PALINDROMES  Fun by Brownielocks

Palindromes are read the same forwards and backwards letter by letter.
In some cases, such as Palindrome poetry, they can be forward and backward word by word,
or sentence by sentence.

Here is an example of a sentence that reads the same letter by letter forward and backward:

Go hang a salami; I'm a lasagna hog! (Jon Agee)

Here is an example of a sentence that reads the same word by word forward and backward:

Blessed are they that believe that they are blessed.

The word palindrome isn't one.   But words such as noon, toot, peep, mom, dad, pop, Eve, kook, did, wow are.

Ironically, the word Palindromes when done as an anagram becomes:
"Splendor am I!"

The year 2002 is also a palindrome number.
It will not happen again in your lifetime?
The next palindrome year is 2112.
So have a Happy New 2002!

Also... 911 is a palindrome number if done in Roman Numerals.

Aibohphobia is the fear of palindromes.
(I don't know if this is true. But if you look at the word, but AIBOHP is phobia backwards. )


History of the Palindrome

If you never heard of one until now, don't feel bad.  Palindromes aren't as common as anagrams (see our page on those) and there is not really a lot of historical information about them. My guess is that literacy was only among the wealthy, aristocrats or religious people in the past.  And, IMHO palindromes are much more challenging intellectually than anagrams are. So they seem to be a secret among the old scholars of the past on their origins.  Only samples remain, many of which have authors who use pen names. Perhaps it was an embarrassment to be able to compose foolish verse?  Palindromes are done in several languages, with French being the assumed language of origin since it was for the anagram as well.

I gave you simple palindromes above as a fast example. But there are many more that impress me with their brilliance.  Most of them were written in the 18th century which also tells me that without the distraction of television, radios, computers, movies etc. people had more time to THINK and create. And so they did.

There are entire poems that are done as a palindrome.  I will give you several examples on palindromes as words, phrases and entire poems below.

The first publication of palidromic poetry was in 1802 by a Greek named Ambrose Hieromonachus Paperes titled "Ethopoiia Karkinike." This is a 416 line poem composed of short lines.

Below are two short poems that letter by letter  reads the same forwards and backwards.  Don't ask me exactly what it means. ;)

Ida by the Window
Howard Bergerson

Ma, I so resign.
It's all a poet air.
Ben is, I see, so Greek.
In sly dissent I wore no gay ruff.
O see by a brae his nag roll or yaw?
Awol laws (as are every god's) are a dire rod.

"Aye, fade with gin--O, too wispily,
Sordid rosy lips I wooe.
(Tonight I wed a fey adorer, Ida.)
Eras do gyre--veer as a swallow away.

Roll, organs I hear! Bay, bees of fury ago!
Nero, witness idyls Nike ergo sees!
Is inebriate Opal lasting? Is Eros?
I am!"


Stitches in Time
J.A. Linden

We sew,
Nell, Edna,
Ada --
hem, eh?)
--Enid and Nadine
loop, spin, snip
"Damosel" silk, cut
elastic--"I'll iron,"
went on Sal.
"A ruffle's a slip!" I railed.
No, not to cod,
Di held e'en
needle hid?
Do cotton on, Delia!
Rip Ilsa's elf-fur--
alas, not new
nor illicit sale--
tuck lisle so mad,
pin, snip, spool...
Enid and Nadine
hem, eh?
and Ellen,
we sew.


J.A. Linden

Entering the lonely house with my wife
I saw him for the first time
Peering furtively from behind a bush -
Blackness that moved,
A shape amid the shadows,
A momentary glimpse of gleaming eyes
Revealed in the ragged moon.
A closer look (he seemed to turn) might have
Put him to flight forever -
I dared not
(For reasons that I failed to understand),
Though I knew I should act at once.

I puzzled over it, hiding alone,
Watching the woman as she neared the gate.
He came, and I saw him crouching
Night after night.
Night after night
He came, and I saw him crouching,
Watching the woman as she neared the gate.

