The makers of Doctor Who have long used codenames and anagrams when they want to keep something from us. Most recently, Jenna-Louise Coleman revealed that she had to pretend she was auditioning for something called “Men on Waves”.

She told Radio Times: “When she was auditioning, Karen Gillan had been given a codename - Panic Moon, which is an anagram of Companion - so I worked out that Men on Waves is an anagram of Woman Seven, because this is the seventh series. Weirdly, seven is my lucky number and this is my seventh job.”

Back in 2005, the very biggest secret of them all was the show itself: everybody wanted to know what the revived Doctor Who would look like and the production team went so far as to relabel the very few videos that had to leave the office.

Instead of “Doctor Who”, they were labelled with an anagram: “Torchwood”.

In 1988’s Remembrance of the Daleks, the production team knew full well that listing a character as being played by Terry Molloy would tip off fans that Davros, creator of the Daleks, was back. So in the cast list they provided to Radio Times for that week, they billed the actor as Roy Tromelly.


And we are introducing Cynthia Nixon to the methodology of the show and she plays Kade Prurnell which is an anagram of Paul Krendler who was the Ray Liotta character in the Ridley Scott film and also a character from the book so we’re kind of used her as a reinvention of that character.

- Bryan Fuller, Season 2 DVD commentary

When I was little, I didn’t understand that you could change a few sounds in a name or a phrase and have it mean something entirely different. When I told teachers my name was Benna and they said, ’Donna who?’ I would say, ‘Donna Gilbert.’ I thought close was good enough, that sloppiness was generally built into the language. I thought Bing Crosby and Bill Cosby were the same person. That Buddy Holly and Billie Holiday were the same person. That Leon Trotsky and Leo Tolstoy were the same person. It was a shock for me quite late in life to discover that Jean Cocteau and Jacques Cousteau were not even related. Meaning, if it existed at all, was unstable and could not survive the slightest reshuffling of letters. One gust of wind and Santa became Satan. A slip of the pen and pears turned into pearls. A little interior decorating and the world became her twold, an ungrammatical and unkind assessment of an aging aunt in a singles bar. Add a d to poor, you got droop. It was that way in biology, too. Add a chromosome, get a criminal. Subtract one, get an idiot or a chipmunk. That was the way with things. When you wanted someone to say 'I love you,’ approximate assemblages–igloo, eyelid glue, isle of ewe–however lovely, didn’t quite make it.
—  Lorrie Moore, Anagrams
Where does love go? When something you have taped on the wall falls off, what has happened to the stickum? It has relaxed. It has accumulated an assortment of hairs and fuzzies. It has said Fuck it and given up. It doesn’t go anywhere special, it’s just gone. Energy is created, and then it is destroyed. So much for the laws of physics. So much for chemistry. So much for not so much.
—  Anagrams by Lorrie Moore

Rauschenberg’s Early Bloomer [Anagram] (A Pun) (1998) was recently installed in the White House Old Family Dining Room, which is now part of the public tour! Works by Anni Albers, Josef Albers, and Alma Thomas were also added to the dining room by First Lady Michelle Obama, who believes “modern art and design is such an important part of the American tradition.”

You cannot be grateful without possessing a past. That is why children are incapable of gratitude and why night prayers and dinner graces are lost on them. ‘Gobbles Mommy, Gobbles Grandpa…’ George races through it. She has no reference points. As I get older the past widens and accumulates, all sloppy landlessness like a river, and as a result I have more clearly demarcated areas of gratitude. Things like ice cream or scenery or one good kiss become objects of a huge soulful thanks. Nothing is gobbled. This is a sign of getting old.
—  Lorrie Moore, Anagrams