Fun With Words: Palindromes

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Palindromes are words, phrases or number sequences that read the same way in both directions. Palindrome derives from the Greek for ‘running back again’. Both the Greeks and Romans are known to have enjoyed palindromes. The Greeks also published palindromic poetry.

Common words that are palindromes include:

  • civic
  • eye
  • level
  • nun
  • pop
  • radar

Some famous palindrome phrases are:

  • Able was I ere I saw Elba
  • A man, a plan, a canal – Panama!
  • Madam, I’m Adam

There are many more examples on the Thinks.com Palindrome Parade.

Other palindrome forms use words or lines, rather than letters, as the unit to be repeated. See some examples here.

Here are mentions of palindromes in newspapers:

… Friday, at the 11th second and the 11th minute after the 11th hour, the date and time will form a 12-digit palindrome. It will be 11:11:11 on 11/11/11. We have had, since 2000, 10 such sextuplet moments, from one minute past on … (www.theguardian.com)

… “Following your query in the knowledge about Ugo Ehiogu, I’ve noticed that his name is very nearly a palindrome – backwards it reads Ugo Iheogu. I was wondering if there were any palindromic footballers, either now or ever … (www.theguardian.com)

… “Lager, sir, is regal.” Most sources credit Sotades the Obscene of Maronea with inventing literary palindromes in Greek-ruled Egypt, way back in the 3rd century BC. Indeed, palindromes were once known as “Sotadic verses … (www.theguardian.com)

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17 thoughts on “Fun With Words: Palindromes”

  1. Fun info! I used to live in a town named Yreka and the local bakery was named Yreka Bakery. Don’t know if they realized when they named it that the name is a palindrome.

  2. Any don’t forget the famous Monty Python parrot skit – when they used Bolton and Notlob as the train station!

  3. here’s some in dutch:

    parterretrap (I really don’t know how to discribe that ^-^)

    meetsysteem (measuringsystem)

    lepel (spoon)

    neven (cousins)

    appologies for any misspelled words ^-^

  4. My name– Hannah (and the name Anna)

    A nut for a jar of tuna

    Tis Ivan on a visit

    Niagara, O roar again!

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