Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Sometimes, The Wheel is on Fire

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Ram Sang a Ragman's Anagrams

I've always enjoyed messing around with the English language. It began in my toddling days with those colorful fridge magnets, then spread to the Daily Jumble (I blamed July) and games of Scrabble (grab some elf ABCs). Eventually I moved on to things like simile, metaphor, and puns, but anagrams always stuck with me.

A talented anagrammologist can make an anagram actually describe the thing it's an anagram of. Note: I am not a talented anagrammologist. In fact, I made that word up.

Original Phrase Potential Anagram(s)
Nate Wilson wanton isle
a stolen win
'twas online
Sometimes, the Wheel is on Fire some element of his wit is here
home is where I moisten fleets
April Fool's Day a play for idols
daily roof slap
frail lady (oops!)
President Barack Hussein Obama bare bipeds chosen in Kama Sutra
bad-ass Superman broke in the CIA
top American business had break
Justin Bieber inert jubbies

By the way, before I go on I should probably mention that this post is part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge (OMG a blazing hot frog prince -- all leg!), brought to you by Arlee Bird (die, barrel!) and his charming array of co-hosts: Jeffrey Beesler (refs jeer feebly), Jen Daiker (Jedi, E-Rank), Candace Ganger (GC: Green Canada), Karen Gowen (anger woken), Talli Roland (Iran told all), Stephen Tremp (pens tempt her), and Alex J. Cavanaugh (Jalex C. Avanaugh). Go and check out the other participants!

Anyway, I'll end today's post with an anagrammatic poem (mama ate magic porn). Back in 1936, David Shulman (lush DVD mania!) wrote a rhyming sonnet (tenor hymn sing) in which each of the 14 lines is an anagram of the poem's title (simple tote). Its meter isn't too consistent (cotton is stone), but you have to admit it's pretty impressive (sever empty spirit):

Washington Crossing the Delaware

A hard, howling, tossing water scene.
Strong tide was washing hero clean.
"How cold!" Weather stings as in anger.
O Silent night shows war ace danger!

The cold waters swashing on in rage.
Redcoats warn slow his hint engage.
When star general's action wish'd "Go!"
He saw his ragged continentals row.

Ah, he stands — sailor crew went going.
And so this general watches rowing.
He hastens — winter again grows cold.
A wet crew gain Hessian stronghold.

George can't lose war with's hands in;
He's astern — so go alight, crew, and win!

And thus ends day one of my alphabetic journey (a thrice-jumpy baloney). Just remember that anagrams, unlike footnotes (out, O stolen knife!), should only be used in moderation.1,2

1 Er... domination!
2 I regret that much of the above succumbed to silliness, but thankfully no footnotes were harmed in the making of this post (He fights a monk—Stop it!).


  1. Anagrams scare me! Great post though, off to a good start :)

    Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

  2. A stolen win, indeed. I love word puzzles. I'm pretty good at anagrams but I haven't done enough. Mostly I just like to read words backwards but that's all a part of my palindromic nature.

  3. I love word games. This was very interesting. Thanks. And so nice to "meet" you.

  4. Mama ate magic porn - love it

    great start to the A to Z, I'll be back for more

  5. haha. I love your humor! Great footnotes. BTW, I think you did harm one. A few words seem to be swaying to the side. Did you get them drunk? Shame on you ... ;o)

  6. I've always been impressed by your mastery of the pun

  7. I think made up words are part of the anagrammologist's basic arsenal...which is why I can't do them worth poop. Still, I admire them what can.
    Day 1 and you don't look like you've broken a sweat...


  8. I think you're very talented at making anagrams. I suck at them.

    But that poem was awe-inspiring!


  9. Already a follower. Thanks for following me.

    Inert Jubbies - ROFL! That's perfect.

    Great poem.

  10. Gotta say - that was my fave post thus far in A2Z! Amazing job. "A play for idols" Love it!

    Happy A2Z - definitely following!

    Grace and Peace

  11. OMG... 'inert jubbies'! *dies laughing* That's just perfect!

    I'll definitely be back for more. :)

  12. I dont know what jubbies are but I like it! love this. Happy blogging, fellow a-zer!

  13. very impressive! I love anagrams - we use them in our murder mystery weekends all the time but people hardly bother to figure them out...
    ah well. Great start to the abc challenge...
    Jan Morrison

  14. Charmaine: Why do anagrams scare you? They're harmless. Or have you been drinking red rum again?

    Hannah: Always happy to amuse, or steal a win. Oh, and... si siht retteb?

