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Writers frequently give out names which have important anagrams, often as a way of hiding significant facts in plain sight or drawing clever (and plausibly-deniable) parallels between characters. For example, This Troper might become Shroer Pitt. (405 results found.) Or Report Shit!

Similarly, characters hunting for a clever alias, or attempting to rename themselves, have a strange tendency to choose anagrams; compare Sdrawkcab Name.

For obvious reasons, this is more common in printed media. By necessity, appearances in films or TV shows are often accompanied by Hollywood Spelling.

Perhaps you would like to make a deposit in the Anagram Bin before you leave?

Examples of Significant Anagram include:

Anime and Manga

  • More than one dodgy Suzumiya Haruhi knockoff has used this to name their thinly disguised characters. For example, the Haruhi (Hahiru) in the live-action "Suzumiya Hahiru no Yuuutsu", and the Mikuru (Kurumi) in the game "M Scramble".
  • Soul Eater: Scythe Technician Maka's name is an anagram of "kama", the Japanese word for scythe. Also, her name has been written on a manga splash page in kanji as 摩苛, which translates to "great". Hilariously, the two kanji in her name separate into "to chafe, rub, polish, or grind", & "to torment, scold, or chastise". Poor Soul.
  • Viral from Gurren Lagann has a name that anagrams to "rival". (His name is also a word in English, but it's pronounced bi-RA-ruh.)
  • In Final Fantasy Unlimited, villainous adviser Oscha's name is an anagram of "Chaos", perhaps hinting at his true nature.
  • Kuromu Dokuro of Katekyo Hitman Reborn becomes the emissary of Mukuro Rokudo after he gets locked in Vindice Prison.
  • In Bakuman。, Eiji Nizuma adopts the pen name "Moneys" while drawing Iwase's manga series, so that the editors don't initially find out that he's doing two series at once. This is an anagram of his last name as it is spelled in Japanese ("Ni-Zu-Ma"-> "Ma-Ni-Zu").
  • In Pandora Hearts, we have "Lacie", who is the mother of the main heroine Alice. Celia is another character whose connection is, as of yet, unknown.
  • In The Astonishment of Haruhi Suzumiya, there is a new girl named 渡橋泰水 (Watahashi Yasumi). It is later revealed that she is actually a manifestation of Haruhi's subconscious. If one were to rearrange the syllables in her name, it would turn out as "Watashi wa Suzumiya" (I am Suzumiya); Note that 水 is pronounced "mi" in her name, but alone, it is pronounced as "mizu".

Comic Books

  • In Preacher (Comic Book), the protagonist's name, Jesse Custer, is an anagram of "Secret Jesus." And his initials are JC, so that shouldn't be a surprise.
  • A Distant Soil features the giant starship Siovansin - which happens to be an anagram of "invasions".
  • Early The Tick comics has the Tick's Sidekick visiting a psychiatrist by the name of Dr. Footcey. The Tick would inadvertently figure out he was the totally disguised toy De Force villain probing the sidekick for Tick's weakness.
  • In the Elseworlds storyline Generations an elderly Lois is being treated by a Dr. Holurt who turns out to be Luthor.
  • The Legion of Super-Heroes once battled a robot called Urthlo, who turned out to have been sent to the future by Luthor. And, in the Silver Age, Luthor's family changed their name to Thorul to avoid association with him.
  • In an Avengers story, the 'new' American Defense Secretary, a highly sensitive position, is Dell Rusk. Juggling the letters in the name reveals 'Red Skull', an infamous Nazi super-criminal. Oops.
  • In Strangers in Paradise, the Packard-Yerr corporation is secretly run by Darcy Parker.
  • In the Blake and Mortimer book The Voronov Plot, Olrik becomes a Captain in the Soviet Army under the name "Ilkor"
  • Pajan, the fantasy version of Japan in Okko.
  • Possibly Reka and Aker's names in The Secret History. No reason has been shown as yet.

Fan Fiction

  • In Naruto Veangance Revelaitons, a love interest for Ronan introduced late in the fic is called "Atni". The author reportedly was in a relationship with a girl called Tina that started midway through.
  • In the Lyrical Nanoha fanfic The Name of War, Field General Jefos Lethir, who is running for Prime Minister of Midchildia, has his last name as an anagram of "Hitler".


  • In The Matrix:
    • Neo is the One.
    • Additionally there are several anagrams in the score:
      • "Bow Whisk Orchestra" and "Switch or Break Show" - "Wachowski Brothers"
      • "Threat Mix" and "Exit Mr. Hat" - "The Matrix"
  • Sneakers:
    • The main plot involves a company called Setec Astronomy, which makes a box capable of decrypting all the encryption codes used in the United States. As the main characters discover, Setec Astronomy is an anagram of "too many secrets."
    • In the opening credits, the names of the production companies and principal cast and crew first appear as anagrams before rearranging themselves into the correct spellings.
    • Bruce Sterling has pointed out that the title itself is an anagram for NSA REEKS.
  • In The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal gives two false clues by using significant anagrams.
  • American Beauty's main character is Lester Burnham-"Humbert learns."
  • Irma Vep is an anagram of Vampire.
  • Ray Walston's character in the 1999 My Favorite Martian film is called Armitan, and he later reveals that he, too, is a Martian.
  • How many movies have a vampire named Alucard?