I puzzled over it, hiding alone -
Though I knew I should act at once,
For reasons that I failed to understand
I dared not
Put him to flight forever.

A closer look (he seemed to turn) might have
Revealed in the ragged moon
A momentary glimpse of gleaming eyes
A shape amid the shadows,
Blackness that moved.

Peering furtively from behind a bush,
I saw him, for the first time
Entering the lonely house with my wife.

The King of the Palindrome. 
This is a true story!

In 1881 (notice the numbers are the same forward and backward?) a man was born named Sydney Yendys (his name is also palindrome!).  
I am not sure in which town he was born, but he married a girl named Edna and had a daughter named Edna.  He worked for 5 yrs. as a bookkeeper with OK Cartrac Ko.
(Reads the same forward and backward too!)  
Business grew and an assistant was hired for Sydney, named Wordrow
(another palindrome!). One day Wordrow said to his boss, "Have you ever noticed that your entire name is a palidrome?" Sydney had never heard of the word before. After Wordrow explained it to him, with two examples: "It's a word or sentence that reads the same forward and backwards like the word 'level' or 'Rats live on no evil star.'" 

So, Sydney wrote his name on a piece of paper, and then wrote it backwards and exclaimed, "Sure enough, you're right!"

From that day on, Sydney became obsessed with palindromes. He is considered the "Father of the Palindrome" by many wordsmiths because more than any other man of his time, and perhaps in history so far he devoted his entire life to them? He spent all of his spare time fuddling around with words. One day he saw the results of a palidromic contest published in his weekly paper. The winner was Levin Snivel (palidrome name!) who wrote a twelve octosyllabic line poem. (He and Sydney were to become life-long competitors). Sydney was energized! He wrote a twenty decasyllable poem and sent it to the publisher, who did publish is.  But he also sent his regrets that it had not been sent in in time for his contest (or he'd have won). Snivel heard about this and then wrote a palindromic poem of forty duodecasyllables. And ol' Sydney countered with the same kind of poem only composed of 60. Thus we have dueling poets!!

After Snivel wrote a poem of 114 syllabled lines, Sydney decided it was time for some major action. He decided to write a full-length novel that was one entire palidrome titled, "D'neeht" and started instantly.  

Fortunately, he could do this because he got a nice inheritance to live on (relative unknown) so he could quit bookkeeping and devoted all his time writing this palindromic novel. Of course, this wrecked havoc on his personal life! .His wife left him, taking their daughter with her. Well, duh? Ironically Sydney never even noticed they left! He kept on with his novel writing and writing and writing.

How long did it take?  30 years!!!  The palindrome novel was finally done -- or was it?

Sydney threw a party for a few of his closest friends, with a nice fire, wine and all the rest.  He presented the large stack of typewritten papers of the novel, "D'neeht" and said it was an anti-war novel. Upon looking closely at the first sentence which read, "Snug and raw was I, ere I saw war and guns," they gasped.

It was underlined in red and as all good friends, they had suggested merely rewriting it to read, 
"Snug & raw was I, ere I saw war & guns."

(Do you see his big error? The "and" was never a palindrome?)

Sydney's lips quivered, jaw dropped and perspiration formed on his brow. He picked up the entire manuscript and walked over to the fireplace and tossed it in!  An artistic perfectionist as Sydney would never compromise his integrity. Thirty years had been wasted. He then produced a pistol and well.....Need I say more?

Carved on Sydney Yendy's tombstone were the following words,

"In my end is my beginning."

Mr. Sydney Yendy's seems to have been born, destined, preordained and cursed with being a palindromist till he died.

It's a shame Sydney tossed it in the fire. :(  I think millions would have enjoyed his novel, regardless of that one flawed sentence. I know I would have loved to have read it or seen it.


