What English word has the greatest number of one-word anagrams? 
Posted: 25 November 2013 03:07 AM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  3819
Joined  2007-02-26

One way to find out whether we have had a thread on something is to start a thread on it and then wait for the OP Tipping, OP Tipping, OP Tipping…

I should probably ask, “Which set of letters forms the biggest set of words that, mutually, are anagrams?”, or some such formulation but you know what I mean.

Common answer seems to be “retains”, though the number of anagrams depends on the wordlist.
The following should not be controversial


The OED also lists eranist meaning a club member. Not sure whether that is current.
OED also gives ratine, as an acceptable form of ratinĂ©, a kind of fabric “or a piece of this”. Given that it doesn’t say “plural same” I suppose we assume that ratines is an English word.

That gets us to 12 without too much fuss.

Now, anagrammy.com also lists asterin and sainter.

I am seriously dubious about the latter. Saint can be an adjective, and also a verb, which might lead a bot to think that sainter could be a word, but when you consider the meaning of that adjective and verb ... no.

Is asterin a word? It does not have an entry in the OED, but it DOES appear in the references for the OED entry on purple-red

1934 C. C. Steele Introd. Plant Biochem. vi. xix. 219, 3-Glucoside: Chrysanthemin in red varieties of Chrysanthemum indicum and asterin in the purple-red Aster (along with callistephin) are identical.

This page on medicinal plants mentions it:

“- A glucoside, chrysanthemin, an isomer of asterin”

This old report from the Agricultural Experiment Station of Oregon State University also lists asterin as an alternative name for chrysanthemin. This was published in May 1993.

So I think we can allow it. That would get us to 13.

Can that be topped?

Posted: 25 November 2013 03:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  259
Joined  2007-02-16

Logophile’s thread ‘Anagrams’ may have answered your previous, as well as your re-phrased, questions:

from this site - http://asdf.org/~anna/grams/12to17.html

Come to think of it, it doesn’t!

Posted: 25 November 2013 05:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Total Posts:  4212
Joined  2007-01-29

For those who are wondering, starnie is a Scots word that is either an adjective from or a variant form of starn, meaning either “star” or “a very small quantity of any thing.” (Robert Ferguson: “They tell me, Geordie, he had sic a gift/ That scarce a starnie blinkit frae the lift...") Anestri is the plural of an(o)estrus “period of non-(o)estrus,” and resiant = resident.

(Edited for italics.)

[ Edited: 25 November 2013 05:44 AM by languagehat ]
Posted: 08 December 2013 01:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Total Posts:  438
Joined  2007-02-17

Many years ago I read, or at least flipped through, a book by Gyles Brandreth on Scrabble (he’s written several, and I can’t remember which one) which had a chapter entitled ‘It’s near’, devoted to anagrams of that combination, so he obviously shared the prevailing opinion. Of course, the chapter was also concerned with words that contained those letters plus one (or occasionally more) letters.

‹‹ BL: quick      Wordmark ››