how many words in METAMORPHOSIS
March 18, 2008 1:35 PM   Subscribe

How many words can be made from the letters in the word "Metamorphosis"?

Is there a website where you can type in a word and find out how many words can be created from its letters? I work in a public library and want to make some puzzles, but don't trust myself to come up with every single possibility...

posted by LizardOfDoom to Education (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A hell of a lot, as in too many to paste here. But you can go to and plug it in there - it'll generate all the possibilities.
posted by detune at 1:36 PM on March 18, 2008

The search term you want (I think) to plug into google is "anagram generator." There are many of these.
posted by winston at 1:37 PM on March 18, 2008

This will tell you.
posted by prefpara at 1:38 PM on March 18, 2008

I should have added: you don't seem to want an anagram generator, since you didn't specify that all of the letters in the word had to be used in the new words. So what you need is a Scrabble cheater that assembles all of the words that can be made using all OR some of the letters in the original word...
posted by prefpara at 1:40 PM on March 18, 2008

quite a few
posted by mkn at 1:41 PM on March 18, 2008

Anagram generators will only work somewhat - if you are allowing to only use some of the letters in the word, and if you are allowing to use any of the letters more times than than they actually occur in the word, an anagram generator won't do that. Though they definitely will generate lots of examples. Frankly I think you'll find there are so many words even if you exclude the above rules that trying to include all possible answers won't be practical. If you're providing answers on the back or something, just pull out a big list of the most commonplace answers and then at the end of the list put "did you find some I missed?"

Incidentally, I'm partial to this one, check the Advanced option. If you elect the Show All feature it will take a LONG time to run.

And again, as you're making anagrams of the entire word with these, it could miss some words that only use some of the letters - because it might not be possible to make words out of all the remaining letters, if that makes sense. A true anagram has to use ALL the letters in the word, I'm not sure that's what you're going for. I've never seen anything that did what I think you're asking about (though I've seen puzzles like that).
posted by nanojath at 1:49 PM on March 18, 2008

This kind of thing sounds like it'd be a pretty easy project for somebody who knows a thing or two about scripting/programming. Just find a word list, then find every word that contains these and only these letters. Unfortunately, I'm not that person. But this is Metafilter, so there's a pretty good chance that somebody like that will stop by.
posted by box at 1:55 PM on March 18, 2008

Here's one way to do it in Mathematica:

all = Sort /@ Characters /@ DictionaryLookup[];
w = Intersection[Sort /@ Subsets[Characters["metamorphosis"]], all];
Pick[DictionaryLookup[], MemberQ[w, #] & /@ all]

The resulting list isn't exactly the same as the Scrabble one. For example, the Scrabble list includes the German word "prost".
posted by hAndrew at 6:24 PM on March 18, 2008

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