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Encyclopedia > Palindrome

A palindrome is a word, phrase, number or other sequence of units that has the property of reading the same in either direction (the adjustment of punctuation and spaces between words is generally permitted). Composing literature in palindromes is an example of constrained writing. The word "palindrome" was coined from Greek roots palin (πάλιν; "back") and dromos (δρóμος; "way, direction") by English writer Ben Jonson in the 1600s. The actual Greek phrase to describe the phenomenon is karkinikê epigrafê (καρκινική επιγραφή; crab inscription), or simply karkiniêoi (καρκινιήοι; crabs), alluding to the backward movement of crabs, like an inscription which can be read backwards. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Palindromes is a 2004 comedy/drama film written and directed by Todd Solondz. ... Palindromic Rheumatism consists of sudden and rapidly developing attacks of arthritis. ... A palindromic number is a symmetrical number like 16461, that remains the same when its digits are reversed. ... Constrained writing is a literary technique in which the writer is bound by some condition that forbids certain things or imposes a pattern. ... For other persons of the same name, see Ben Johnson (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Crab (disambiguation). ...



Palindromes date back at least to 79 A.D., as the palindromic Latin word square "Sator Arepo Tenet Opera Rotas" was found as a graffito at Herculaneum, buried by ash in that year. 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 eight different ways: horizontally or vertically from top left to bottom right; horizontally or vertically from bottom right to top left; horizontally or vertically from top right to bottom left; and horizonally or vertically from bottom left to top right. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... SATOR AREPO TENET OPERA ROTAS (sometimes called the Sator square) is a Latin palindrome, the words of which, when written in a square, may be read top-to-bottom, bottom-to-top, left-to-right, and right-to-left, thus: S A T O R: Sower, planter A R E... The words of the sator square may be read in any direction SATOR AREPO TENET OPERA ROTAS (sometimes called the sator square) is a Latin palindrome, the words of which, when written in a square, may be read top-to-bottom, bottom-to-top, left-to-right, and right-to... Herculaneum (in modern Italian Ercolano) is an ancient Roman town, located in the territory of the current commune of Ercolano. ... A word square is a kind of acrostic. ...

While some sources translate this as "The sower Arepo holds the wheels at work", translation is problematic as the word arepo is otherwise unknown; the square may have been a coded Christian signifier, with TENET forming a cross. For further discussion, see separate article. The words of the sator square may be read in any direction SATOR AREPO TENET OPERA ROTAS (sometimes called the sator square) is a Latin palindrome, the words of which, when written in a square, may be read top-to-bottom, bottom-to-top, left-to-right, and right-to...

A palindrome with the same property is the Hebrew palindrome "We explained the glutton who is in the honey was burned and incinerated" (פרשנו רעבתן שבדבש נתבער ונשרף; PRShW R`BTN ShBDBSh NTB`R WNShRP or parasnu ra`avtan sheba'dvash nitba'er venisraf) by Ibn Ezra, referring to the halachic question as to whether a fly landing in honey makes the honey treif. Hebrew redirects here. ... Rabbi Abraham Ben Meir Ibn Ezra (also known as Ibn Ezra, or Abenezra) (1092 or 1093-1167), was one of the most distinguished Jewish men of letters and writers of the Middle Ages. ... Halakha (הלכה in Hebrew or Halakhah, Halacha, Halachah) is the collective corpus of Jewish law, custom and tradition regulating all aspects of behavior. ... The circled U indicates that this product is certified as kosher by the Orthodox Union (OU). ...

פ ר ש נ ו
ר ע ב ת ן
ש ב ד ב ש
נ ת ב ע ר
ו נ ש ר ף

Another Latin palindrome, "In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni" ("We enter the circle at night and are consumed by fire"), was said to describe the behavior of moths. It is likely from medieval rather than ancient times.

Byzantine Greeks often inscribed the palindrome "Wash the sins, not face alone" (Medieval Greek: ΝΙΨΟΝΑΝΟΜΗΜΑΤΑΜΗΜΟΝΑΝΟΨΙΝ; Modern: Νίψον ανομήματα μη μόναν όψιν; Nipson anomēmata mē monan opsin, note ps is the single Greek letter psi (Ψ)) on baptismal fonts. This is round the font at St. Mary's Church, Nottingham and also the font in the basilica of St. Sophia, Constantinople, the font of St. Stephen d’Egres, Paris; at St. Menin’s Abbey, Orléans; at Dulwich College; and at the following churches: Worlingsworth (Suffolk), Harlow (Essex), Knapton (Norfolk), St Martin, Ludgate (London), and Hadleigh (Suffolk). Byzantine redirects here. ... Medieval Greek (Μεσαιωνική Ελληνική) is a linguistic term that describes the fourth period in the history of the Greek language. ... Main article: Greek language Modern Greek (Νέα Ελληνικά or Νεοελληνική, lit. ... Psi has multiple meanings: Psi (letter) (Ψ, ψ) of the Greek alphabet Psi (Cyrillic) (Ñ°, ѱ), letter of the early Cyrillic alphabet, adopted from Greek Psi (parapsychology) Psi (instant messaging client), a popular Jabber client program J/ψ particle, a subatomic particle Wavefunction in Quantum Mechanics, ψ In mathematics, Ψ is used to denote the angle between... Baptismal font in Magdeburg Cathedral, Germany A baptismal font is an article of church furniture used for the baptism of children and adults. ... The Church of St Mary the Virgin is the oldest religious foundation in the City of Nottingham, England, and is also the largest church after the Roman Catholic Cathedral. ... For other uses, see Hagia Sophia (disambiguation). ... This article is about the city before the Fall of Constantinople (1453). ... This article is about the capital of France. ... Orléans (Latin, meaning golden) is a city and commune in north-central France, about 130 km (80 miles) southwest of Paris. ... Dulwich New College buildings. ... Harlow is a new town and local government district in Essex, England. ... North Norfolk Norfolk in England Knapton is a village and parish in North Norfolk, Norfolk in eastern England. ... St Martin, Ludgate (with St Pauls in the background, right) St Martin, Ludgate is a Church of England church on Ludgate Hill in the ward of Farringdon, in the City of London. ... This article is about Hadleigh in Suffolk. ...



The most familiar palindromes, in English at least, are character-by-character: the written characters read the same backwards as forwards. Palindromes may consist of a single word (civic, level, racecar, Malayalam), or a phrase or sentence ("Neil, a trap! Sid is part alien!", "Was it a rat I saw?", "Mr. Owl ate my metal worm", "Sit on a potato pan, Otis", "Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas", "Rats live on no evil star."). Spaces, punctuation and case are usually ignored. Much longer palindromic compositions have been constructed; see "Long palindromes", below.

Three famous English palindromes are "Able was I ere I saw Elba"[1] (which is also palindromic with respect to spacing), "A man, a plan, a canal—Panama!”,[2] and “Madam, in Eden I'm Adam,”.[3] The last example is still palindromic if "in Eden" is omitted; the response is either the one-word palindrome, "Eve," or the more obscure "Name no one man."

Some individuals have names that are palindromes. Some changed their name in order to be a palindrome (one example is actor Robert Trebor), while others were given a palindromic name at birth (such as Neo-Nazi philologist Revilo Oliver). Fictional names include Stanley Yelnats, the main protagonist in the book Holes by Louis Sachar. Robert Trebor (born on June 7, 1953 as Robert Schenkman) is a character actor perhaps best known for his role as Salmoneus on the cult hits Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. ... Dr. Revilo Pendleton Oliver (1908-1994) was a professor of Classical philology, Spanish, and Italian at the University of Illinois, who wrote and crusaded extensively for anti-communist and Racial Nationalist causes. ... Stanley Elya Caveman Yelnats IV is a character in the novel Holes. ... Holes is a Newbery Medal-winning novel by Louis Sachar. ...


Some palindromes use words as units rather than letters. Examples are "fall leaves after leaves fall", "First Ladies rule the State and state the rule: ladies first" and "Girl, bathing on Bikini, eying boy, sees boy eying bikini on bathing girl". The command "Level, madam, level!", composed only of words that are themselves palindromes, is both a character-by-character and a word-by word palindrome.


Still other palindromes take the line as the unit. The poem Doppelganger, composed by James A. Lindon, is an example.

The dialogue "Crab Canon" in Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach is nearly a line-by-line palindrome. The second half of the dialog consists, with some very minor changes, of the same lines as the first half, but in reverse order and spoken by the opposite characters (i.e., lines spoken by Achilles in the first half are spoken by the Tortoise in the second, and vice versa). In the middle is a non-symmetrical line spoken by the Crab, who enters and spouts some nonsense, apparently triggering the reversal. The structure is modeled after the musical form known as crab canon, in particular the canon a 2 cancrizans of Johann Sebastian Bach's The Musical Offering. Douglas Richard Hofstadter (born February 15, 1945 in New York, New York) is an American academic. ... Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid: A metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll (commonly GEB) is a Pulitzer Prize (1980)-winning book by Douglas Hofstadter, published in 1979 by Basic Books. ... A crab canon is an arrangement of two things that are complementary and backward. ... “Bach” redirects here. ... The Musical Offering (German title Musikalisches Opfer or Das Musikalische Opfer), BWV 1079, is a collection of canons and fugues and other pieces of music by Johann Sebastian Bach, based on a musical theme by Frederick II of Prussia (Frederick the Great) and dedicated to him. ...


Main article: Palindromic number

A palindromic number is a number where the digits, with decimal representation usually assumed, are the same read backwards, for example, 58285. They are studied in recreational mathematics where palindromic numbers with special properties are sought. A palindromic prime is a palindromic number that is a prime number. A palindromic number is a symmetrical number like 16461, that remains the same when its digits are reversed. ... For other uses, see Decimal (disambiguation). ... Recreational mathematics includes many mathematical games, and can be extended to cover such areas as logic and other puzzles of deductive reasoning. ... A palindromic prime is a prime number that is also a palindromic number. ... In mathematics, a prime number (or a prime) is a natural number which has exactly two distinct natural number divisors: 1 and itself. ...


