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Can you think of a 6+ letter word that is an anagram of itself? The rule is that the letters of the word must be able to be rearranged to spell the original word, but none of the letters are in their original position order.

4 letter words like dodo, mama, and papa are examples, but how many can you think of with 6 or more letters—obviously the number of letters will always have to be even. What's the longest self-anagrammatic word?

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to puzzling! $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Oct 23 '16 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, but I do not think that themselves has any anagram with that criteria. Sorry. $\endgroup$ – EKons Oct 24 '16 at 11:27
  • $\begingroup$ ah, not the word 'themselves', but the words themselves. $\endgroup$ – stib Oct 24 '16 at 12:05
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    $\begingroup$ obviously the number of letters will always have to be even – Why? For example, suppose that yyy were an actual word. Let the ys be numbered like this: y₁y₂y₃. Then y₂y₃y₁ would be an anagram complying with your criteria. $\endgroup$ – Wrzlprmft Oct 24 '16 at 12:12
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, of cousrse. So it should be: every letter will have to be repeated at least once. $\endgroup$ – stib Oct 24 '16 at 12:22
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Can you think of a 6+ letter word that is an anagram of itself?

stifle, or filets.

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    $\begingroup$ no, the letters must be rearranged to make the original word itself, but with all the letters in a new place. $\endgroup$ – stib Oct 23 '16 at 14:20
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    $\begingroup$ oh, wait, I get it. ;) $\endgroup$ – stib Oct 23 '16 at 14:21
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    $\begingroup$ I don't ... how does this answer the question? $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Oct 23 '16 at 18:36
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    $\begingroup$ ... anagram of "itself". Ho ho. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Oct 23 '16 at 19:30
  • $\begingroup$ Check this out! $\endgroup$ – EKons Oct 24 '16 at 11:31
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For a word to be self-anagrammable, ...

... each letter must occur at least twice, so that it can be moved to a new position when shuffling.

"Obviously the number of letters will always have to be even". That's not true:

Take the word "aaa": You can move the first a to the end and all a's will be in new positions.

As usual with such questions top hits are found by scouring huge word lists. A 17-letter word I found is:

transistorisation

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm curious as to what dictionary you used. The longest words I got in the three different dictionaries I have on hand were Geistesgeschichte (which isn't technically even English) and hyphenated options on-again-off-again and station-to-station. $\endgroup$ – Will Oct 23 '16 at 14:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Will: Good question. I usually use one that I have concatenated from a repository of English word lists some years ago. Judging by the file names, it is SCOWL. But I have no idea which of the files I used. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Oct 23 '16 at 14:54
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    $\begingroup$ When I make use of the full range of these files, I get the 18-letter words "unprosperousnesses" and "transistorisations", which are the plurals to your and my answers. :) $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Oct 23 '16 at 14:57
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There is a Wikipedia article concerning the longest word in English. The longest word there is ...

Methionylthreonylthreonylglutaminylalanyl...isoleucine (the chemical name of titin containing 189,819 letters). Checking the full name (can be found via Google) confirmed that each used letter appears at least twice. There is also a video if you want to hear the full name (about 3.5 hours long, you should at least compare the beginning and the end of the video).

Unfortunately all words from the table in the Wikipedia article with lengths between 182 and 27 don't work for this puzzle, because each of them contains at least one non-repeated letter.

If you think this is too crazy and if place names are allowed there is also ...

Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu (85 letters) which is "the longest officially recognized place name in an English-speaking country" (quote from the first mentioned Wikipedia article).

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    $\begingroup$ Haha I pulled the same trick with a question asking about Rhymonyms! Sadly It's hard to find words that rhyme and mean the same thing as Titin. $\endgroup$ – Areeb Oct 23 '16 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ That dead flower in the video... $\endgroup$ – EKons Oct 24 '16 at 11:32
  • $\begingroup$ The IUPAC name of titin isn't considered English. $\endgroup$ – LegionMammal978 Oct 25 '16 at 1:35
  • $\begingroup$ Some cuts where his beard grows, first at 43:11. Flower dies at 2:09:22. $\endgroup$ – Jonathan Allan Oct 31 '16 at 9:25
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Obviously we just need a word

with each letter appearing more than once

here's one such 16-letter word:

unprosperousness

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Take the word

scintillescent

and swap each letter with the identical letter that is elsewhere in the word. The result is the same word, but every letter has been moved.

This is $14$ letters long

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As others have noted, a word is autoanagrammable if and only if every letter in the word appears at least twice.

Here are a few such words. I obtained these words from trawling wordlists.

14

supposititious
intersternites
Transnistrians
heptanaphthene
scintillescent

15

antitrinitarian
insatiatenesses
instantaneities
micrometeoritic
nonsensuousness
superprosperous
unerroneousness
nortestosterone
ecclestiastical

16

unprosperousness
photoheterotroph

17

transistorisation
retrospectroscope

18

transistorisations
unprosperousnesses

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A palindrome word will work (as long as it has an even amount of letters) as each letter has to appear more than once.

The longest palindrome word is

tattarrattat

So $12$ letters long

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  • $\begingroup$ If the number of letters is even, yes, each letter will be repeated, but if it is odd, then the central letter will not necessarily be repeated. $\endgroup$ – paolo Oct 24 '16 at 9:25
  • $\begingroup$ @paolo yeah I mentioned it has to have an even amount of letters $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Oct 24 '16 at 9:56
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    $\begingroup$ If the central letter appears somewhere else, i.e. it's repeated three times, then the three could be arranged so that none appear where they started $\endgroup$ – stib Oct 25 '16 at 1:30

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