  • In Harry Potter, Voldemort explicitly chooses his name because "I am Lord Voldemort" is an anagram of his birth name, Tom Marvolo Riddle. Which slightly complicated things when the books were translated into other languages.
    • In the French translation, his birth name is Tom Elvis Jedusor (="Je suis Voldemort"). Yes, his middle name is Elvis!
    • In Dutch, it's "Marten Asmodom Vilijn" as an anagram of "Mijn naam is Voldemort" or "My name is Voldemort". This causes some problems, since Tom Riddle has to have the same first name as Tom the barman.
    • The German version makes it "Tom Vorlost Riddle" "ist Lord Voldemort" - a single sentence.
    • The Norwegian version makes "Tom Dredolo Venster" into "Voldemort Den Store" - "Voldemort the Great.
    • In Sweden he is "Tom Gus Mervolo Dolder" = "Ego Sum Lord Voldemort" Yes, not only were the readers supposed to know what a Philosophers Stone was, they were expected to know Latin. To make it easier, they did add in an As You Know sentence from 'Tom Gus Mervolo Dolder'.
    • The Brazilian version had "Tom Servolo Riddle", as an anagram of "Eis Lord Voldemort" - "Here is/Behold Lord Voldemort". It sounded slightly Italian, but it's as least modified as much as possible, to not spoil the fun too much.
      • The Portuguese version left his name untranslated and used "I am Lord Voldemort" with a translator note saying it meant "Eu sou Lord Voldemort".
    • The Finnish version uses "Tom Lomen Valedro", "Ma olen Voldemort". "Ma" being an archaic form of "I", which was presumably used to avoid having to fit the "Ä" in the more common "minä" into his name.
    • Spanish version uses "Tom Sorvolo Ryddle" as "Soy Lord Voldemort" (Well, the Y had to go somewhere). In the movie, no subtitles are given when the words "Tom Marvolo Riddle" appear onscreen.
    • The Greek version renamed Tom Marvolo Riddle to Anton Morvol Hert (Αντον Μορβολ Χερτ) to give the anagram Αρχων Βολτεμορντ (archaic for Lord Voldemort). FAIL 1: There is no "ω" in Αντον Μορβολ Χερτ. Yep, ο and ω are pronounced the same but they're not the same letter. They changed the name of a major character for an unimportant reason, and yet they failed at it! FAIL 2: From the 3rd book onwards they decided to use Voldemort's real first name (Tom, Τομ) but the kept Χερτ, for no reason at all.
    • The Estonian version used "Tom Marvolon Riddle" to form "Mina Lord Voldemort" (I Lord Voldemort). The extra n was dropped from the name in subsequent books.
    • The Polish, Chinese, and Japanese versions just kept the name the same, and use thed literal "I am Lord Voldemort" just that one time in the Chamber of Secrets. The novel takes place in Great Britain, after all. The Chinese and Japanese versions added a footnote to indicate what the English text actually meant.
    • One Russian version has an interesting take: Tom Narvolo Reddl, resulting in Lord Volan-de-Mort.
    • In another Russian version, "Tom D. Dvolloder Rebus" becomes "Lord sudeb Voldemort" ("sudeb" means "of fates"). A rebus isn't quite an anagram, but bonus points for getting the name of some form of wordplay in...
    • A bootleg translation had the final result being "I am Fodi," which does not at all match his real name.
    • The Hungarian version changed the name to "Tom Rowle Denem", and the anagram is "Nevem Voldemort", which means "My name (is) Voldemort". It only works if one can accept splitting the "w" into two "v"s.
  • Daniel Pinkwater's Slaves of Spiegel features a literal Cooking Duel between three Identical Strangers[1] who are supposedly the best chefs in the universe. They are named Steve Nickelson, Evest Linkecsno, and Tesev Noskecnil.
  • A Face Without a Heart by Rick Reed is a modern day version of The Picture of Dorian Gray; its protagonist is named Gary Adrion, which is an anagram of... Dorian Gray.
  • The protagonist of There's a Boy In The Girl's Bathroom by Louis Sachar reads a book called My Parents Didn't Steal an Elephant by Uriah C. Lasso (an anagram of Louis Sachar).
  • In Venus on the Half-Shell by Philip Jose Farmer, many names are anagrams, for example Chworktap = Patchwork, Gviirl = Virgil, Tunc = Cunt, Angavi = Vagina, Utapal = Laputa.
  • The Dark Tower:
    • The last book has a psychic vampire named Dandelo who lived at Odd Lane. He at least has the sense to add an S to the sign pointing to his house, making it spell Odd's Lane, though technically, the S and apostrophe on the sign would make it an even better anagram: Dandelo's.
    • For a while before the last book or two came out there was a lot of speculation on the web regarding the way that "Finli O'Tego" (which even looks like a frickin' anagram) could be rearranged into "It of Legion" or "Legion of It".
  • The Da Vinci Code's main villain is named Sir Leigh Teabing. The pseudo-historical claims The Da Vinci Code is based on were made several years earlier in Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Richard Leigh and Michael Baigent (Baigent=Teabing)
  • Stephen Fry's novel The Stars' Tennis Balls has a plot very similar to The Count of Monte Cristo. The principal character is Ned Maddstone (anagram of Edmond Dantes), who reinvents himself as Simon Cotter (anagram of Monte Cristo), and the figures he takes revenge on include Barson-Garland (Baron Danglars), Gordon Fendeman (Fernand Mondego) and Oliver Delft (de Villefort). (The Count's other victim, Caderousse, gets "translated" as Rufus Cade).
  • There's a being called J'osui C'reln Reyr in Michael Moorcock's Elric novels. This name is an anagram of Jerry Cornelius (if you leave out the apostrophes).
  • Vladimir Nabokov loved this trope.
    • There's a minor character in Lolita named Vivian Darkbloom (an anagram of Vladimir Nabokov). This is a common occurrence in Nabokov's books, with the surname changing at times to Bloodmark, Calmbrood (the c-k anglicization), and even once a "Mr Vivian Badlook".
    • Lolita also involves a section wherein Humbert chased Lolita across the country and finding that that her mysterious "abductor" continues to taunt him by using obvious pseudonyms in hotel registries, one being Ted Hunter, Cane NH. This is an anagram of Enchanted Hunter, a play that Lolita had once acted in. Her "abductor" is later revealed to be the play's author.
    • Nabokov's "Pale Fire" is written by a man named Kinbote who may or may not be insane. One theory as to his identity is that he is actually Russian professor Eugene Botkin and has invented a completely new persona.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events:
    • In The Hostile Hospital, Klaus and Sunny discover Count Olaf hid Violet Baudelaire as a patient in the titular hospital - under an anagrammed name. Lampshaded in that there are half a dozen other names that coincidentally are almost anagrams of "Violet Baudelaire". Also, going back to The Bad Beginning, the author of the play is Al Funcoot, an anagram for Count Olaf.
    • Given the series' emphasis on codes and secrecy, anagrams are frequently used throughout the series in general. A list of most of the significant anagrams used in the series can be found on the Lemony Snicket Wiki.
  • Edward Gorey frequently makes use of anagrams of his own name in his books, including "Ogdred Weary," "Dogear Wryde", "Regera Dowdy", "D. Awdrey-Gore", "Waredo Dyrge", and "E.G. Deadworry", the last three coming from the same story. During the later years of his life, Gorey in fact drove a white vintage car with Massachusetts license plates saying "OGDRED"; Gorey's last compilation book, Amphigorey Again, features a list of (all?) 31 of Gorey's anagrams and pseudo-anagrams under the heading "In fond collaborative memory".
  • The Haruki Murakami novel Dance Dance Dance has a minor character named Hiraku Makimura, who is also an author.
  • The titular female vampire of "Carmilla" is also known as Millarca and Mircalla, her original name. Apparently it's vampire tradition to alter your name every "lifetime."
  • From the Doctor Who Expanded Universe:
    • In the "Companions" novel Harry Sullivan's War, Harry takes on the name Laury L. Varnish.
    • There are also several Significant Anagrams in the Missing Adventures novel Managra, starting with that one.
    • And in the Past Doctor Adventures novel Business Unusual, the computer game company SeneNet is a front for the Nestene Consciousness.
    • And in the New Adventures novel Original Sin, the villainous company is Interstellar Nanoatomic ITEC (ITEC being the 30th century version of Ltd. or Inc.), which is an anagram of International Electromatics, a company the Doctor's dealt with before.
  • In Lloyd Alexander's Westmark series, the conman Count Las Bombas's alter egos are near-but-not-quite anagrams of Las Bombas and of each other, including "Dr Absalom" and "Mynheer Bloomsa".
  • An odd metatextual example: in Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman's The Death Gate Cycle, a crazy, absent-minded wizard named Zifnab appears. He is an obvious Expy of Fizban, a character Weis & Hickman created in their Dragonlance books. Since Wizards of the Coast owns Dragonlance, they were unable to use the character in their own original work. The same character, this time called "Zanfib," shows up again in Weis's Starshield novels.
  • In the Gemma Doyle Trilogy, the secret society, The Order, has its members make anagrams of their names. When the three main characters try their former teacher's name, Hester Moore, they get absolutely nothing but gibberish. But when Gemma learns that Miss Moore's middle name is Asa, she makes an anagram for the name Sarah Reese-Toome, who is known to be Circe, the antagonist for the series. Naturally, this leaves Gemma in a state of Heroic BSOD for a couple chapters while she realizes how badly she has screwed up by playing into Circe's Kansas City Shuffle.
  • In F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack novels, the Big Bad of the series tends to hide behind anagrams for the name "Rasalom" — which is not a name you should speak aloud.
  • The central idea behind Norma Schier's "Anagram Detective" stories. Each is a pastiche of a popular mystery series. The pen name of the author and the names of the main characters are anagrams of the names of the real author and the series characters. Places and supporting characters get names that are anagrams of their roles in the story. After the story all anagrams are listed.
  • The Christopher Pike young adult mystery novel Last Act features a play written by the murderer solely to set up the murder; the pseudonym she uses as playwright (deliberately, as dramatic flair and a challenge) is an anagram of her name.
  • Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island resolves into a number of anagram names.
  • In Ira Levin's Rosemary's Baby, Rosemary hears about a warlock named Steven Marcato. One of her neighbors is named Roman Catevet. The plot thickens...
  • The Devil May Cry novel has a green-suited, heavily bandaged mercenary carrying a Katana by the name of "Gilver" (switch the syllables around) show up to be Dante Tony's Rival.
  • In Deltora Quest, while Lief and co. gathered the Seven Gems, they're also searching for the hidden heir to the throne, a descendant of Adin. They met Dain during their quest. He's not the real heir, but an Ol 3 intentionally using that name to infiltrate the Resistance.
  • Harkat Mulds is an anagram of Kurda Smahlt, the person he used to be in his past life in The Saga of Darren Shan
  • The Redwall series features this as a plot point in the first book, with "I am that is." being a recurring line in many of the older writings the main characters discover. ("Am that is" is an anagram of the protagonist's name, Matthias.)
  • I Lucifer by Glen Duncan has Declan Gunn as the owner of the body Lucifer is given during the novel.
  • It's been pointed out that Robert Neville, protagonist of I Am Legend, anagrams to "terrible novel".
  • Tales of the City has Anna Madrigal: "a man and a girl."
  • Gulliver's Travels tells of a country where the "anagrammatic method" is applied to people's letters so they can be accused of spying. This country is "the kingdom of Tribnia, by the natives called Langden."
  • A hilarious unintentional example: Stephenie Meyer = Preteens Eye Him
  • In Harry Turtledove's Worldwar series, Sam Yeager uses the alias Regeya to access The Race's computer network. After he is discovered, he switches to Maargyees.
  • Captain Eden of the Star Trek: Voyager Relaunch was told by her "uncle" Jobin that she was rescued from the planet Sbonfoyjill. She eventually realized, after trying to locate it in databanks and finding nothing, that sbonfoyjill is an anagram for "Jobin's Folly".
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Han Solo spends some time under the fake name "Jenos Idanian". In a later book, Corran Horn assumes the identity while going undercover.
  • In the Alex Rider book Snakehead, villain Winston Yu runs a Front Organization called Unwin Toys; someone later points it out as a sign of Yu's egotism.
  • Dennis Nedry, the traitorous computer programmer from Jurassic Park, has a name that anagrams to "nerdy sinned."
  • Spotting the Big Bad in Harry Turtledove's Videssos stories tends to be easy: although he changes his name from time to time, it's always the same six letters.
  • Chaim Rosenzweig goes by the alter ego of Micah in the Left Behind book Desecration, which is really an anagram of Chaim.

