Printer Friendly


In this article, the reader will witness a years-long journey towards logological discovery. It began with a single word that seemed to be the only member of a specific class of anagrams. Then a second example was found. And now, like the little Dutch boy who put his finger into the hole in the dike, we pulled our fingers out, the dike broke and the wordplay poured all over us. We were in the middle of a language flood, and we'd like to invite you to "come on in, the water's fine". It all started when one of us (DM) recalled the anagram CABARET = A BAR ETC. This perfect anagram is attributed to Eric Albert in the May 1988 issue of Word Ways (page 114). As he says ... "Head to tail shifts where a letter other than S is shifted and where pronunciation changes dramatically are countable on your fingers. One such head-to-tail shift is CABARET = A BAR ETC. Now that's amazing". A few years ago in Kickshaws this anagram was almost equalled by CABINET = A BIN ETC (DM). And that's it! No more apposite C ....... ET examples which retain their non-ETC letters in the same order; only non-apposite examples such as CADET = AD ETC, CASKET = ASK ETC, CHALET = HAL ETC. So we tried anagramming words in which the C, E and T, whilst retaining their order, didn't necessarily occur at the ends of the word as previously. Again, only non-apposite examples surfaced: CRETAN = RAN ETC, CENTO = NO ETC... By now frustration was beginning to set in so one of us (ST) suggested that, as the three letters E, T and C could be permed in 6 ways (CET, CTE, ECT, ETC, TCE, and TEC), why not give each of these permutations a try? At the same time we decided that faster progress might be achieved if the non-ETC letters were allowed to be rearranged, rather than appear in the same order. This seemed to work. Now, along with a plethora of non-apposite examples, apposite pairings put in an appearance. The examples listed below may have at least one extraneous C and/or E and/or T. In some cases, this enables them to qualify for more than one of the 6 CET categories (the number of asterisks* denotes the number of additional categories to the one being considered). Underlining highlights those cases in which C, E and T occur as an unbroken sequence.

CET INCEST = SIN ETC (best not to go into any more details)

CESSPIT = PISS ETC (let's leave it at that)

CERTAIN = RAIN ETC (isnt it always, together with hail, thunder...)

ANCIENT = NINA ETC (all Dave's ex girl friends have seen better days)

BRACKET = BARK ETC. (bracket fungi grow on the bark of trees)

DOCUMENTS = MOUNDS ETC (of files, bits of paper...)

CONDEMNATIONS = DAMN ONIONS ETC (onions and lemons make you cry)

DISCRETION = SIR, NO I.D. ETC? (the hotel manager refuses entry)

CTE COURTESY = YOURS ETC (all very polite)

COMPETES* = POEMS ETC (a poetry competition)

CATHETER* = HEART ETC (all very medical)

COUCHETTES* = TOUCHES ETC (use your imagination)

EVICTED* = DIVE ETC (they were evicted from nightclubs, name it!) ...and 3 examples in each of which the transposed wording reads immediately on from the original word to make a single phrase:

SELECTED* LEEDS ETC (and London, Manchester...)

TACTILE* TAIL ETC (try pinching your cat's tail or whiskers--or perhaps not)

CHARTED (sailed) HARD ETC (rushing along the deck hoisting sails, lowering sails...)

ECT REACTIVE* = I RAVE ETC (tear hair out, yell, stamp my foot...)

REACTING = A GRIN ETC (painful muscle adjustment, having to grin at a bad joke)

ADOLESCENT* = LONE, SAD ETC (you have to feel sorry for teenagers)

ELECTIONS = NO LIES ETC (no devious claims...) This is a calumny and an antigram!

These each make a single phrase:

DETECT** TED ETC (Ted and his cronies are up to no good, as usual)

SELECT LES ETC (and his entourage)

NECTAR RAN ETC (it also glued up the bird's mouth!)

INFECTS FINS ETC (a new fishy disease)

ETC BARONETCY = O'BRYAN ETC (a collection of Irish barons)

GERONTIC = GROIN ETC (groggy groins and other parts sometimes come with senility) This makes a single phrase:

GENETICS IS GEN ETC (and also involves obtaining the DNA)

TCE STRIDENCE* = DINERS ETC (the diners and bar dwellers had too much to drink) This makes a single phrase:

TICKET* KIT ETC (and also a wallet for travel money...)

TEC TEACHER* = HEAR ETC (listen, learn...) These each make a single phrase: TELECOM MOLE ETC (they also have an ass working for them) PROTECT* PORT ETC (whisky, sherry...)- bet you thought we meant the other type of port

Finally, we threw caution to the wind and decided to start with a phrase rather than a single word.

CET RECOMMENDED DIETS* = I'D NEED MORE MDs ETC (more doctorly advice on diets)

CUTE STREET PLANS* = PLANT US TREES ETC ('cos we're eco friendly)


CTE CAPE STRUCTURE**** = A PURE CRUST ETC (plus apples, makes Cape apple pie)

HE COUNTS VEINS* = VENOUS SHIN ETC (varicose veins among other ailments)

ECT ACTOR SECTS*** = COSTARS ETC (producers, directors...)

ETC SUGGESTION UPON RECORD* = SURGEONS DO UP GROIN ETC (proviso--if the patient isn't already dead)

SENTENCE MODIFIER* = I NEED MORE 'FINS' ETC (do you mean 'things' or endings?)

TEC TED CROWS = WORDS ETC (and mannerisms--he's pleased with himself!)

THE AMERICANS = AH, MARINES ETC (a general view from the Third World countries)

These each make a single phrase:

CET CENTRAL POST OR PLANTS ETC (or a trellis--the gardener's dilemma)

CTE CONCOCTED COD CON ETC (dodgy fish goings on)

ECT POSH SECTOR OR SHOPS ETC (the planners nightmare)

TCE SNATCHED HANDS ETC (they were poking out from the wreckage, together with a leg)


Rarely, a phrase lends itself to an extra ETC. Additionally, each of these three examples exhibits all 6 perms of C, E and T.

DEATH CERTIFICATED = HAD RATIFIED ETC ETC (had copies made of certificate...)

BIRTH CERTIFICATES = SIR ABI FIRTH ETC ETC (and those of other Knights...)

TEST CRICKETER'S LUNGE = STRIKES LEG RUN ETC ETC (bowls, takes catches, swears...)

And finally, in case you thought we had forgotten: ET CETERAS**** = TEASER ETC


Iowa City, Iowa


Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England
COPYRIGHT 2008 Jeremiah Farrell
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Morice, David; Thorpe, Susan
Publication:Word Ways
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2008
Previous Article:Missing persons.
Next Article:Urban renewal.

Related Articles
Some myths addressed by general semantics.
Creating community across camp programs.
Ethiopia goes mobile.
The ETC system stalls at the (toll) gate: electronic toll systems are inching forward at a snail's pace in Japan.
Circumstances surrounding death.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters