Ambigrams, Anagrams, Palindromes and Pangrams


Some years ago one of my stepsons began drawing Ambigrams for some curious reasons. They also fascinated me, but I had no time then and forgot about ambigrams until I had to create one for an illustration job. As long as you don’t bother about readability, you can make an ambigram for every word. In my case it was the name of a castle in germany called Rieneck. Here it is:



I always was fascinated of Anagrams: changing the order of the letters of words and getting other meanings (In my childhood I liked to play with alphabet biscuits, “Russischbrot”, before I ate them. Uhm, did I say in my childhood … well, I still like it…). Today there are several online and offline word generators to generate anagrams, e.g. an, where you can select various languages. You can find quite funny things when examining your name’s letters.


I always wondered what “They might be Giants” sing about in their song “I Palindrome I” but I didn’t look it up until I stumbled upon it when researching ambigrams. Palindromes are words or sentences that can be read both forwards and backwards and still have the same meaning. Well, I knew there were words and sentences you can do this with, but I didn’t know the word for it. So, after knowing that, the previously mentioned song of TMBG is even cooler. They have palindrome phrases and word-symmetrical sentences in it.

Besides palindromes there are semi-palindromes that can be read forwards and backwards with different meanings which are often used for palindrome sentences like “Ivan – Navi” 🙂


When I researched for palindromes I also read about pangrams. I didn’t know there was a word for this: A sentence with all letters of the alphabet in it. You may all know the sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”. This english pangram today is mostly known from e.g. the Windows Font Previewer. Its’ origin goes back to 1885, where the sentence “A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” was suggested for writing practice in an article of a teachers’ journal called “The Michigan School Moderator”. In german language, the most known pangram might be “Franz jagt im komplett verwahrlosten Taxi quer durch Bayern”, although it does not have umlauts (mutated vowels). My preferred one with umlauts is “Welch fieser Katzentyp quält da süße Vögel bloß zum Jux?”