Live Action TV

  • Doctor Who:
    • In the new series, the Master runs for Prime Minister using the alias "Mister Saxon" - an anagram of "Master No. Six" - John Simm being the sixth incarnation of the Master to appear in the series. However, according to Russell T. Davies, this is just a coincidence: once you've used "Mister", it's harder to avoid a "Master" anagram than to achieve one.
    • And, of course, there's Torchwood.
    • In the original series the Kaled race become Daleks, and the Master disguises himself as Giles Estram (and possesses the body of Tremas). Significant Anagrams were also used to hide Anthony Ainley's name in the credits when the Master was in disguise (usually "Neil Toynay"). Terry Molloy did the same thing in "Rememberance of the Daleks", so no-one would realise the Emperor Dalek was really Davros.
    • The MacGuffin in "Time and the Rani" is "Loyhargil", an anagram of "Holy Grail".
    • Astrid Peth is an anagram of TARDIS, with peth being Welsh for "part." That's good, since the placement of a P in "The TARDIS" wasn't exactly obvious. Oddly, she's an ordinary Human Alien with no connection to the TARDIS.
    • Donna Noble is actually an anagram of 'a non blonde', a reference to the new series' first companion, Rose Tyler, and the various blonde jokes that her successor Martha Jones quipped during season three. Probably a coincidence...
    • In the same "coincidence" line, Wilfred Mott anagrams to "WTF Time Lord" - or "Time Lord FTW".
    • In the Big Finish audio Zagreus, neither Eight nor Charley get "Saviltride" until it's spelled out for them: " evil TARDIS".
    • Also in Journey's End, the "Osterhagen" in "Osterhagen Key" is an anagram of "Earth's gone".
    • Amy Pond actress Karen Gillan revealed in an interview that her auditions were conducted for a project named "Panic Moon" which is an anagram of companion. Producer Stephen Moffat, who was also present, then joked that he would have to find a new anagram for future companion auditions.
    • The Foamasi, an alien society that has criminal organisations called "Lodges" in "The Leisure Hive", have a name that is an anagram of Mafiosa.
    • The Drashigs, the titular monsters in "Carnival of Monsters", are an anagram of "dishrags", because writer Robert Holmes believed that's what the costumes would be made of.
  • Andre Linoge, the villain of Storm of the Century: his surname is an anagram of the biblical Legion.
  • In The Lone Gunmen, all the names used by the character Yves Adele Harlow (including that one) are anagrams of Lee Harvey Oswald.
  • In the BBC show The Adventure Game, all the major characters' names are anagrams of "Dragon".
  • Two of them in the same episode of House:
    • The dog Wilson and his (first) wife had was named by her as Hector. She eventually reveals the reasoning behind it: The dog was impossible to house train, and "Hector does go rug" was an anagram of "Doctor Greg House".
    • House, being House, immediately comes up with a better anagram to use next time: "Gregory House" -> "Huge ego, sorry".
  • Though it's never brought up in Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, it's been observed that "Garth Marenghi" is an anagram of "Argh, Nightmare."
  • On Coronation Street, a character named Carter sets up a fake company to defraud his boss, Mike Baldwin... and, rather foolishly, names said company "Artrec". After catching him out, Mike even points out how stupid it was to use an anagram name.
  • Lost has had about five meaningful anagrams: Ethan Rom is "Other Man," Mittelos Bioscience is "Lost Time," Gary Troup is "Purgatory," "Henry Gale, Minnesota" = "See Another Man Lying", and the Hoffs/Drawlar Funeral Parlor is "Flashforward". Apparently those have caused many Lost fanatics to begin looking for anagrams in the names of everyone and everything.
  • The Colbert Report:
    • One toss between The Daily Show and The Colbert Report had Stephen Colbert looking for anagrams in the names of political figures. Since the names were (mostly) real, rather than made up by writers, the results were less than impressive.
    • On the other hand, Stephen Colbert is very close to being an anagram of Charles Noblet. (Before you try: it has an extraneous A and superfluous L while lacking a P and one more T and E. You end up with STELHEN COLBAR.)
    • In another episode, Stephen rearranged the letters in CIA Director Leon Panetta's name and came up with Ayman Al-Zawahiri.
  • Colbert and Stewart also had fun trying to make anagrams out of the name of Reince Prebus, the new head of the Republican party. They ended up with... Prince Reebus?
  • Matt Albie from Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip has drug-induced false memories of an imaginary writer named Tim Batale. Yes, his subconscious comes with an anagram under the influence of narcotics.
  • On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, barfly Morn was named as an anagram of Norm, from Cheers.
  • On the Too Good to Last martial arts show WMAC Masters all the Masters go by their real names and nicknames except one. Tracer, a mysterious man with a military gimmick, is really a kickboxer named Michael Foley who goes by the name Tracy Swedom on the show. It's soon revealed that he's a mole working for the evil cult Jukido. The reason for the fake name is revealed when the Wizard (who's an ex-member of Jukido and aware that his brother Warlock has recently made a secret Heel Face Turn to join them) brings in an anagram generator and enters other masters' names in it, revealing that "Tracy Swedom" is a perfect anagram for "Destroy WMAC".
  • In Reaper, Sam Oliver is an anagram for "Evil Roams".
  • When presenter/musician/comic Richard Stilgoe had his own show, he would often begin it with an anagram. Anagrams of his own name include "Ricardo Hotlegs" ans "Giscard O'Hitler".
  • On Dollhouse, Alpha uses the alias E. Hap Lasher, which is an anagram for "Alpha's Here".
  • Criminal Minds does this at least twice, both times a little strangely: once, when a man who things he's the Fisher King uses the alias "Sir Kneighf" to hide his (delusional) identity, and once when a serial killer known as "the Reaper" goes into hiding under the name "Peter Rhea" (intentionally, so as to make it possible for the team to find him). Reid, of course, figures out both anagrams in record time.
  • From Stargate SG-1, Vala Mal Doran = Amoral Vandal.
  • In the remake of Randall and Hopkirk Deceased, another character drops the title and points out that it's a perfect anagram for "sad plonker and real dickhead". The anagram was apparently invented by a critic and incorporated by the writers.
  • In Kamen Rider Fourze, Sensei-chan Sarina Sonoda's name can be rearranged into "Sasori nanoda", which is Japanese for "I am the Scorpion", referring to her role as the Scorpion Zodiarts, one of the Big Bad's Co-Dragons.
  • In the midlife crisis episode of Home Improvement, wise neighbor Wilson points out that 'Tim Taylor' anagrams to 'Mortality', which doesn't make Tim feel any better. Even more so when 'Jill Taylor' anagrams to 'Jolly Trail'.


