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How this works

About Anagrams

Anagrams are sets of words which have the same number of occurrences of each letter. For instance, the folloging sets of words are anagrams of each other:

  • DialABC
  • bald CIA
  • Dali cab
  • Dalai CB
  • CA bad IL

They all have one thing in common: they consist of two A's, one B, one C, one D, one I, and one L. Spaces do not matter here, so you can wind up with one word or with three or more. Also, how you arrange the same set of words does not matter, which means that the following are also anagrams of DialABC:

  • CIA bald
  • cab Dali
  • CB Dalai
  • CA IL bad
  • bad IL CA
  • bad CA IL
  • IL bad CA
  • IL CA bad

Some words are anagrams of other words. For instance, "dial" is an anagram of "Dali" and "laid", which means that the following would also be anagrams of DialABC:

  • cab dial
  • cab laid

... as well as ...

  • dial cab
  • laid cab

As you can see, even with a seemingly small seven letter word like "DialABC", there are many possibilities (the above list only shows a small part of all anagrams), but only a few of them are interesting. This creates several problems: first, if you want to want find them all, you might have to do a lot of work, and second, once you find them all, you might wind up with a list of millions of possibilities, and how are you going to present that list in a efficient and meaningful way?

Finding Anagrams

Finding anagrams is not hard. Finding anagrams quickly and efficiently is a little harder. This is essentially how our software does it:

  1. Long before you even pressed the "Find Anagram" button on our anagram search web page, we took our different word lists and ran them through a time consuming process during which the words get arranged and indexed in a way that will allow us to generate anagrams efficiently. We go through this work once with each new world list, but it saves much time later on.
  2. At some point later, you come to visit our web site, fill out the anagram search form, and click on the "Find Anagram" button. Our software looks at the search options you selected and makes some educated guesses for those options you did not specify. Most importantly, you specify a set of word for which to find anagrams, the word list (or dictionary) to use, and some constrains on what kind of results you are or are not interested in.
  3. The requested word lists are searched to see what other words (anagramgs) are in the words you specified. Even some short and innocent looking groups of letter can generate millions of anagrams, but our software stops after the first 1000 anagrams.
  4. Our web site software makes up a web page which contains that table showing all the possible words for that number.

If you are a purist, you may not like the fact that we stop after the first 1000 results. Please keep in mind that a) other people want to use this web server and b) there are probably tens of thousands of permutations for these first one thousand results, and by the time you have considered them all, it will be bed time anyways.

Presenting Anagram Results

There are many different ways in which the same information can be presented. This is only one of them. In future, we may offer some other formats as well. For now, this is what we do:

  • We only show results with a minimum and manximum number of words. You can specify those limits. Depending on what you are looking for, this will significantly narrow down your choices, and make it more likely that you will find the kinds of anagram you are looking for without having to wade through huge lists.
  • We only show one of all possible permutation for each result. The brains of most people are able to come up with a good permutation once they see a desirable combination or words.
  • We show single-word-anagrams by separating the words witha "/". That means we show fewer results, and your brain is left to pick one of those words.

The theme here is the same theme you will find in our phone number word search, our touch tone locator, and our other online tools: Our software does the annoying repetative grunt work and then presents you with a concise set of results that contains the interesting and essential information.

For instance, if you were to ask our software to find (four-word-or-less American English) anagrams of "aoiausdoaieaoijxcvdxb", you would get a single answer:

Acis/asci - adieux - obovoid - Ajax

Chances are that you are not interested in anything that has the word "obovoid" (egg-shaped with the narrower end at the base) in it, in which case you are done. If you are still interested, you would now pick "Acis" (a Sicilian shepherd and the lover of the nymph Galatea) instead of "Asci" (saclike structures that produce usually eight ascospores during sexual reproduction in ascomycetous fungi such as yeasts and mildews) and arrange the words in whatever order you want to come up with "Ajax: Adieux obovoid Acis!".

The point here (other than that you would be amazed what kinds of words are lurking in your dictionary) is that the we do the ugly partof the job, the resulting essential information is presented in a small and concentrated format, and your smart brain is left to peruse and explore.

Last updated Tuesday December 11 2012
For more info contact Zeebar Technology Services, Inc..
(C) Copyright 1996-2006 by Helmut Hissen and Zeebar Technology Services, Inc.
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Zeebar Technology Services, Inc