Palindromes

Palindromes

Harris G., Staff Writer

     A palindrome is a word or phrase that is spelled the same both forwards and backward. Palindromes are one of the most fun properties of words. Here are some of my favorite palindromes:

 

  1. Racecar: This is perhaps the most popular palindrome of all time, and it’s easy to see why: it’s short, simple, and a good introduction to the concept.
  2. Tacocat: This is another extremely popular palindrome, probably because it’s so cute!
  3. Kayak: Similar to racecar, this is short and simple, although this one is even easier to tell that it is in fact a palindrome, as it’s practically yelling it. It’s also special because it uses the letter k, which is not a very common letter, and it’s especially uncommon to appear at the very start and the very end of a word like it does in this one.
  4. Rotator: This one is a bit harder to see, and it’s interesting because rotator is a commonly misspelled word, as many people spell it “rotater.” Thank goodness this is the correct spelling, as it’s much more fun.
  5. Tattarrattat: This is a word most people don’t even know exists, and it’s also the longest one-word palindrome in the English language. Tattarrattat is a word that refers to the sound of knocking on a door.
  6. Saippuakivikauppias: This is not an English word, but it’s the longest known palindrome out of any language in the world! It’s a Finnish word for a soapstone vendor.

 

Palindromes can also be made of multiple words, in which case spaces and other punctuation are ignored:

 

  1. No lemon, no melon: This is a fascinating sentence because not only is it palindromic, it’s also composed of two separate phrases, “no lemon” and “no melon” that only have one difference!
  2. A man, a plan, a canal, panama: This is not only the name of a film from 1987, but it’s also a palindrome! It’s rather long, too, making it all the more special.
  3. First ladies rule the State and state the rule: ladies first: This is not a true palindrome, rather, it’s a word palindrome. This means that it’s composed of the same words backward and forwards, instead of letters.
  4. A man, a plan, a cameo, Zena, Bird, Mocha, Prowel, a rave, Uganda, Wait, a lobola, Argo, Goto, Koser, Ihab, Udall, a revocation, etc: This 17,259 word palindromic sentence created by Google employee Peter Norvig’s computer program is the world’s longest palindrome made completely of unique words. 

 

     In conclusion, palindromes are one of the most interesting word types. Though they don’t have a deep meaning about life or about the universe, palindromes are entertaining and fun! And evidently, so is learning about them.