  • Brian Eno[2] is fond of wordplay and anagrams:
    • "King's Lead Hat" is an anagram of Talking Heads.
    • Before and After Science is probably an anagram for "Arcane Benefits of Class," though there are other theories.
    • On Passengers (Eno and U2) album Original Soundtracks 1, some of the movie descriptions are attributed to "Ben O'Rian."
  • Jazz pianist Bill Evans frequently titled songs with anagrams of the names of people in his life. For example, "Re: Person I Knew" in honor of his producer Orrin Keepnews.
  • The Doors' song "LA Women" has repeated occurrences of the phrases "Mr. Mojo risin'" — an anagram of Jim Morrison.
  • The band New End Original was a short-lived side project of onelinedrawing, which was Jonah Matranga.
  • Damon Albarn has made guest appearances on Elastica albums under the pseudonyms Dan Abnormal and Norman Balda. "Dan Abnormal" was also the name of a song from Blur's 1995 album The Great Escape
  • LoudBomb is the electronic side-project of Bob Mould.
  • The band John Squire formed after The Stone Roses was called The Seahorses. While he claimed it was just a coincidence, it was often pointed out that this was an anagram for "he hates roses", as well as "the rose ashes". Squire actually got sick enough of this speculation that he briefly dropped the "the" from the band name, just so "he hates roses" would no longer work as an anagram.
  • Menomena's debut album is called I Am The Fun Blame Monster!. It's an anagram of "The First Menomena Album".
  • Mike Doughty's album Haughty Melodic is an anagram for "Michael Doughty".
  • Missing Persons' album title Spring Session M is an anagram for the name of the band itself.
  • Aphex Twin is also rather fond of this, particularly the titles of songs from ...I Care Because You Do.
    • From that album - "Wax The Nip" = Aphex Twin, "The Waxen Pith," "Wet Tip Hen Ax," "Next Heap With" = The Aphex Twin, "Acrid Avid Jam Shred" = Richard David James, and "Cow Cud Is A Twin" = Caustic Window.
  • Another case of an album being named for an anagram of the artist's name: Imogen Heap's I Megaphone.
  • All of the track names of Kid 606's Songs About Fucking Steve Albini are anagrams of "Miguel De Pedro", who is Kid 606. For example, "Lou Reed Gimped" or "Odd Ripe Legume"
  • Minus Story's album My Ion Tuss, an anagram for the band name itself.

Newspaper Comics

  • Aldo Kelrast, a former minor character from Mary Worth, was something of a stalker of the title character.
  • In one strip for Bloom County, Opus find Milo, Binkley, and Hodge Podge playing a game of anagrams to determine their future, and they give an anagram of Milo's name (Limo) as an example. Opus becomes interested and asks them to do his name. When the result comes up as "Soup", he freaks out and nearly has a heart attack. Milo calms him down and assures him that it probably means nothing. Finally, Milo asks Opus for his mother's maiden name. He tells him it's "Bogum", and Milo reveals the word "Gumbo", giving Opus another freak out.

 Hodge: Hell, let's play checkers.

  • Alison Bechdel has used used Cleo Baldshein (guerilla therapist), Heloise C. Bland, Delilah B. Scone, and Chloe B. De Snail in Dykes to Watch Out For and in various calendars.


  • In the original Radio version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the part of The Man in the Shack (who doesn't think he rules the Universe) was not cast by the time Radio Times went to press, and so he was billed as "Ron Hate" (an anagram of "A. N. Other" - a standard British pseudonym for an unknown person). The part eventually went to Stephen Moore, who of course was already playing regular character Marvin the Paranoid Android.

Tabletop Games

  • Several Magic: The Gathering cards have names which are Significant Anagrams, such as:
    • Phelddagrif (Garfield PhD)
    • Pemmin's Aura (I Am Superman)
    • Mangara, which is an anagram of...anagram.
    • The least dignified is probably Telim'Tor, which is anagrammed from a designer who attempted to get nicknamed after a household appliance and was thusly dubbed "Mr. Toilet".
    • Onulet's name was anagrammed from Soul Net (both cause you to gain life when a creature goes to the graveyard) but had the final "S" removed because the art had only one creature. Later cards were anagrammed from "Darker Onulet" and "Mega Onulet".
    • If backwards spelling counts, there's Nevinyrral's Disk.
    • Slightly less old-school, 2007's Lorwyn set gave us Liliana Vess. With her dark magic and dealings with demons, she might be considered "A Villainess", though Word of God says it was completely accidental.
    • Genius Bonus: Bösium Strip lets you recycle cards, and the Möbius strip is a symbol for recycling. A related card is Elkin Bottle.
    • The cards Mijae Djinn and Ydwen Efreet were named after a married couple at Wizards, Jamie and Wendy. Note the similarity of their abilities.
  • In the Warhammer Genevieve series, the minor character Alvdov Renastic is revealed to be Vlad von Carstein, the last descendant of a famous vampire family. However he's not actually a vampire yet, and is using the pseudonym to hide from his family and associated hangers-on who want to turn him into one and demand he conquers the Empire. All he wants to do is pursue a career as a ventriloquist. Note that this is not a perfect anagram, as "Alvdov Renastic" contains only one n and "Vlad von Carstein" contains two.



