Words. They’re around us every second of every minute of every day. They’re spoken, written and read aloud. They are the tools we use to communicate.

Words can inspire us. They can bring us to tears. They can motivate us to action. They can make us laugh. They can arouse every emotion known to man within our hearts.

They can also be lots of fun to play with! If you’ve ever done a crossword puzzle or a word search, you know word games can be fun. Today’s Wonder of the Day is about a specific type of wordplay that kids love: anagrams!

An anagram is a word game that involves rearranging the letters of a word or group of words to make a new word or group of words. The only rule: you have to use all the original letters just once.

The original word or group of words is called the subject of the anagram. Any word or group of words you make by rearranging the letters of the subject is called an anagram.

Rather than simply coming up with any new word or group of words, people who love anagrams challenge themselves to come up with anagrams that in some way comment on or reflect the subject. For example, “the eyes” can be rearranged into “they see.” Or “listen” can be rearranged into “silent.”

Anagrams have also often been used to disguise names or to create aliases. Harry Potter fans probably already know that “Tom Marvolo Riddle” is really “I am Lord Voldemort.” In fact, historians have traced the origin of anagrams back to the time of Moses, when anagrams were used to discover the hidden meaning behind names.

Anagrams are fun to do on their own. But they’re also a part of many other types of word games. If you’ve ever played Boggle, completed the Jumble in a newspaper or tried your hand at a cryptic crossword puzzle, you’ve used anagrams as part of those games.

106 Join the Discussion

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    • YAY, we are so happy to see your comment, Siddman! We are sending you a virtual high five for your excitement about crossword puzzles! We love words here at Wonderopolis, too! :)

  1. Anagrams are awesome! We played an animal anagram game. We changed REED into DEER, and PAWS into WASP!

    We think tomorrow’s wonder will be about brushing your teeth, getting your teeth, or getting braces.

    • WOW, we are so impressed by our Wonder Friends in Ms. Bayko’s class! We think you’ve been doing a SUPER job today– we hope you are having fun playing with words! Thanks for guessing what tomorrow’s Wonder will bring… until then, have a WONDERful day! :)

  2. Dear Wonderopolis,

    We loved today’s wonder, it was unexpected! We really thought we it would have been about mimes.

    We think tomorrow’s wonder will have to do with teeth, toothbrushes, and dental care.

    Thank you for the wonders,

    Mrs. Tillman’s 4th graders

    • We’re sorry we tricked you with our Wonder clues, but we are so happy the SUPER students in Mrs. Tillman’s class are here! HOORAY! :)

      We Wonder if you have any favorite word games that you enjoy playing in class or at home? We can’t wait to Wonder with all of you tomorrow! :)

    • It certainly does, Desirae! We are sending you a virtual high five for your fun word game! We’re glad you’re WONDERing with us today! We hope to see you soon! :)

  3. Yes, I love to play with words! It is educational, fun, and entertaining! I enjoy all sorts of word games – from crosswords to scrabble! I have played so many word games!

    • What a STELLAR comment, Wonder Student! We are so glad to hear that you’re WONDERing about fun with words– and that you enjoy playing word games! They keep our minds sharp and are also a great way to have fun! Thanks for stopping by today! :)

  4. Thank you for creating wonderopolis! It is fun to explore. I will want to explore it many more times because I really enjoy it. I never knew of it if it wasn’t for my teacher. Thank you wonderopolis!

    • Thanks for WONDERing with us, Taylor! We’re glad you enjoy Wonderopolis and you’re using your AWESOME imagination to explore! We think you’ve got a SUPER teacher, too! You’re a lucky Wonder Friend, Taylor! Have a GREAT day! :)

  5. Thank you for creating wonderopolis! It’s very fun. I would never have knew about the website if it wasn’t for my teacher. Thank you!

    • Hi there Liz, great observation! We think you’ve got a great question, too! We aren’t sure why the word talking is in the word cloud, but there are lots of other words that don’t necessarily fit with “sweater”, too. Thanks for WONDERing with us today! :)

  6. Dear Wonderopolis,

    We really enjoyed anagrams. We will definitely be trying anagrams on more words in the future.

    Mrs. Karr’s Class

    • HOORAY, we are so glad our Wonder Friends in Mrs. Karr’s class are enjoying today’s Wonder! We love finding new words to create from other words– it keeps our imaginations in great shape! Thanks for visiting today! We hope you have a SUPER day! :)

  7. Dear Wonderopolis,

    We really enjoyed anagrams. We will definitely be trying anagrams on more words in the future.