Palindromic dates are of interest to recreational mathematicians and numerologists, and sometimes generate comment in the general media.[4] Whether or not a date is palindromic depends on the style in which it is written. For example, in the dd/mm/yyyy style, the 20th February 2002 (20-02-2002) was palindromic. Look up numerology in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Joseph Haydn's Symphony No.47 in G is nicknamed the Palindrome. The third movement, minuet and trio is a musical palindrome. This clever piece goes forward twice and backwards twice and arrives back at the same place. “Haydn” redirects here. ... A minuet, sometimes spelled menuet, is a social dance of French origin for two persons, usually in 3/4 time. ... Look up trio in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

The interlude from Alban Berg's opera Lulu is a palindrome, as are sections and pieces, in arch form, by many other composers, including James Tenney, and most famously Béla Bartók. George Crumb also used musical palindrome to text paint the Federico Garcia Lorca poem "¿Porque nací?", the first movement of three in his fourth book of Madrigals. Igor Stravinsky's final composition, The Owl and the Pussy Cat, is a palindrome. British composer Robert Simpson also composed music in the palindrome or based on palindromic themes; the slow movement of his Symphony No. 2 is a palindrome, as is the slow movement of his String Quartet No. 1. Bust of Alban Berg at Schiefling, Carinthia, Austria Alban Maria Johannes Berg (February 9, 1885 – December 24, 1935) was an Austrian composer. ... Lulu is an opera by the composer Alban Berg. ... In music, arch form is a sectional way of structuring a piece of music based on the repetition, in reverse order, of all or most musical sections such that the overall form is symmetrical, most often around a central movement. ... James Tenney (August 10, 1934 in Silver City, NM) is an American composer and influential music theorist. ... Bartok redirects here. ... George Crumb (born October 24, 1929) is an American composer of modern and avant garde music. ... Federico García Lorca Federico García Lorca (June 5, 1898 - August 19, 1936) was a Spanish poet and dramatist, also remembered as a painter, pianist, and composer. ... A madrigal is a setting for 4–6 voices of a secular text, often in Italian. ... Igor Stravinsky. ... Robert (Wilfred Levick) Simpson (March 2, 1921 - December 21, 1997) was an English musicologist and composer best known for his symphonies and string quartets. ... The Symphony No. ...

The music of Anton Webern is often imbued with palindromes. Webern, who had studied the music of the Renaissance composer Heinrich Issac, was extremely interested in symmetries in music, be they horizontal or vertical. For one of the most famous examples of horizontal or linear symmetry in Webern's music, one should look no further than the first phrase in the second movement of the Opus 21 Symphony. In one of the most striking examples of vertical symmetry, the second movement of the Opus 27 Piano Variations, Webern arranges every pitch of this dodecaphonic work around the central pitch axis of A4. From this, each downward reaching interval is replicated exactly in the opposite direction. For example, a G-sharp3 – 13 half-steps down from A4 – is replicated as a B-flat5 – 13 half-steps above. Anton Webern (December 3, 1883 – September 15, 1945) was an Austrian composer and conductor. ... Heinrich Isaac (around 1450 - March 26, 1517) was a composer. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Piano Variations of American composer Aaron Copland were written for piano solo from January to October of 1930. ... Twelve-tone technique (also dodecaphony) is a method of musical composition devised by Arnold Schoenberg. ...

In classical music, a crab canon is a canon in which one line of the melody is reversed in time and pitch from the other. Classical music is a broad, somewhat imprecise term, referring to music produced in, or rooted in the traditions of, European art, ecclesiastical and concert music, encompassing a broad period from roughly 1000 to the present day. ... A crab canon is an arrangement of two things that are complementary and backward. ... In music, a canon is a contrapuntal composition that employs a melody with one or more imitations of the melody played after a given duration (e. ...

A palindrome can be heard in the song "Ogre Battle", a Freddie Mercury composition on Queen's second album, produced in 1974. This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

The song "The Divided Sky" by Phish, from the 1988 album Junta, contains a brief musical palindrome near the beginning of the song. This article is about the band. ... Junta album cover Junta was US band Phishs first album, recorded and released in 1988 but not officially hitting stores until May 8, 1989. ...

On the 1999 album Ágætis byrjun by Sigur Rós, the song "Starálfur" contains palindromic string arrangements. Their 2005 album Takk... also contains the palindromic songs "Hoppípolla" and "Með Blóðnasir." Ágætis byrjun (An All-Right Start) is a 1999 album by Icelandic band Sigur Rós. ... Sigur Rós ( ) is an Icelandic post-rock band with melodic, classical, experimental, and minimalist elements. ... Takk. ...

Hüsker Dü's concept album Zen Arcade contains the songs "Reoccurring Dreams" and "Dreams Reoccurring," the latter of which appears earlier on the album but is actually the intro of the former song played in reverse. Similarly, The Stone Roses' first album contains the songs "Waterfall" and "Don't Stop," the latter of which is essentially the former performed backwards. This article is about the rock band called Hüsker Dü. For other uses, see Husker Du. ... Zen Arcade is the third full-length album from the American rock band Hüsker Dü, released in July 1984 on SST Records. ... In music, the introduction is a passage or section which opens a movement or a separate piece. ... The Stone Roses were an influential English rock band from Manchester formed in 1984. ... The Stone Roses is the debut album by The Stone Roses, released in March 1989. ...