 IRMA: Oh triple fool! Did you not know that Irma Vep is "vampire" anagrammatized!


Video Games

  • After the apocalypse in Final Fantasy VI, Edgar works incognito as the bandit chief "Gerad". Oddly, he does this even if you change his name to something other than the default. Supposedly, if you change his name to Gerad, he'll use the alias "Edgar".
      • He doesn't. That bit in particular is fixed dialogue it seems, since it's Gerad even if you use that name at the beginning.
  • Kingdom Hearts may well be the reigning champion of this trope, considering that a grand total of fifteen characters have anagrams for names. The names of the members of Organization XIII are simply anagrams of their original names - or in one case, a name they stole from someone else - with an X added in, while Xehanort's name is an anagram-plus-X of both "another" and "no heart". Birth By Sleep essentially makes a third one: "no earth".
    • There is always a large debate in the fandom over what their names mean, de-anagrammed. The only canon ones are Ansem (1), Braig (2), Dilan (3), Even (4), Aeleus (5), Ienzo (6), Isa (7), Lea (8) and Sora (13).
      • Marluxia's is almost certainly Lumaria, which is a genus of a certain group of flowers. And, well, given that his element is flowers...
    • Unfortunately for Xemnas, if you leave in the X, his name is an anagram for "mansex" (or "sexman"), something that is made fun of a lot in Fanon. Oddly enough, nobody ever seems to make fun of Bigrax (2) and Rent-a-Ho (Xehanort).
      • And let's not forget E-Sexual (5).
    • Xion, the "14th member", is No. i, as in "The imaginary number." Also No. I, as in number one. She was the first creation of the Replica Program, of which Riku Replica was also a subject.
    • And although probably unintentional, Ansem can be rearranged into Names. Rather ironic, no?
  • In Escape Velocity: Override, the three alien races/cultures known as the Strands are named Azdgari, Zidagar and Igadzra, and there's a planet known as Gadzair. Word of God says that the Strands are all the same species and Gadzair is their homeworld; this isn't actually part of any plots but was added as a plot hook for mods and future sequels.
  • In the MMORPG City of Heroes:
    • Much has been made by fans over the possible relationship between new character Mender Silos and established villain Lord Nemesis. Whether or not this is significant has yet to be revealed, and it may just be a red herring. Of course, "Mender Silos" came into the game shortly after "The Honoree", which was a Paper Thin Codename for backstory character Hero-1. The City of Heroes staff do love their Significant Anagrams.
    • Issue 19 of City of Heroes confirms that Mender Silos is a future version of Lord Nemesis.
    • The City of Villains respec trial contacts are named Sparcetriel, Trepsarciel, and Ractespriel.
  • In Baldurs Gate 2, the famous Dungeons and Dragons character Elminster may appear to speak to one of the party. When doing so, he uses the rather transparent anagram "Terminsel".
  • The 7th Guest:
    • The main villain is a man named Stauf, who apparently came by his riches and success via a deal with the devil. If this isn't clear enough, one of the puzzles in the series involves rearranging trains to spell his name. They are initially positioned to spell Faust.
    • Another puzzle also qualifies as a Significant Anagram; the player is presented with a tic-tac-toe-like board on which Scrabblesque tiles are arranged. The letters must be rearranged to spell three words, one in each row. The words are GET BOY TAD, which gives the player some idea of what Stauf wants from his guests and how the game is going to end.
    • And another puzzle earlier on involves rearranging the cans in a pantry so that their labels spell out a sentence, which foreshadows later events in the game. The trick is that the only vowel you can use is Y. The solution is "Shy gypsy slyly spryly tryst by my crypt".
  • Ace Attorney:
    • In Apollo Justice Ace Attorney, Kristoph's name in the Japanese version is Kirihito, an anagram of 'hitokiri', meaning 'killer'.
    • Earlier in the series, the founding member of the Fey spiritualist clan is Mystic Ami. This name was chosen in the English version because it anagrams to another phrase, "I AM", which, aside from being grounds for the localization to be struck by the Judeo-Christian God, is relevant in a certain case.
    • And in Case 3 of Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, "Oliver Deacon" turns out to be an alias of Colin Devorae, the secretary who was forced into Taking the Heat for the Amano group, and his Japanese assumed name is also an anagram of his real one.
  • Super Robot Wars:
    • One of the new characters in Super Robot Wars Z is an antagonist named Asakim Dowen, which immediately got him to be referred as 'Evil Masaki'. Not only is his name is an anagram to Masaki, but he's also clad in black bondage gear, looks Emo, and has the same voice with Masaki (Probably Hikaru Midorikawa is going to use his standard voice for Asakim), and his mecha is considered to be like a 'Black Cybuster'.
    • Dowen can also be rearranged into Endow.
    • Masaki Ando was named after a member of JAM Project named Masaki Endoh.
  • Alucard of Castlevania. However, the name (Dracula backwards) is from way back in Son of Dracula (1943), so predates Castlevania by more than half a century.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4 does this with Rat Patrol, whose callsign is RAT-PT01, an anagram of the LaLiLuLeLo's proper title.
  • In Mother 3, twin brothers Lucas and Claus.
  • The Roguelike ADOM uses these for a number of names; Tywat Pare from Wyatt Earp, Lawenilothel from hole-in-the-wall, Gaab'Baay from Baba Yaga, and the fourteen statues in the Bug-Infested Temple which are named after Thomas Biskup and the thirteen prerelease testers.
  • In World of Warcraft:
    • Players meet Matthias Lehner, who turns out to be Arthas Menethil. Or at least, the last remnant of his humanity.
    • In a more comedic than significant example, there's the group known as D.E.H.T.A.-- Druids for the Ethical and Humane Treatment of Animals. Rearranging a few letters gives you "D.E.A.T.H." (they send you out to hunt poachers for their ears).
    • And another funny examble, a boss in Naxxramas, one of the raid instances in WoW, is named Loatheb. He's known for having an ability that makes it impossible to heal for most of the time you're fighting him. His name's an anagram of Healbot.
    • In one questline, Sylvanas Windrunner masquerades as Lindsay Ravensun. It's a flawed anagram, but "Lindsay W.N.R. Ravensun" would have been rather suspicious.
    • In the End Time instance there's the leader of the infinite dragonflight Murozond, an anagram of his uncorrupted past self Nozdormu, leader of the bronze dragonflight.
  • Alan Probe, the star of Amateur Surgeon. Just switch two letters in his first name and you have "anal probe". Which... sort of has something to do with medicine.
  • In Kingdom of Loathing:
    • The Wand Of Nagamar[3] is required to defeat the main boss without exploiting the kind of loophole that tends to get immediately closed after use. This is something of a Guide Dang It moment.
    • The December 2009 event involved a newspaper. Almost all of the newspaper's bylines are anagrams of "Mr. Skullhead", the member of the devteam who was in charge of that part of the event.
    • Rene C. Corman, the name of the villain behind the 2010 halloween event and 'The Skies over Valhalla', is an anagram of Necromancer.
  • Dr. Chakwas of Mass Effect, whose name is an anagram of "hacksaw." According to Word of God, it's meant to play off "sawbones" as a nickname for a trauma surgeon.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tetra's Italian name is "Dazel". Now switch around the letters and see what you get. The weird thing is that this painfully obvious anagram actually sounds a lot better as a name than her real, original Japanese name...
  • In Star* Soldier, the manual for Wing Commander Arena, one of the entries in the timeline lists a "Rein Etorbs" as an author of a book series The Darkening. Erin Roberts (brother of Chris, the WC creator) was in charge of what eventually became Privateer 2: The Darkening (originally just "The Darkening" before Executive Meddling).
  • In the Inferno campaign of Heroes of Might and Magic 5 you play as a Noble Demon general Agrail. In the subsequent League of Shadows (dark elves) campaign you play as an aspiring dark horse warlock named Railag. Then we have The Reveal. Genre Savvy players instantly recognized the Agreal/Raelag anagram, effectively spoiling the surprise before the game came out.
  • The second Just Cause: Sloth Demon? Tom Sheldon
  • The Interactive Fiction game Delightful Wallpaper, intended as an homage to Edward Gorey, was submitted by author Andrew Plotkin under the anagram "Edgar O. Weyrd".
  • RuneScape has a mahjarrat named Wahisietel who hasn't been seen in decades. There's also a strange man named Ali the Wise who seems to be an expert on the mahjarrat. Hmmm...
  • Nanaki is a great character (as far as a completely stat-based game can go) who ultimately betrays you but comes back to your side (thankfully not as lethal). He also has two children in the ending.
  • In the Alternate Reality Game for Batman: Arkham Asylum you agree to help a woman named Wendi Maga, who claims to have a doctorate in psychiatry, hack into the Arkham security system. Dr. Wendi Maga anagrams to Edward Nigma.
  • The Pokémon Mareep (which resembles an electric sheep) actually gets its name from an anagram of the word "ampere", which is used to describe the strength of an electric current.
  • The title-giving Lost Superweapon of the Interactive Fiction game The Weapon is called the Yi-Lono-Mordel. This is an anagram for the term "One Room Dilly", which is a nickname for one-room Interactive Fiction games. This hints that the game takes place all in one room, but the Yi-Lono-Mordel itself is far bigger than just the room.
  • Star Ocean the Last Hope features Arumat P. Thanatos, who's first name is an anagram of "trauma."
  • Undertale contains naming based on anagrams, although none of them are actually pointed out in-game. The most notable anagram is the title itself, which is an anagram of Delta Rune, the most notable symbol in the game. Deltarune is also the title of a later game by Toby Fox set in a parallel universe of Undertale.
    • Dreemurr, the last name of the royal family in Undertale, can be rearranged to spell murderer.
      • Asriel Dreemurr becomes serial murderer.
    • Alphys can be rearranged to shy pal, a description of her personality.
    • Ralsei (from Deltarune) is an anagram of Asriel (from Undertale).
    • Kris is one letter away from being an anagram of Frisk. Kris is an anagram of risk, which is the word you get when you remove the first letter from Frisk.