    We think tomorrow’s WONDER will concern teeth and/or dental care.

    Mrs. Karr’s Class

  8. Dear Wonderopolis,

    We were a little confused by today’s video, but we enjoyed learning about games.

    We think tomorrow’s wonder will be about teeth and keeping your teeth clean.

    Thank you for the wonders,

    Mrs. Witkowski’s 4th graders

    • Hello Wonder Friends in Mrs. Witkowski’s class! We’re so glad you’re here! We’re sorry to hear that the video was a bit confusing– we liked how it showed how one word can be turned into another word by mixing up the letter order. Thanks for telling us! :)

      We hope you have a WONDERful day and we can’t wait to see you tomorrow… thanks for sharing your SUPER guesses! :)

  9. Hey wonderopolis
    You have an AWESOME WEBSITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Great wonder of the day.
    I wonder what tomorrow’s wonder will be. :)

    • Thanks for your SUPER comment, Madhatter! We are so glad you enjoy our Wonders of the Day®– we really enjoy having great Wonder Friends like you! See you tomorrow! :)

    • We LOVE your enthusiasm, Ava! Thanks for sharing your WONDERful comment with us– we’re glad you like to play with words, too! :)

  10. Yes I love to play with words, I do it all the time. It is really Really really interesting. By the way I am in grade four, I am in a grade 4/5 class.

    • Hey there, Omi, we’re so glad you could relate to our word Wonder today!! We hope you have a SUPER rest of your day as a WONDERful grade 4 student! :)

  11. Wow!!! Confusing…….fun….puzzling ……..PUZZLES!!!!! :)

    Word puzzles are my favorite! But I find piece puzzles hard! Cool Wonder!!!!

    • WOHOO, you used some great adjectives to describe today’s Wonder, Hali the Minecrafter21! We are glad you enjoyed WONDERing about your favorite type of game to play– one with words! Have a SUPER day! :)

    • Hey there Cabj #2! We are glad you liked today’s video– it was fun to see the different words are related! We hope you have a SUPER WONDERful day! See you soon! :)

  12. Dear wonderopolis I think playing with words is really interesting. I think this is a great wonder by the way I am in grade four a 4/5 split class.

    • WOW, the KF Dragons are doing a GREAT job playing with words today! We’re so proud of all of you, Wonder Friends! We also liked how you used the words “tap” and “pat” in a sentence! Have a SUPER day! :)

    • We bet you’d love word games if you gave them a try, Karla G! We’re glad you’re WONDERing about them today– it’s fun to learn something new with Wonder Friends like you! :)

  13. I remembered what words can make you react
    1. they can make you laugh
    2. cry
    3. words can hurt your heart and soul
    4. words can really make someone mad
    from this I really learned how important words are.

    • WOW, you did a SUPER job of pointing out how words affect others, Jules! We are so proud of you, Wonder Friend! Thanks for sharing your comment with us– it’s important to remember that words can hurt others. We must be kind to one another, just like we would like to be treated! Have a WONDERful day! :)

    • Well thanks Andrew, we’re so glad you are enjoying Wonderopolis! We are having a blast learning new, cool things with you and your Wonder Friends in Ms. Witowski’s class! Keep up the great work! :)

  14. This Wonder of the day really inspired me! I want to play the game and use more “green of purple” word in my vocabulary to make a better understanding. Thanks wonderopolis!!! Have a wonderful day.

    • Thanks for joining the Wonder fun today, Marissa! We are so glad you’re having fun with word games– it’s a blast! Keep up the SUPER work! :)

    • Well hello, Joaquin! We are glad you’re back and WONDERing with us! We hope you had a great time WONDERing about word play today– we hope to see you soon! :)

    • Hi there Autumn, thanks for sharing your AWESOME comment! We’re glad you’re here and we love playing with words with you! :)

  15. Dear wonderopolis,
    Thank you for creating wonderopolis! It’s very interesting to explore. You should continue the website for a long time. I never would have known about wonderopolis if it wasn’t for my teacher. You have interesting things. I will get on wonderopolis for many years to come. Thank you wonderopolis!

