Ready for Some Fun With Words?

Category: Reference

Everyone knows that Nail-Biting Refreshes The Feet. Oops! I meant to say that 'The Best Things In Life Are Free'. How did that come out so wrong? I must have had my brain hooked up to that anagram generator too long. Read on for a batch of fun links to websites that will help you improve your vocabulary, win at word games, and impress your friends. Ready, set, go!

The World-Wide Web of Words

Ready for linguistic diversion, frivolity and merriment? Do you want to find out how to become the animation of the assemblage? If you're a writer, a poet or an aficionado of word games, you'll love this collection of online word helpers.

An anagram is a word or phrase formed by rearranging the letters of another word or phrase. For example, "Time Heals All Wounds" can be rearranged to form "Most Will Use A Handle". The Internet Anagram Server (aka "I, Rearrangement Servant") gives results in your browser, and has an Advanced interface which allows you to include or exclude certain words, specify minimum or maximum numbers of letters per word and a few other tweaks.

Anu Garg, creator of The Internet Anagram Server, also offers A.Word.A.Day, a newsletter for people who want to explore the world of words and share it with other wordlovers.

Also notable, illustrious and famed in the anagram arena is Anagram Genius. Anagram Genius seems to be better at processing long input strings and generating phrase-like results. For example: "not over until the fat lady sings" = "Stringently deathful ovations"

Word Fun

If you're a fan of the Scrabble board game, you'll love Scrabble Helper. Enter the seven letters on your Scrabble rack, and this nifty tool will reveal, disclose and divulge all the words that can be composed from them. You can even specify specific beginning and ending letters, or ask for words of a certain length.

If you're having trouble getting a word in a crossword puzzle, then perhaps OneAcross can help. In addition to pattern dictionary searches, it can analyze the clue as well. OneAcross lets you enter either the length of the answer or an answer pattern, in which you use a question mark for unknown letters in the word. OneAcross also has a tool to help you solve cryptograms.

Also, check out Win Every Game, which is a word builder and anagrammer that can be very useful for Scrabble players.

WORD TOOLS

At Dictionary.com, you can look up a word in either a dictionary or Roget's Thesaurus (to find synonyms and antonyms). The site also offers Ask Doctor Dictionary (for questions about words or grammar), the Word of the Day, daily crosswords, word search puzzles, and a huge list of links to other online dictionaries, including hundreds of non-English ones.

WordWeb Pro is a downloadable program that I find useful. It can be used to look up words from almost any Windows-based program, showing definitions, synonyms and related words. The feature I like best is searching for words matching a pattern, such as "ab*ly" which will return abashedly, abjectly, abnormally, absolutely, absurdly, and a superfluity of others. Free and paid versions are available.

The WriteExpress Online Rhyming Dictionary is a helpful resource for poets and songwriters. You can find Ending rhymes (blue/shoe), Last syllable rhymes (timber/harbor), Double rhymes (conviction/ prediction), Beginning rhymes (physics/fizzle), or First syllable rhymes (carrot/caring).

Need a synonym, antonym, or related word? Try RhymeZone.

The Rinkworks "Celebration of the English Language" page will help you brush up on your Proprietary Eponyms, Contronyms, Heteronyms, Palindromes, Pangrams, and Autograms. There are also a handy lists of Commonly Misspelled and Mispronounced Words.

And finally, StoryFun is a variant of the Mad Libs word game, created by students at MIT who obviously don't have enough homework to do.

Do you have a favorite word-related site? Post your comment or question below...

 
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This article was posted by on 13 Feb 2020


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Most recent comments on "Ready for Some Fun With Words?"

Posted by:

Nigel A
13 Feb 2020

Another one is Anagram Solver which I find a very useful last resort when playing Wordscapes and a word just will not come.


Posted by:

RandiO
13 Feb 2020

Thank you, Mr. Rankin.
When upgrading from older versions of WordWebPro, the installer would ask the number of flights taken in the previous year. If this number was below a certain limit (?); the "Pro" version would be automatically installed, w/o charge. I am not certain if this 'feature' is a grand-father clause for this great TSR program.


Posted by:

RandiO
13 Feb 2020

Two words that I learned today from WordWebPro were:
*mellifluous
*quotidian
But it had trouble defining:
*neurotrophins (which is flagged as a typo, while typing it here)


Posted by:

Beau
13 Feb 2020

I play nightly word games, and when I get stuck changing letters into words, I use "Wordsolver".


Posted by:

David Horsfall
13 Feb 2020

Immediately reminds me of the frequently (incorrect use) of the spoken term rpm or RPM. Why do SO MANY say rpm's or RPM'S. Simply doesn't make sense!! Also, is that commonly used term "Where are you AT" Why the "At"?


Posted by:

Wild Bill
13 Feb 2020

When playing TextTwist 2, I have a browser link to Words in a Word at Wordplays.com. It may be cheating but some of the words in the dictionary are nothing like common English, American or English, and I Don't Care. It works great. Only once has it failed to conjure some horridly obscure anagram.


Posted by:

Stephe
14 Feb 2020

Thanks for the mention of Anu Garg's excellent A.Word.A.Day. This and your (excellent) newsletter comprise most of my solicited emails — there are a couple of occasional guitar-related ones, and I used to get Allen Wyatt's Excel Tips (but unsubscribed when I switched office software)...

May you all three continue to prosper — each of you has offered good content (in your respective areas) for years or decades.

Thank-you!


Posted by:

Dave Rodgers
14 Feb 2020

Where are you AT. Probably a Southern colloquialism. But.. Where are you? The Grand Canyon. Where are you AT? The southern entrance to the Grand Canyon.


Posted by:

RandiO
14 Feb 2020

@DavidHorsfall,
There is absolutely nothing wrong with an initialism getting the possessive: "Your RPM's too high!". There is also nothing wrong with an initialism that is plural: but not in the case of RPMs and possibly for RPMS (=Relapsing Progressive Multiple Sclerosis). I understand what you are saying but the example was not the best. 😉


Posted by:

Don Trotman
18 Feb 2020


"We would like to thank you for....."
(Then DO so!) "We thank you for....."
- Even expensive, full page adverts sometimes print this gobbledegook.


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