Magazine article Word Ways

Anacrograms 3: Quotations: Anil's Earlier Anacrograms Were in May and August 2006

Magazine article Word Ways

Anacrograms 3: Quotations: Anil's Earlier Anacrograms Were in May and August 2006

Article excerpt

Anacrograms, introduced in May, are anagrams of the acrostics (first letters) of expressions, a sort of wheels-within-wheels word play. Part 2 in August gave examples from common idioms and sayings. Here are examples from a wide variety of quotations, familiar and not. All results-paraphrases, follow-ons and 'antonyms'--are combined in alphabetical order by author, except for a dozen of the more successful efforts which are featured on this page in no particular order.

(#) indicates quotations are modified very slightly--without changing or adding meaning.

(n) indicates polyanagrams, n = the number of anagrams of the acrostic employed.

The quotes are mostly from L.C.Henry, Best Quotations (Fawcett, '55), R.P. Warren, Six Centuries of Great Poetry (Dell,'55), J. Geary, We Are What We Think (Murray,'05), A. Martin, Funny You Should Say That (Penguin,'05), D. MaeHale, Ultimate Wit (Prion,'02), Cassell Dictionaries of: Insulting Quotations (Green, '96), Humorous Quotations (Rees,'98), Proverbs (Pickering,'01) and Catchphrases (2nd, Rees,'05).

Spike Milligan:

I'm Irish. We think sideways. Is wit.

[Lateral thinking is the essence of wit in both senses.]

Jonathan Swift:

Big fleas have little fleas that sit upon and bite 'em, And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.

Ah, sub-habits! (flea, fla, fl, f, ...)

Lord Mancroft:

Cricket: a game which the English, not being a spiritual people, have invented in order to give themselves a conception of eternity.

Go, ... hope, ... wait, ... sit can, ... gab, ... etc, ... sit, ... gab, ... go can, ... wait, ... hope, ... etc, etc, ... a big wait, ... scant hope, ... go. (3)

Harry S Truman (from Gen. Harry Vaughan): If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

Sticky hot? Go!


Birds of a feather flock together.

"Off, bat!"

Emanuel Swedenborg:

Love in essence is spiritual fire.

Is life!

Dante Alighieri:

Woe ... Abandon all hope ye who enter here.

Aw, Yahweh!

[Stop whingeing and eat what's on your fate.]

Nicolas Chamfort:

The only thing stopping God sending a second flood is the first one was useless.

Sog us fat-wits oft?

Phyllis McGinley:

In Australia, not reading poetry is the national pastime.

Print? Pain!

Thomas Dewing:

Why, if you're not in New York you are camping out.

I? No way, icy NY!

Henry George:

Capital is a result of labor, and is used by labor to assist it in further production. Labor is the active and initial force, and labor is therefore the employer of capital.

If I, labour, fail to act, I tie, ail capital.

Murray Kempton:

It is a function of government to invent philosophies to explain the demands of its own convenience.

I got code to tip fiat.

Dean Acheson: The first requirement of a staesman is that he be dull. This is not always easy to achieve. First, don't be a hit at a frost-bit anti-heat ad. (2)

Joseph Addison: Husband a lie, then trump it up in some extraordinary emergency. (#)

I use that lie. [Any resemblance to current events is purely coincidental. But compare:]

Alexander Pope: Fools rush in where angels are scared to tread. (#)

A fartwit's swirl art: a fast war, it. (3)

Anonymous: Because life is so short, first eat dessert! (#) Bliss-fed. [an acronym]

There is so much good in the worst of us, And so much bad in the best of us, That it never behooves any of us To talk about the rest of us. Trim not us "bums" I await to tout big about. Pollution is cirrhosis of the river. "tropic rot" pic (Crop it!) (3)

Neal Ascherson: I am always fascinated when people talk about 'the forging of a nation'. …

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