The title track of the 1992 album entitled UFO Tofu by Béla Fleck and the Flecktones is said by its composer to be a musical palindrome. UFO Tofu was the third album released by Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, released in 1992. ... Béla Fleck and the Flecktones is a multi-Grammy winning, primarily instrumental group from the USA, that draws equally on bluegrass, fusion and jazz, sometimes dubbed blu-bop. ...

Lutenist/composer Jozef van Wissem has produced two CDs consisting of palindrome compositions for lute, electronics, and field recordings made in railway stations and airport lounges. They are entitled Objects in Mirror are Closer than They Appear (BVhaast 0905) and Stations of the Cross (Incunabulum 004).

On his 1999 CD Thrash, Canadian rock soloist Nash the Slash features a track entitled "Theory of the Black Hole". The recording beings with a rhythm track recorded backwards with music and narration played forwards, the song then repeats itself reversed, with the rhythm track playing forwards and the music and narration played backwards. Nash the Slash Nash the Slash is a Canadian progressive rock, classical, and alternative musician. ...

In 2003 the city of San Diego, California commissioned sculptor Roman DeSalvo and composer Joseph Waters to create a public artwork in the form of a safety railing on the 25th Street overpass at F and 25th Streets. Entitled Crab Carillon, the result is a set of 488 tuned chimes, that can be played by pedestrians as they cross the overpass. Each chime is tuned to the note of a melody, composed by Waters. The melody is in the form of a palindrome, to accommodate walking in either direction. The music can be heard on the City of San Diego Public Art Website. San Diego redirects here. ... Joseph Waters (1952-?) is a member of the first generation of American classical composers who grew up playing in rock bands. ...

"Weird Al" Yankovic's song "Bob", from his 2003 album Poodle Hat, consists of rhyming palindromes and parodies the Bob Dylan song Subterranean Homesick Blues. This article is about the musician. ... Bob is a song and video by Weird Al Yankovic, from his 2003 album Poodle Hat, made up entirely of palindromes. ... Singles from Poodle Hat Released: May, 2003 Released: January 13, 2006 Poodle Hat is the eleventh album by Weird Al Yankovic. ... This article is about the recording artist. ... Subterranean Homesick Blues is a song written by Bob Dylan, originally released on the album Bringing It All Back Home in March 1965. ...

The song "I Palindrome I", by They Might Be Giants, features palindromic lyrics and imagery. The 27-word bridge is word-symmetrical. The I Palidrome I single (from They Might Be Giants 1992 Apollo 18 album) was released in 1992 by Elektra Entertainment. ... This article is about the musical group. ...

The song Bleeding Brain Grow by MC Paul Barman has five palindromes in a row. MC Paul Barman is a hip hop MC from Ridgewood, New Jersey, who attended Brown University. ...

The 2007 re-release of Yoko Ono's song "No, No, No" is credited simply to "Ono", making the artist–title combination a palindrome. For the song by Die Ärzte, see Yoko Ono (song). ... No, No, No is a song by Yoko Ono from the controversial 1981 album Season of Glass. ...


A palindrome in which a recorded phrase of speech sounds the same when it is played backwards was discovered by composer John Oswald in 1974 while he was working on audio tape versions of the cut-up technique using recorded readings by William S. Burroughs. Oswald discovered in repeated instances of Burroughs speaking the phrase "I got" that the recordings still sound like "I got" when played backwards.[5][6] John Oswald (born May 30, 1953 in Kitchener, Ontario) is a Canadian composer, saxophonist, photographer, and dancer. ... The cut-up technique, also known as fishbowling, is an aleatory literary technique or genre in which a text is cut up at random and rearranged to create a new text. ... Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: William S. Burroughs William Seward Burroughs II (February 5, 1914) — August 2, 1997; pronounced ), more commonly known as William S. Burroughs, was an American novelist, essayist, social critic, painter and spoken word performer. ...

Computer programs

Brian Westley wrote a C program for the 1987 International Obfuscated C Code Contest which is a line-by-line palindrome.[7] C is a general-purpose, block structured, procedural, imperative computer programming language developed in 1972 by Dennis Ritchie at the Bell Telephone Laboratories for use with the Unix operating system. ... The International Obfuscated C Code Contest (abbr. ...

Up to the type definitions, here is a compilable almost palindrome written in Caml: Objective Caml (OCaml) is a general-purpose programming language descended from the ML family, created by Xavier Leroy, Jérôme Vouillon, Damien Doligez, Didier Rémy and others in 1996. ...

 type 'a elbatum = 'a ;; type lol = bool ;; type pop = int ;; type b = { mutable lol : lol elbatum } ;; type i = { mutable pop : pop elbatum } ;; 
 fun erongi lol pop n -> pop.lol <- let nuf = erongi;fun erongi lol pop n -> pop.lal ; ignore n in erongi ; lol.pop <- n pop lol ignore nuf ; ignore = fun tel -> lol.pop <- n pop lol ignore nuf ;; 

The problem lies in the angle brackets, which are reversed when reading backwards from the end.

