Take a word, remove a letter, and rearrange the remaining letters to form another word; the shorter word is known as a transdeletion of the longer one. Conversely, the longer word is called a transaddition of the shorter. This process can be continued, and a chain of successive transdeletions or transadditions formed; let us define the roots of a word to be all those words that can be reached by successive transdeletions, and the branches of a word to be all those words that can be reached by successive transadditions. Naturally, the roots and branches depend upon the dictionary specified; the larger the dictionary, the more flourishing the word tree consisting of roots and branches combined.
Eckler, A. Ross
"Word Roots and Branches,"
Word Ways: Vol. 12
, Article 5.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/wordways/vol12/iss3/5