Palindromes

A palindrome is a word, phrase, or sentence which can be read the same either forwards or backwards (punctuation, word spacing, and capitalisation are ignored for this purpose).

An easy example of a palindrome is the word “eye”, which can be read the same from either end.

Other examples of single words which are palindromes:
dad
did
eve [the period immediately preceding an event; also Eve, the girl’s name]
pop
wow
deed
noon
otto [a variant of attar, an essential oil; also Otto, the boy’s name]
civic
level
radar
refer
sagas
tenet
redder
racecar
deified
deleveled
redivider

Some sentences or phrases which are palindromes:
Madam, I’m Adam
Madam, in Eden I’m Adam
Dennis sinned
Do geese see God?
Never odd or even
Murder for a jar of red rum
Was it Eliot’s toilet I saw?
Some men interpret nine memos
Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?

Some humourous palindromes have been deliberately constructed as new words
aibohphobia = fear of palindromes [an ironic joke]
ailihphilia = love of palindromes
elihphile = lover of palindromes

Of interest are what are known as word squares, which can be read from left to right, as well as up and down; although these read as different words, not the same words, when read backwards. For example:

net
ewe
ten

wed
eke
dew

gel
eye
leg

trap
raja
ajar
part

step
time
emit
pets

rats
abut
tuba
star

See:
Fun With Words [including more examples]
Word_square, Wikipedia

The palindromic Latin word square, “Sator Arepo Tenet Opera Rotas” (“The sower Arepo holds works wheels”), was found as a graffito at Herculaneum, buried by ash in 79 AD. This palindrome is remarkable for the fact that it also reproduces itself if one forms a word from the first letters, then the second letters, and so forth. Hence, it can be arranged into a word square that reads in four different ways: horizontally or vertically from either top left to bottom right or bottom right to top left.
See:
The Fortnightly Review, 15 January 1926, p.28 (bottom of right column)
Palindrome, Wikipedia

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