    Karen: I'm nothing if not interesting. And nice to meet you, too.

    baygirl: I can't promise there will be more magic porn next time you visit, but I'll work toward something comparable... whatever that might be.

    Jessica: Such allegations! I would never give alcohol to letters less than a day old! It was valium.

    Falen: Some might say it's the puns that have mastery over me. And just you wait--I've got 25 more days of this. There'll be puns enough for everyone!

    maureen, of course not. If I were to break a sweat this early in the game, it would be a waste.

    Misha: Thank you! And that is a crazy poem, isn't it?

    RaShelle: Jubbies FTW! Thanks!

    Trevor: Thanks for the compliment! I'll try my best to keep it up the entire month.

    Tundiel: Sorry to have killed you, but I'm glad you don't plan to let that stop you from visiting again. So are you now a ghost, or an undead creature of some sort? Do tell.

    nutschell: Glad I could entertain. And happy blogging right back at ya!

    Jan: Thanks! I see them pop up in mystery novels as well. I sometimes try to decipher 'em, but usually I'm too wrapped up in the story to bother.

  15. Great start! Only 25 post left to do... at least that's the way I see it.

  16. Nice. Great start to the challenge. I hate anagrams, but you make them look easy.

  17. 'anagrammologist' Sounded like a real word :)
    Is it coincidence or spooky that I got to your post on anagrams right when Munch (From Law and Order SVU which is rerunning right now on USA) told Benson and Stabler that the kidnapper was using anagrams as clues? Insert Twilight Zone Theme Song.
    Oh and 'insert jubbies?' I'm still giggling over that one.

  18. Very funny. Anagrams can be tricky. You did great!

  19. Attack of the Killer Anagrams! You've definitely got mad anagram skill, here.

  20. Nate, inert jubbies made my laugh my ass off...thanks for stopping by my blog and I think I will tag along on yours if you don't mind (and who does, really).

  21. Anagramists have a special talent. It is kinda scary LOL! I've known some talented ones. Had to write down what they came up with to make sure they were not making stuff up. Yep. Talented people indeed.

  22. I have a fairly difficult time with anagrams, but I love the English language.

    One of my favorite play-on-words was in the Muppet Christmas Carol when the second spirit visited, Scrooge said "You're a little absent minded, spirit." To which the spirit replied "No! I'm a LARGE absent minded spirit!"

    Cracks me up... never gets old. :D

  23. What a fun post to start things off - good job!

  24. That was fun. Anagrams seem to be a challenge to a lot of people, including myself. BTW, don't you think all writers are a little crazy to be a writer?

    Reviewer & Writer
    Book reviews and Author Interviews at my blog at

  25. Rebecca: Whereas I see it as 17 more posts, though that's either because I've done something ahead of time for the first time ever, or because I'm horrible at math.

    Cheree: Anagrams can be easy; you just need to know the right move to put on them.

    Brianna: Do do do do, do do do do. (That was my attempt at the Twilight Zone theme... so now you're probably even more spooked. My work here is done.)

    Mary: Yes, they can be tricky, but if you have perseverance and/or a twisted mind, they'' eventually unravel for you.

    Jeffrey: I almost used "Attack of the Anagrams" as a label for the post. Oh, and my skills aren't mad, just slightly unhinged.

    Chuck: I don't mind at all. And jubbies made me lass my ass off; that's how I knew for sure this would be my A.

    Stephen: I'm not quite that talented. I can do up to about seven letters in my head (thanks, Scrabble!) but more than that and I'm writing everything down, too.

    Matt: Light the lamp, not the rat.

    Jaydee: Thanks. I hope to keep the fun going the entire month (though don't hold me to that).

    Sheila: No, not all writers are a little crazy. Some are downright bonkers.

  26. keep posting like this it’s really very good idea, you are awesome!


  27. Dear Paxil Q. Spambot,
    Why thank you! I am awesome! Although, a little advice: If you continue to praise people like this, as thoughtful as it is, you're actually hurting your anti-depressant business.