I have some letters; will you trade me for words?
November 8, 2008 6:56 PM   Subscribe

What's it called where you take a group of letters and make words out of them? (Not anagram!)

Okay, this has been bugging me forever. I want to take a group of letters, and using the letters, make words. For example:


Gives me: Cab, Face, Cede, Fag, deaf, bee...

What's it called when you do this? Is there an online program to do this for you? (I run Mac if you have an OSX program to do this.)

posted by 47triple2 to Writing & Language (9 answers total)
Best answer: I'm not sure if this has any particular name, but the Internet Anagram Server will do this for you if you select the "Show candidate word list only" option.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:12 PM on November 8, 2008 [2 favorites]

scrabbling? combinatorial lexicography?
posted by mpls2 at 7:13 PM on November 8, 2008

posted by amtho at 7:15 PM on November 8, 2008

Upon further thought, this doesn't do quite what you want it to — it assumes letters can't be repeated if they aren't repeated in the input string, whereas you seem to want to be able to repeat them if desired ("cede", "bee".) I suppose you could kludge it by entering a string like "aaaaabbbbbcccccdddddeeeeefffffggggg", but there's probably a better way.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:16 PM on November 8, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks Johnny!

While that doesn't tell me what the name of it is, I can now do it!

Although, on preview, it doesn't do multiple letters.

But, doing "aaabbbccc..." is better than nothing I guss!

If anybody knows the proper name, I'd really appreciate it!
posted by 47triple2 at 7:20 PM on November 8, 2008

Sites for cheating at Scrabble will do this, at least for 7-letter words and under.
posted by abcde at 7:37 PM on November 8, 2008

posted by Ike_Arumba at 7:54 PM on November 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

What you need is TEA. It's a program that my Scrabble-crazy dad used all the time (as did I when I was living at home. This doesn't seem to be the version he had but the chances of there being two anagram-solving programs named TEA seems slim so I'm assuming it's the same thing. It lets you specify a bunch of letters and if you put a semicolon in front it will scramble the letters and produce all possible words, including those made using only a subset of the letters. It also lets you output the results as a file and the command line version can be used in programs (never tried this -- that's what the website says). Hmm, it doesn't seem to be available for Macs.
posted by peacheater at 8:38 PM on November 8, 2008

Not sure what this anagram-like thing is called. Mathematica would be another way to do it if you have it at work/school:

DictionaryLookup[("a" | "b" | "c" | "d" | "e" | "f" | "g") ..]

>> {"a", "abbe", "abed", "accede", "acceded", "ace", "aced", "ad", \
"adage", "add", "added", "age", "aged", "baa", "baaed", "babe", \
"bad", "bade", "badge", "badged", "bag", "baggage", "bagged", "be", \
"bead", "beaded", "bed", "bedded", "bee", "beef", "beefed", "beg", \
"begged", "cab", "cabbage", "cabbed", "cad", "cadge", "cadged", \
"cafe", "caff", "cage", "caged", "ceca", "cede", "ceded", "dab", \
"dabbed", "dace", "dad", "dag", "db", "dc", "dead", "deaf", "deb", \
"decade", "decaf", "decaff", "deed", "deeded", "deface", "defaced", \
"ebb", "ebbed", "edge", "edged", "eff", "efface", "effaced", "effed", \
"egad", "egg", "egged", "fa", "fab", "facade", "face", "faced", \
"fad", "fade", "faded", "faff", "faffed", "fag", "fagged", "fed", \
"fee", "feed", "feedbag", "gab", "gabbed", "gad", "gadded", "gaff", \
"gaffe", "gaffed", "gag", "gaga", "gage", "gaged", "gagged", "gee", \
posted by hAndrew at 10:21 PM on November 8, 2008

« Older I just wanted a caipirinha, not a...   |   How to find the real dirt on how a bill actually... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.