I wrote a little program to calculate the number of anagrams of each word in the UNIX dictionary (it’s just like the regular dictionary, but it doesn’t have definitions). After two and a half hours of computational strain (Θ(n2) with n=200,000 is not cheap), the results arrived. Coming in first place is the word “pseudolamellibranchiate,” with 28,368 anagrams! Holy shit! That’s 20% of the dictionary! Pick a word at random, and there’s a one in five chance that it’s an anagram of that word!

The silver goes to “blepharosphincterectomy,” with 20,960, and the bronze to “spondylotherapeutics,” with 20,311. The shortest word with over 1,000 anagrams is “zymotechnical,” which just goes to show that letter quantity is as important as quality.

So there’s a bunch of words for you guys to look up. Also, I’ll give $25 to the first person to list all the acronyms of pseudolamellibranchiate without use of a computer. Er, just kidding. :-)

I’m inclined to design an algorithm that would run in a tighter asymptotic complexity, as a challenge. But I really ought get to my physics, and to writing those Perl synopses.


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