Web Comics

Web Original

Western Animation

  • In Gargoyles, an evil clone named Thailog was made of the hero Goliath.
  • In the Thundercats episode "The Mask of Gorgon", Lynx-O has a bizarre prophetic vision about "the Hills of Elfshima". Just as our heroes realize "Elfshima" is an anagram of "I am flesh", Mumm-ra uses the titular mask, in combination with a stolen Sword of Omens, on the Hills, revealing them to be the petrified body of a powerful giant.
  • In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) episode "The Darkness Within", the turtles run into an old man, C.F. Volpehart--an anagram of H.P. Lovecraft. Not coincidentally, the antagonist for the episode is Cthulhu-like creature.
  • The Alucard one gets reused for a bit in The Batman Vs Dracula.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Lisa's rival and her father play a game of this trope with real people's names and contexts.
    • In one episode, Homer befriends a man named Ray Magini (played by Ray Romano); the other Simpsons become convinced that he's an imaginary friend created by a lonely Homer, with Lisa even pointing out the anagram, causing Homer to remark "Wow, my subconscious is a genius." Subverted when it turns out that Ray is real, but was never seen thanks to a "series of unlikely events".
    • Bart (Brat) Simpson.
  • In Ratatouille, the celebrity chef is Auguste Gusteau; his two names are anagrams of each other.
  • Hawkgirl's Thangarian fiance in Justice League turns out to be a villain, so couldn't be Katar "Hawkman" Hol. Instead, he's Hro Talak.
  • In King of the Hill, the family's obnoxious neighbor Kahn's name is an anagram of Hank.
  • The titular Sorcerer from the classic Disney short The Sorcerer's Apprentice in Fantasia was designed after Walt Disney's likeness as a joke by the animators. The Sorcerer's canological name is "Yensid," and in the the Kingdom Hearts video game series he plays the role of an ancient, all-knowing sage, making him somewhat of an in-universe avatar of Walt Disney.
  • In one episode of Savage Dragon, Overlord is operating out of an office building under the alias of Old Rover.
  • A complicated version in the 1973/74 Superfriends episode "The Fantastic FRERPS". When King Plasto tricks the G.R.E.P.S. delivery people into giving him their shipments of plastic, he signs the receipts he gives them "Roy La Post". Marvin accidentally comes up with the term "King Plasto", and Batman puts the pieces together. The "Roy" in "Roy La Post" is based on the French word "Roi", which means "king". Thus "Roy La Post" -> "Roi La Post" -> "King La Post" -> "King Plasto"!