Biological structures

In most genomes or sets of genetic instructions, palindromic motifs are found. However, the meaning of palindrome in the context of genetics is slightly different from the definition used for words and sentences. Since the DNA is formed by two paired strands of nucleotides, and the nucleotides always pair in the same way (Adenine (A) with Thymine (T), Cytosine (C) with Guanine (G)), a (single-stranded) sequence of DNA is said to be a palindrome if it is equal to its complementary sequence read backwards. For example, the sequence ACCTAGGT is palindromic because its complement is TGGATCCA, which is equal to the original sequence in reverse. In biology the genome of an organism is the whole hereditary information of an organism that is encoded in the DNA (or, for some viruses, RNA). ... For other uses, see Gene (disambiguation). ... The structure of part of a DNA double helix Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is a nucleic acid molecule that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms. ... A nucleotide is an organic molecule consisting of a heterocyclic nucleobase (a purine or a pyrimidine), a pentose sugar (deoxyribose in DNA or ribose in RNA), and a phosphate or polyphosphate group. ... For the programming language Adenine, see Adenine (programming language). ... For the similarly-spelled vitamin compound, see Thiamine Thymine, also known as 5-methyluracil, is a pyrimidine nucleobase. ... Cytosine is one of the 5 main nucleobases used in storing and transporting genetic information within a cell in the nucleic acids DNA and RNA. It is a pyrimidine derivative, with a heterocyclic aromatic ring and two substituents attached (an amine group at position 4 and a keto group at... Guanine is one of the five main nucleobases found in the nucleic acids DNA and RNA; the others being adenine, cytosine, thymine, and uracil. ...

A palindromic DNA sequence can form a hairpin. Palindromic motifs are made by the order of the nucleotides that specify the complex chemicals (proteins) which, as a result of those genetic instructions, the cell is to produce. They have been specially researched in bacterial chromosomes and in the so-called Bacterial Interspersed Mosaic Elements (BIMEs) scattered over them. Recently a research genome sequencing project discovered that many of the bases on the Y chromosome are arranged as palindromes. A palindrome structure allows the Y chromosome to repair itself by bending over at the middle if one side is damaged. The structure of part of a DNA double helix Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is a nucleic acid molecule that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms. ... There are other meanings of hairpin In genetics, a hairpin is a part of single-stranded DNA, usually a palindromic sequence, that aligns with itself to form a needle-like structure. ... A nucleotide is a chemical compound that consists of 3 portions: a heterocyclic base, a sugar, and one or more phosphate groups. ... A representation of the 3D structure of myoglobin showing coloured alpha helices. ... This article is about the general scientific term. ... Drawing of the structure of cork as it appeared under the microscope to Robert Hooke from Micrographia which is the origin of the word cell being used to describe the smallest unit of a living organism Cells in culture, stained for keratin (red) and DNA (green) The cell is the... Phyla Actinobacteria Aquificae Chlamydiae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Lentisphaerae Nitrospirae Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Verrucomicrobia Bacteria (singular: bacterium) are unicellular microorganisms. ... The human Y chromosome is one of two sex chromosomes, it contains the genes that cause testis development, thus determining maleness. ...

It is believed that palindromes are also found frequently in proteins,[8][9] but their role in the protein function is not clearly known.

Computation theory

In the automata theory, a set of all palindromes in a given alphabet is a typical example of a language which is context-free, but not regular. This means that it is theoretically impossible for a computer with a finite amount of memory to reliably test for palindromes. (For practical purposes with modern computers, this limitation would only apply to incredibly long letter-sequences.) “Automata” redirects here. ... In mathematics, a set can be thought of as any collection of distinct objects considered as a whole. ... ABCs redirects here. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... In theoretical computer science, a regular language is a formal language (i. ... In the theory of computation, a finite state machine (FSM) or finite state automaton (FSA) is an abstract machine that has only a finite, constant amount of memory. ...

Additionally, the set of palindromes cannot be reliably tested by a deterministic pushdown automaton, and is not LR(k) parseable. When reading a palindrome from left-to-right, It is essentially impossible to locate the “middle” until the entire word has been read. In automata theory, a deterministic pushdown automaton is a deterministic finite state machine that can make use of a stack containing data. ... In computer science, an LR parser is a parser for context-free grammars that reads input from Left to right and produces a Rightmost derivation. ...


Semordnilap is a name coined for a word or phrase that spells a different word or phrase backwards. "Semordnilap" is itself "palindromes" spelled backwards. Semordnilaps are also known as volvograms,[10] heteropalindromes, semi-palindromes, half-palindromes, reversgrams, mynoretehs, reversible anagrams,[11] word reversals, or anadromes.[12] They have also sometimes been called antigrams,[12] though this term now usually refers to anagrams with opposing meanings.

These words are very useful in constructing palindromes; together, each pair forms a palindrome, and they can be added on either side of a shorter palindrome in order to extend it.