    • We’re oh-so-glad you’re here, Taylor! Thanks for checking out Wonderopolis and sharing your comment with us! We hope you’re ready to hang out for a long time– we love having great Wonder Friends like you! :)

    • Hi there, Wordsearch, thanks for sharing your love for word games! We hope your site takes off and we can play even more word games! :)

  16. Our class used this in a “Reading Minute”. I summarized it as: Words aren’t only for reading, there are also games you can play with them!
    I like anagrams, and it is fun that you included Harry Potter in this article.

    • Hey there, Natalie! Your “Reading Minute” sounds very fun– you’re one lucky student! You did a super job of summarizing our word game Wonder– nice work! Have a WONDERful day, we are so glad you shared your comment, Natalie! :)

  17. It was fun playing the games. You’re the best at the game. I love it(game)! You are the best game makers in the whole world. It was very fun playing your games! You must be proud of yourself making this game. Your website is really fun. Your games are funny!

    Thanks, Miss. Cornies’ class

    • How great, Wonder Friends in Miss Cornies’ grade 3/4/5 class! Thanks for joining us as we Wonder about word games! There is so much fun to be had at Wonderopolis– how WONDERful that you’re here today! :)

  18. Hi I am from Miss Cornies’ grade 3/4/5 class I like all the games on Wonderopolis I am the one who commented it was fun playing your game!!!!

    • Hey there Randi! We are so glad you shared another comment with us– we LOVE meeting new Wonder Friends like you! We hope to see you and your Wonder Friends from Miss Cornies’ class again soon! Have a great day! :)

  19. Our class would like to say hi again! We really liked playing your games so we came back to this website! How do you know all the wonders you ask? Can we visit sometime and go on a field trip? Have a very good day WONDERopolis! :)

    • Hey there, Wonder Friends in Miss Cornies’ grade 3/4/5 class! We’re so excited that you’re back with us today! We think it’s cool that you mentioned a field trip– we think every time you visit Wonderopolis it’s like taking a virtual field trip! We LOVE WONDERing with friends like you– you can even nominate your very own Wonder here: http://wonderopolis.org/nominate-wonder
      We hope you have a WONDERful Wednesday, Wonder Friends! :)

  20. Hello I am from Miss. Cornies’ class what is going to be the next game? I hope you a good one because if it is I’ll go on it every day you must be really smart and I hope you have fun there! Where do you live?

    • We’re so excited our Wonder Friends from Miss Cornies’ class are here today! Thanks to Lucien, Daylynn, Lilly and Keanu for saying hello and WONDERing about words with us today! :)

  21. Hi I am Keanu and I had a dream that I worked with you guys. And I wished you lived here so I could meet you and work with you guys. :)

    • Hey there, Keanu! Thanks for sharing your cool dream with us! We feel like we DO get to work and Wonder together! Thanks for stopping by to tell us your cool WONDERing story! :)

  22. Hello there! We found your site because my daughter is a teacher and told us how much fun her class had with Wonderopolis. Now I’ve introduced my class and our neighbouring class, Mrs. Geier’s grade 4’s and 5’s to your site as well. We all love the video clips and look forward to playing the games.

    • Hey there, Mrs. Cornies! We are THRILLED to be a part of your class! It’s so great to hear about our educator friends who introduce their students to the Wonders that surround us! Thanks so much for spreading the Wonder in your classroom and to other Wonder Friends, too! We’ll see you soon! :)

  23. Hi Wonderopolis it’s me Randi I just wanted to say hi again I have never been on your web because my internet is down. I am sorry about the bunch of smiley faces. This web is so cool! :)

    • Hi there, Randi! Thanks for stopping by… and even if you can’t join Wonderopolis, you can always Wonder on your own! :)

    • We’re glad you liked our wordy Wonder, Christina! Thanks for sharing your comment! What was your favorite part of our Wonder? :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Do you like to play with words?
  • What is an anagram?
  • What words can you make with the letters in your name?

Wonder Gallery

word game_shutterstock_242011Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Ready to play with words? Let’s have some fun with anagrams!

What other words can you make with your name? Find out by using the handy-dandy Internet Anagram Server online. For example, when we typed Wonderopolis into the search box, we found the following fun anagrams:

  • Dropwise Loon
  • Ponds Woolier
  • Deli Spoon Row

Think you can guess some anagrams with clues? Test yourself with these fun quizzes:

Still Wondering

ReadWriteThink’s Word Wizards: Students Making Words activity transforms phonics from drudgery into delight!

Wonder What’s Next?

Your dentist will appreciate tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day!

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