Real Life

  • Peter Scott, a British biologist, has suggested Nessiteras rhombopteryx ("The Ness monster with diamond-shaped fin") as a scientific name for the Loch Ness monster; this would allow the monster to be added to the list of protected species. It was soon noted that the name is an anagram of Monster hoax by Sir Peter S, but he denies this was intentional. To paraphrase, "If I was going to make an anagram, do you really think I couldn't work the "cott" of my last name in?"
    • The letters in "Nessiteras rhombopteryx" can also be rearranged to spell "Yes, both pix are monsters. R." In 1970, a man named Dr. Robert Rines used sonar on Loch Ness to prove that large objects inhabited the Loch. Both "Robert" and "Rines" begin with an R.
  • For complicated reasons, Galileo Galilei used to release his scientific discoveries in the form of anagrams. One particularly inventive one was: Salve umbistineum geminatum Martia proles - "Be greeted, double knob, children of Mars", which appears to refer to the discovery of Mars' two moons, but was actually an anagram of Altissimum planetam tergeminum observavi - "I have observed the most distant planet to have a triple form", i.e. the discovery of Saturn's rings (Saturn being the most distant known planet in the 17th century). Another one was his discovery that Venus had phases like the Moon in the form "Haec immatura a me iam frustra leguntur -oy" (Latin: These immature ones have already been read in vain by me -oy), that is, when rearranged, "Cynthiae figuras aemulatur Mater Amorum" (Latin: The Mother of Loves [= Venus] imitates the figures of Cynthia [= the moon]).
  • Robert Hooke also did this, but he just sorted the intended words into alphabetical order, "ceiiinosssttuv" for "Sic tensio, ut vis", the Latin translation of his famous law for springs.
  • Spiro Agnew, Nixon's vice president, can rather famously be anagrammed to "grow a spine". Of course, "spine" happens to be a (significant?) anagram for... another body part, as pointed out by both Dave Barry and Jon Stewart.
  • Buttsex. On a similar note, it's been pointed out that "dyslexia" is an anagram of "daily sex".
  • Hank Green, who produces video blogs with his brother, the author John Green, once did an anagramming guide to some of the presidential candidates at the time. Some worked better than others. Joe Biden in particular became "I NEED JOB!"
  • Virginia Bottomley, health secretary in John Major's government, is an anagram of "I'm an evil Tory bigot"
  • The Labour government which followed was headed by "Tony Blair PM" = "I'm Tory plan B"
    • And just "Tony Blair" is an anagram of "Tory in Lab."
  • And before John Major there was Margaret Thatcher, whose administration included "The Right Honorable Nigel Lawson, MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer", whose fiscal policies prompted a Private Eye reader to work out the anagram "Axe N.L. now - hell-hog, home-loan filcher, grotesque three-chin crap-tub", heavens preserve us...
  • In the 19th century, Lewis Carrol came up with "Wild agitator. Means well." for PM William Ewart Gladstone.
  • Rudy Giuliani got it worse than Biden — "Rudy Giuliani" anagrams to "Gaudily I Ruin!", and his full name Rudolph Louis Giuliani anagrams to "I Pious Liar! I'll Undo Hug!"
  • Silent movie star Theda Bara (born Theodosia Burr Goodman), famous for Femme Fatale roles, anagrammatises to "Arab Death". Deliberately.
  • Clint Eastwood=Old West Action.
  • The Towering Inferno = "not worth fire engine".
  • TV critic Clive James "reviewed" period drama Poldark by pointing out that its name was an anagram of Old Krap.
  • During World War II, Soviet spy (against the Nazis) Alexander Rado had the codename "Dora."
  • Space Shuttle = Tech Pulsates.
  • English football manager Neil Warnock is often referred to as "Colin" by those who don't like his abrasive style.[4]
  • During the 1990s the England rugby team featured both Nick Beal and Neil Back. One was a forward and one was a back; Back was the forward, to avoid confusion.
  • I warm billions.
  • An April 1989 Scientific American issue published a letter from "Arlo Lipof" about South American underhanded operations where balls of gold are duplicated by means of the Banach-Tarski paradox. The paradox states that it is possible to decompose a three-dimensional set into a finite number of (non-measureable) pieces and assemble them into a set with a different volume, e.g. a sphere into two spheres of the same volume as the original sphere; however, this can't be done with physical objects, and Arlo Lipof is an anagram of April Fool.
    • On a related note, the old math joke: What's an anagram of Banach-Tarski? Banach-Tarski Banach-Tarski
  • At the 2006 AFI Lifetime Achievement presentation for SeanConnery, Mike Meyers demonstrated some skill with meaningful anagrams for actor names. In addition to the "Clint Eastwood = Old West Action" as mentioned above, he also provided one for Tom Cruise(I'm So Cuter) and Sean Connery(On Any Screen)
  • Osama Bin Laden = Old man in a base.
  • As he's pointed out, Mike Rowe's name can be rearranged to spell "Me(e) I work". Granted, there's an extra 'e' in there, but it's still oddly fitting for the man in question.
  • Finnish actress Natalil Lintala's unique first name was deliberately contrived to be an anagram of her last name.
  1. sort of — there's the minor point that they're from three different species, and said species don't remotely resemble each other, but besides that, totally identical
  2. anagram of "one brain"
  3. an anagram of anagram
  4. The remaining letters can be rearranged to spell "wanker."