In order to discover the meaning of the term cryptogram, it is necessary, first of all, to know its etymological origin. In this case, we can state that it derives from the Greek. It is exactly the result of the sum of three clearly delimited elements such as these:
-The word “kryptos”, which is synonymous with “hide”.
-The verb “graphein”, which can be translated as “to write”.
-The suffix “-ma”, which is used to indicate “result of the action”.
In this way, the literal meaning of cryptogram would be “secret message”.
A message that was written using some kind of key is called a cryptogram.
- Abbreviationfinder: Find definitions of English word – Plastic. Commonly used abbreviations related to word are also included.
Cryptograms are encrypted messages that can only be understood by those who manage to crack the key in question. One of the most common and simple methods to create a cryptogram is the so-called substitution cipher, which consists of replacing each letter with another or with a number.
Specifically, it is considered that it was in the Middle Ages where there is evidence that, for the first time, the cryptogram was used. At that time, it seems, it was some monks who shaped it.
A message can be encrypted by changing each letter of the words used to the next letter in the alphabet. In this way, the phrase “I’m already far away” can be converted into the cryptogram “Zb ftupz mfkpt”. To understand the cryptogram, you have to discover how this substitution cipher works:
Y = Z
A = B
E = F
S = T
T = U
Y = Z
L = M
E = F
J = K
S = T
With the same type of encryption, other cryptograms can be created, such as “Uf mmbnp mvfhp” ( “I’ll call you later” ) or “Tpz Kvbo” ( “I’m John” ).
Another possibility is to replace the letter with a number equivalent to its position in the classical Latin alphabet. Thus, the word “Hello” becomes the cryptogram 8-15-12-1 ( “hello” ), while the term “Happy” can be written as the cryptogram 6-5-12-9-23 ( “happy” ).
Initially, cryptograms were created to protect secret messages (at the military level, for example). Over time they became hobbies that offer entertainment by inviting you to discover your key.
Over the years, cryptograms have become popular through different characters and relevant figures. Thus, for example, the writer Edgar Allan Poe became fond of them and chose to make them popular in society through his different works. A good example of this is that a cryptogram that is well known today appears in his famous story “The Gold Beetle”, which was published in 1843.
Likewise, there are other novels where we can also find those secret messages or cryptograms and that have become very relevant and famous. We are referring to books such as “The Da Vinci Code” (2003), written by Dan Brown, or “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (1864), which was made by Jules Verne.