The Origin Of Imagine Dragons' Band Name

Love them or hate them, Imagine Dragons has emerged as one of the most successful rock bands to transition to the mainstream radio circuit in recent years, with the breakout hits "It's Time" and "Demons" in the early 2010s. The band has since branched out to record Grammy award-winning track "Radioactive" in 2014, as well as garner three other nominations in the process. But one question remains to be answered about the indie rock four-piece: Where did theĀ epic name Imagine Dragons come from?

Per Why Name It That, the band is not the first to remain coy about their name, but they certainly are among those to turn it into a guessing game of sorts. The band has come out about "Imagine Dragons" being an anagram for a word or phrase that resonates deeply with all the musicians.

Fans have tried their luck at uncovering the mysterious name, but all attempts so far have been rendered fruitless. Some listeners have even run "Imagine Dragons" through an anagram generator, which spits out 107,000 different potential results. As of 2020, the chart toppers have not responded to popular guesses such as "A Gemini So Grand," "Roman's Big Angie" or "God Is in the manger."

"I really liked 'God Is In The Manger,'" guitarist Wayne Sermon once said. "That one put me in some contemplation. The truth of the matter is all of them are better band names than Imagine Dragons. We probably should have went with one of those."

What's in a name?

One popular theory among fans is that the band name is "ragged insomnia", as the band added the title to their music video for the single "On Top of the World." The addition could also be an Easter egg, however, which the band has neither confirmed nor denied, according to Why Name It That.

"We really had a phrase that we all agreed upon, and had meaning to us, particularly as artists," lead singer Dan Reynolds has said (via YouTube). "We just thought it would be cool to keep something to ourselves, because you're always exposing yourself as an artist."

Per Billboard, Reynolds and the rest of the band has kept tight-lipped about the real phrase behind the anagram, but during a 2013 interview it was revealed that the secret phrase isn't even known among members of the band's families. "I haven't even told my mom, and she's bothered me about it since day one, so if I told you before I told my mom, she'd probably forsake me as her son," Reynolds told Billboard.