The longest single-word instances in English are probably of eight letters, of which examples are:

Other examples include: Maple samara or key A samara is a type of fruit in which a flattened wing of fibrous, papery tissue develops from the ovary wall. ... A diorama is a partially three dimensional model of a landscape typically showing historical events, nature scenes, cityscapes, etc. ...

  • deliver / reviled
  • straw / warts
  • star / rats
  • god / dog
  • stop / pots
  • pot / top
  • lived / devil
  • diaper / repaid
  • war / raw
  • smart / trams
  • spit / tips
  • live/evil

An emirp is a prime that becomes a different prime when the decimal digits are read backwards. An emirp (prime spelt backwards) is a prime number that gives you a different prime when its digits are reversed (not a palindromic prime). ... In mathematics, a prime number (or a prime) is a natural number which has exactly two distinct natural number divisors: 1 and itself. ... For other uses, see Decimal (disambiguation). ...

Non-English palindromes

Palindromes in languages that use an alphabetic writing system work in essentially the same way as English palindromes. In languages that use a writing system other than an alphabet (such as Chinese), a palindrome is still a sequence of characters from that writing system that remains the same when reversed, though the characters now represent words rather than letters. ABCs redirects here. ... Writing systems of the world today. ...

The treatment of diacritics varies. In languages such as Czech and Spanish, letters with diacritics or accents (except tildes) are not given a separate place in the alphabet, and thus preserve the palindrome whether or not the repeated letter has an ornamentation. However, in Swedish and other Nordic languages, A and A with a ring (å) are distinct letters and must be mirrored exactly to be considered a true palindrome. Example of a letter with a diacritic A diacritic or diacritical mark, also called an accent, is a small sign added to a letter to alter pronunciation or to distinguish between similar words. ... For the baseball player known as the Big Tilde, see Magglio Ordóñez. ... The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages, along with the West Germanic languages and the East Germanic languages. ... For other uses of A, see A (disambiguation). ... In punctuation, the term ring is usually reserved for the ring above diacritic mark ˚ (looks similar to °). The ring may be combined with some letters of the extended Latin alphabets. ... The letter Ã… represents various o sounds in the Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, North Frisian, Walloon, Chamorro and Istro-Romanian language alphabets. ...


Japanese palindromes, called kaibun, rely on the hiragana syllabary. An example is the word "newsprint" (しんぶんし shi-n-bu-n-shi?). The Japanese syllabary makes it possible to construct very long palindromes. Kaibun (回文; lit. ... Hiragana ) is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system, along with katakana and kanji; the Latin alphabet is also used in some cases. ... A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent (or approximate) syllables, which make up words. ...


A Chinese word is a character, and is not composed of letters or syllables. Therefore, any Chinese word itself is a trivial palindrome. Chinese palindromes have to be phrases or sentences and are much more easy to construct than in languages written with an alphabet. Some examples of this are:

Palindromic poetry (traditional Chinese: 回文詩; pinyin: huí wén shī) was a literary genre in classical Chinese literature. The "forward reading" and the "backward reading" of such a poem would be similar but not exactly the same in meaning. Although called "palindromic", these poems are often not palindromes in the normal English sense of the word. They do not necessarily have symmetry of characters or sound, but merely need to make sense when read in either direction (and would probably be better referred to as Semordnilaps). The following example was composed during the Song Dynasty: Traditional Chinese characters refers to one of two standard sets of printed Chinese characters. ... Simplified Chinese character (Simplified Chinese: or ; traditional Chinese: or ; pinyin: or ) is one of two standard sets of Chinese characters of the contemporary Chinese written language. ... Pinyin, more formally called Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ), is the most common variant of Standard Mandarin romanization system in use. ... For other uses, see Shanghai (disambiguation). ... Pinyin, more formally called Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ), is the most common variant of Standard Mandarin romanization system in use. ... Public estates in Sheung Shui The busy San Hong Street in Shek Wu Hui Ng Tung River, looking towards Sheung Shui Tin Ping Road Siu Hang Tsuen, a village in Sheung Shui The Shek Wu Hui Municipal Services Building Landmark North A famous ice room (冰室), a kind of café, in... Traditional Chinese characters refers to one of two standard sets of printed Chinese characters. ... The Yale romanizations are four systems created during World War II for use by United States military personnel. ... Traditional Chinese characters refers to one of two standard sets of printed Chinese characters. ... Pinyin, more formally called Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ), is the most common variant of Standard Mandarin romanization system in use. ... Classical Chinese or Literary Chinese is a traditional style of written Chinese based on the grammar and vocabulary of very old forms of Chinese , making it very different from any modern spoken form of Chinese. ... For the movie, see Palindromes (film). ... Northern Song in 1111 AD Capital Bianjing (汴京) (960–1127) Linan (臨安) (1127–1276) Language(s) Chinese Religion Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism Government Monarchy Emperor  - 960–976 Emperor Taizu  - 1126–1127 Emperor Qinzong  - 1127–1162 Emperor Gaozong  - 1278–1279 Emperor Bing History  - Zhao Kuangyin taking over the throne of the Later Zhou...


The "forward reading" of the last sentence is about husband missing wife and father missing son, while the "backward reading" is about son missing father and wife missing husband.