Information is credited to George Marvil in the following book:
 "Palindromes and Anagrams" by Howard W. Bergerson
Dover Publications, Canada © 1973
It's a great story and we are glad they both shared it. :)


Below are some examples of palindromic sentences.
Authors are unknown.

Did Hannah say as Hannah did?

Draw, O Coward!

Evade me, Dave.

Evil is a name of a foeman, as I live.

Live not on evil.

Ma is a nun, as I am.

Marge lets Norah see Sharons telegram.

No lemons, no melon.

No Misses ordered roses, Simon.

Nurse, I spy gypsies, run!

Pull up, Eva, we're here, wave, pull up.

Poor Dan is in a droop.

"Rats gnash teeth," sang Star.

"Revolt, love!" raved Eva. "Revolt, lover!"

Rise to vote, Sir.

Roy Ames, I was a wise mayor.

See, slave, I demonstrate yet arts no medieval sees.

Sir! I demand, I am a maid named Iris.

"Slang is not suet, is it?" Euston signals.

Step on no pets!

Tessa's in Italy, Latin is asset.

Too bad, I hid a boot.

Too far away, no mere clay or royal ceremony, a war afoot.

Too far, Edna, we wander afoot.

Was it felt? I had a hit left, I saw.

We'll let Dad tell Lew.

Won't lovers revolt now?

Yo! Bottoms up, U.S. Motto, boy!

Here is a palindromic owl conversation that's silly and fun by George Marvill.

"Too hot to hoot!"
"Too hot to woo!"
"Too wot?"
"Too hot to hoot!"
"Too woo!"
"Too wot?"
"Too hoot! Too hot to hoot!"
(Note this palindrome isn't 100% back and forth. It's the 1st 4 lines and then
those are done backwards by the last 4 lines. "Too Hot To Hoot" in the middle is the division sentence.)

Finally, there is the palindrome done word by word, not letter by letter in the above works.  Below is a poem that is the same read backwards and forwards WORD by WORD, even the title!

Love is This and This is Love
J.A. Linden

Darling, my love 
Is great, so great;
Recalling Heaven's calm above.
Fate is sweet this---
All after Fall!
Fall? After all,
This, sweet, is fate--
Above calm Heaven's recalling.

Great, so great is
Love, my darling!


Palindromes were mostly done in the 1800's.
I find them the most challenging of all word puzzles.
Not many new ones have been done since the 1930's.  I suspect television has played a major role in taking people's minds off of creating their own form of games, whether with words or objects?

But, here is a recent poem that was sent to me by Mark Scrivener to put on this page. I think it's very well done. You will see that it reads the same (word by word) forward and backward, at the same time portrays its meanings.

             DUSK TO DAWN                      
(Vice Versa)
Rays of sun now burn and shine.
Haze of red, horizon's line,
Gleams and glows now far away,
Beams with dreams dissolving day.
So it comes and this is born-
Glow with dusk reversing dawn.
Light of hours now goes to dark,
Night removing daylight's spark.

Spark lights day, removing night.
Dark too goes, now hours of light
Dawn, reversing dusk with glow.
Born is this and comes it so.
Day, dissolving dreams with beams,
Way afar now glows and gleams.
Line horizons, red of haze!
Shine and burn now, sun of rays!

                                             ©MARK SCRIVENER 2006

* On 7/21/14 Mark wrote me and changed this line stating, "This is still palindromic by sound and makes sense
and keeps the rhythm."



Here are a few news ones written by Mark Saltveit of

No panic -- I nap on.

Go! (Daffodils slid off a dog.)

He re-sold a baseball? Abe's a sore loser, eh?

Meg, add a word row!  Add a gem!

Spit and polish Tom's moths?  I lop DNA tips!

Woe! Metal pots? No. Not L.A. coffee.  Beef focal to nonstop, late meow.




Try to keep the palindrome tradition going into this generation.
 Create some yourself! Share them!



For more word fun, visit our other pages:

Enjoy some very strange words from our past; or, ones very seldom used today.

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