Chimera words

Or, annE and mr abE are

Chimera: FUN

The folks at Tunera have made a wonderful font (typeface), called Teranoptia. In this font, the letters are replaced by shapes (glyphs) that can fit together to form phantasmagorical figures, or chimera. For example, here is are the 26 letters of the (English) alphabet in lower case:

Chimeras: lower case English alphabet

Now since the shapes correspond to letters, I wondered whether any words correspond to complete chimera rather than unrelated body parts. It turns out there are lots of these “chimera words”! In the intro, the chimera is “FUN” and it turns out that “annE” and “mr abE” are also chimera (upper and lower case letters are different shapes, which is why there is odd capitalization). Here they are:


Chimera: annE

mr abE

Chimeras: mr abE

To find 2 and 3 letter chimera words in English, I first classified the shapes into head, body, and tail, and which direction, if any, they faced. Then I wrote a python program to generate all the combinations that form complete chimeras and checked which ones are in Wiktionary. There are a lot of abbreviations in Wiktionary, so I went through by hand and kept only real words and some common abbreviations. A bit tedious, but the results are fun.

I keep saying English words, and that’s because there are also chimera words in other languages. For example here’s “anno” (=”year”) in Italian (and Latin):


Chimera: anno

Want to try your hand at making chimeras, words or not? You can do that on this web page I made just for that purpose (and it’s how I made these examples). It also has a list of the 2 and 3 letter English chimera words that you can use. Have fun!