Other languages

Some examples in other languages are:

  • Bengali:"রমাকান্ত কামার " (Romakanto Kamar) and "সুবল লাল বসু" (Subol Lal Bosu) - two names.
  • Brazilian Portuguese: "Socorram-me, subi no onibus em Marrocos" (Help me, I took a bus in Morocco).
  • Bulgarian: Az obicham mach i boza (Аз обичам мач и боза; "I like football and a drink", note ch is the single Bulgarian letter che (Ч)), Nasila zakaraha svinete ni v sahara! - kaza Lisan (Насила закараха свинете ни в Сахара! - каза Лисан; "They took our pigs to Sahara - said Lisan").
  • Czech: "Kobyla má malý bok" (A mare has a low hip), "Jelenovi pivo nelej" (Do not pour beer for a stag).
  • Danish: "Tre negre med fane, en af dem er genert" (Three negroes with (a) flag, one of them is shy).
  • German: "Ein Neger mit Gazelle zagt im Regen nie” (A negro with a gazelle never quails in the rain).
  • Dutch: "Nelli plaatst op 'n parterretrap 'n pot staalpillen" (Nelli places a jar of iron pills on the downfloor stairs)
  • English: "Go hang a salami, I'm a lasagna hog"
  • Esperanto: "Ora trovo: vortaro" (A golden find: a dictionary).
  • Estonian: "Kuulilennuteetunneliluuk" (The hatch of the tunnel of ballistic trajectory), "Aias sadas saia" (It was raining white bread in the garden)
  • Finnish: "Innostunut sonni" (an excited bull), "Saippuakivikauppias" (a lye salesman). The latter is also the longest palindromic word in the world with a real meaning.
  • French: "Esope reste ici et se repose" (Aesope stays there and rests), "Elu par cette crapule" (elected by this scoundrel).
  • Greek: "Νίψον ανομήματα, μη μόναν όψιν" (Wash the sins, not only the face)
  • Hebrew: "?אבי אל חי שמך למה מלך משיח לא יבא" (Eternal Father be Thy name, why hast the King Messiah not yet come?), "דעו מאביכם כי לא בוש אבוש, שוב אשוב אליכם כי בא מועד" (Know from your forefathers that I will not be embarrassed, I will return to you at the appointed time.)
  • Hungarian: "Kis erek mentén, láp sík ölén odavan a bánya rabja: jaj, Baranyában a vadon élő Kis Pálnét nem keresik!" (Along the small streams and in the flat lap of the moorland gone the prisoner of the mine: oh, nobody looks for Ms. Kis Pál who lived in the woods of Baranya.)
  • Irish: "A Nóinín, níl an rí anocht ar Ráth Conair, ná linn. In Iona." ("Nettle, the king is neither tonight on Conair's fort, nor with us. In Iona.")
  • Italian: "Autore, ero tua" (Author, I was yours), "I topi non avevano nipoti" (The mice had no grandchildren).
  • Korean: "소주 만병만 주소" (Please give me 10,000 bottles of alcohol).
  • Latin: "Sum summus mus" (I am the greatest mouse), "Si nummi immunis" (If you have money, you will be free {an inscription on the door in a lawyer's office}), "In girum imus nocte et consumimir igni" (We enter the circle at night and are consumed by fire.")
  • Latvian: "Alus ari ira sula" (Beer is juice too).
  • Lithuanian: "Sėdėk užu kėdės" (Sit behind the chair).
  • Norwegian: "Agnes i senga" (Agnes in bed).
  • Polish: "Może jutro ta dama da tortu jeżom" (Perhaps tomorrow this lady will give hedgehogs a cake).
  • Romanian: "Aerisirea" (the ventilation); "Era o tipă răpitoare" (she was a ravishing woman); "Alina m-a luat să stau la Manila" (Alina took me to stay in Manila); a palindromic letter: "Dragă Ileana, aci m-a atacat Rada cu Luca, dar tac. A ta amică, Ana-Elia Gard" (Dear Ileana, here I was attacked by Rada and Luca, but I say nothing. Your friend, Ana-Elia Gard).[13] As usual in Romanian crosswords, scrabble, and other word games, diacritics in palindromes are often ignored.
  • Russian: "Он дивен, палиндром: и ни морд, ни лап не видно" (On diven, palindrom: i ni mord, ni lap ne vidno; It's wonderful, a palindrome: and neither muzzles, nor paws are visible).
  • Serbian: "Ana voli Milovana" (Ana loves Milovan)
  • Spanish: "Dábale arroz a la zorra el abad" (The abbott was giving rice to the vixen), "La ruta nos aportó otro paso natural" (The route provided us with another natural passage), "Anita lava la tina" (Anita cleans the bathtub).
  • Swedish: "Gnupung" (Gnu scrotum), "Ni talar bra Latin" (You speak Latin well), "Bor edra gråvita fat i vår garderob?" (Do your grey-white plates live in our wardrobe?).
  • Tagalog: "Nasa bayabasan" (In the guava fields).
  • Tatar: "Ata kadak ata" (Father throws a nail).
  • Telugu: "vikatakavi" (comedy poet).
  • Turkish: "Anastas kazak satsana" (Anastas, sell a sweater).
  • Welsh: "Lladd dafad ddall" (Kill a blind sheep), and "Nawr ydy rwan" (now [southern spelling] is now [northern spelling]).

