The term anagram, through French anagramme and maybe Modern Latin, comes from two Ancient Greek words: ana, which meant "backwards" or just "back", and gramma, meaning "letter". Earlier on, ana had multiple interpretations, including "upward" and "again", and is the prefix found in words like aneurysm, anaphase, anaphora, anabolic, and more. Eventually, it can be traced to Proto-Indo-European hen, meaning "on". Gramma, meanwhile, should be familiar in words like grammar, gramophone, and monogram. Through Proto-Hellenic, that derives from PIE gerb, meaning "to scratch". After being first used in 1589, anagram has remained relatively constant in usage over time. A blanagram is an anagram where only one letter is substituted and an ananym is a type of anagram where the word is directly reversed.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a rising junior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, and law.