Fun with Palindromes and Emordnilap

by | Jul 9, 2019

Its a Tacocat!

This past week I was hanging with my young cousin Jones and he wore a shirt proclaiming that TACOCAT spelled backwards is also TACOCAT and thus is a palindrome. Awesome! A palindrome is a word, number or phrase that is the same whether spelled forwards or backwards. Today’s IFOD is about interesting palindrome facts and the related concept of the Emordnilap. First, here’s a very strange video of a great song by the band Tacocat:

Longest Palindromes

  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest palindromic word is the Finnish word saippuakivikauppias, weighing in at 19 letters and means a “dealer of lye.”
  • What is the longest palindrome word in English? According the Guinness Book of World Records it’s “detartrated” at 11 letters which is a term used with chemicals which means to remove tartrates” which are organic compounds.
  • The Oxford English Dictionary states that the longest English palindromic word is “tattarrattat“, 12 letters long, from the novel Ulysses by James Joyce and which describes the sound of someone knocking on a door. Thus, its also an onomatopoeia.
  • The longest palindromic phrase using words is reportedly 1,155,699 words. It was obviously created via computer program and is nonsense (yet impressive). It’s here.

More Fun With Palindromes

‘Aibohphobia’ is a term used to describe the fear of palindromes

Common names that are Palindromes:

  • Bob
  • Anna
  • Eve
  • Hannah
  • Ada
  • Elle
  • Otto
  • Ava

Some common palindrome words:

  • Racecar
  • Madam
  • Rotor
  • Civic
  • Kayak
  • Level
  • Mom
  • Noon

Some palindromic phrases:

  • A man, a plan, a canal: Panama.
  • Dammit, I’m mad
  • Was it a rat I saw?
  • Do geese see God?
  • A Toyota’s a Toyota
  • Never odd or even
  • A nut for a jar of tuna
  • No lemon, no melon
  • Acrobats stab orca
  • Some men interpret nine memos.
  • Gateman sees name, garageman sees nametag.


Emordnilap is palindrome spelled backwards and means any word that when spelled backwards creates another word. For example:

  • Desserts and stressed
  • Stop and pots
  • Reward and drawer
  • God and dog
  • Sleep and peels
  • Lager and regal
  • Snug and guns
  • and so on . . . lots of them


  1. I’m actually a lasagna hog though…

  2. I used a text when I taught a Humor in Literature class in the 70’s. It is probably out of print, but the title story is one palindrome, beginning to end. Look, Ma, I Am Kool! and Other Casuals, by Burton Bernstein. It’s a very fun book.

  3. Chris, I had a a chuckle…

  4. Oh John, why don’t you:

    Go hang a salami — I’m a lasagna hog!

    • Now THAT’S impressive!


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