Rebuses are fun picture puzzles where you have to decode an image to get a well known word or phrase.
Clicking any image on the left will take you to the full size rebus.
The term rebus refers to the use of a pictogram representing a syllabic sound. These changes of pictograms into phonograms is an ancestor to the development of the alphabet, this developement is one of the most important for writing. Hieroglyphs read in rebus fashion were in use at Abydos in Egypt as far back as 3400 BCE.
With the interest in all things Egyptian blooming in the 18th Century, correspondence in rebus form became very popular, with people sending each other missives and calling cards in rebus form. This interest continued well into the 19th century when Lewis Carroll wrote many picture-puzzle rebus letters. Rebus letters served either as a code or simply as a fun way to puzzle away the time.
The Principle of Rebuses is to use existing symbols, such as pictograms, just for their sounds ignoring their meaning, to represent other words. Many writing systems used the Rebus principle from the ancients to the modern, representing abstract words, which otherwise would be hard to represent in pictograms. A good example illustrating the Rebus principle is the transformation of the name "Tutenkhamun" by using the pictographs of “Toot N Car Moon”