Bangla redirects here. ... Brazilian Portuguese (português do Brasil in Portuguese) is a group of dialects of Portuguese written and spoken by virtually all the 190 million inhabitants of Brazil and by a couple of million Brazilian emigrants, mainly in the United States, United Kingdom, Portugal, Canada, Japan, and Paraguay. ... Che (Ч, ч) is a letter of the Cyrillic alphabet, representing the consonant cluster /tS/ or /tS/ (like the ch in change). Categories: Cyrillic letters | Stub ... This article discusses the medical condition. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... This article is about the language. ... Hebrew redirects here. ... Iona is a small island, in the Inner Hebrides, Scotland. ... For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ... Serbian (; ) is one of the standard versions of the Shtokavian dialect, used primarily in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, and by Serbs in the Serbian diaspora. ... Tagalog (pronunciation: ) is one of the major languages of the Republic of the Philippines. ... The Tatar language (Tatar tele, Tatarça, Татар теле, Татарча) is a Turkic language spoken by the Tatars. ... Telugu redirects here. ... Welsh redirects here, and this article describes the Welsh language. ...

See also

An animation of a rotationally symmetric ambigram for the word ambigram An ambigram, also sometimes known as an inversion, is a graphical figure that spells out a word not only in its form as presented, but also in another direction or orientation. ... For the game, see Anagrams. ... Backmasking (also known incorrectly as backward masking)[1] is a recording technique in which a sound or message is recorded backwards onto a track that is meant to be played forwards. ... A palindromic place is a city or town that can be spelt either from left to right or right to left identically. ... A phonetic palindrome is a portion of sound or phrase of speech which is identical or roughly identical when reversed. ... A palindromic number is a symmetrical number like 16461, that remains the same when its digits are reversed. ...


  1. ^ Honoring the first exile of Napoleon
  2. ^ By Leigh Mercer, published in Notes and Queries, 13 Nov. 1948, according to The Yale Book of Quotations, F. R. Shapiro, ed. (2006, ISBN 0-300-10798-6). The "man" may refer to Theodore Roosevelt or Ferdinand Lesseps, both instrumental in the realization of the Panama Canal.
  3. ^ A reference to the creation story in the Bible.
  4. ^ "Party like it's 20/02/2002", BBC News, 20 February, 2002
  5. ^ Section titled "On Burroughs and Burrows ..."
  6. ^ Reversible audio cut-ups of William S. Burroughs' voice, including an acoustic palindrome in example 5 (requires Flash)
  7. ^ Brian Westley's palindromic C code
  8. ^ Ohno S. Intrinsic evolution of proteins. The role of peptidic palindromes. Riv. Biol. 1990;83(2-3):287-91, 405-10. Entrez PubMed 2128128
  9. ^ Giel-Pietraszuk M, Hoffmann M, Dolecka S, Rychlewski J, Barciszewski J. Palindromes in proteins. J Protein Chem. 2003 Feb;22(2):109-13. Entrez PubMed 12760415
  10. ^ Merriam-Webster's Open Dictionary
  11. ^ AskOxford: What is the word for a word which is another word spelt backwards?
  12. ^ a b Anagrams FAQ Page - Are there any unusual varieties of anagram?
  13. ^ (Romanian) Gheorghe Niculescu, Florentin Smarandache, Parada marilor enigme

For other uses, see Napoleon (disambiguation). ... For other persons named Theodore Roosevelt, see Theodore Roosevelt (disambiguation). ... Ferdinand de Lesseps Ferdinand de Lesseps (November 19, 1805–December 7, 1894) was a French diplomatist and maker of the Suez Canal; he was born at Versailles. ... The Panama Canal is a waterway in Central America which joins the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. ... For other uses, see Bible (disambiguation). ... Adobe Flash - previously called Shockwave Flash and Macromedia Flash - is a set of multimedia technologies developed and distributed by Adobe Systems and earlier by Macromedia. ... The Entrez logo The Entrez Global Query Cross-Database Search System allows access to databases at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) website. ... The Entrez logo The Entrez Global Query Cross-Database Search System allows access to databases at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) website. ...

External links

Look up Palindrome in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 151 languages. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is one of a family of wiki-based projects run by the Wikimedia Foundation, running on MediaWiki software. ...

  Results from FactBites:
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Palindrome is committed to showing your work in its best light through the application of creative visual concepts and state-of-the-art technology.
Palindrome is based in Crofton, Maryland, conveniently located in central Maryland - but we serve clients nationwide.
From the sketchpad, to the computer, to the rooftop, Palindrome will be there to enhance your projects with a new level of visual performance.
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Palindromic reversion is a device for breaking up the linearity of speech and, by implication, the irreversibility of time.
It seems that palindrome writers and critics in the nineties tend to thematize revolution and change due to their increasingly conscious recognition of the 'revolutionary' semantics of the genre.
Palindromic letter revolution and reversion is readable as an artistic form of cultural critique and as a culture's desire for reorganization and reversal.
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