Which group of orchestral instruments has a name that is an anagram of supersonic?” The answer is “percussion” (not strings, woodwind or brass). I like anagrams, and had never come across this one before. It made me think of other noteworthy collections of letters. There are surprisingly few that come to mind, even after decades of quizzes, trivia and occasional attempts to complete crosswords.
The one that has stuck in my mind most tenaciously is the fact that “Hitler woman” is an anagram of “mother-in-law”. I knew it long before getting married, so it has nothing to do with my own mother-in-law.
Adroitly, idolatry and dilatory all share the same 8 letters, and this has been lodged in my brain for at least 30 years, after encountering them in crossword clues. Last year, in this piece, I noted that disconsolate and “is not solaced” also share the same letters, something else that I learnt from doing crosswords. “Twelve plus one” is an anagram of “Eleven plus two”. This has always pleased me.
More recently I have learnt that Meg Ryan is an anagram of Germany and ringtone is an anagram of nitrogen. Apart from these examples nothing else has come to mind. When it does I’ll make a note of it here.