Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Odds & Ends

Yreka Bakery, Yrella Gallery
Yreka Bakery and Yrella Gallery
A fear of palindromes is known as aibohphobia. If you thought someone who feared palindromes is a aibohphobic, you'd be wrong. The word is cibohphobic.

A semordnilap is a word that is a reverse of another word. For example, stressed spelled backward is desserts.

A TOYOTA is a palindrome and forms a mirror image (space, what space?). Civic is a car model from Honda, but it's not as good (the palindrome, no judgment on the car!).

In Yreka, California, there used to be a bakery called Yreka Bakery. It ran for more than 100 years before closing down. A new business opened on its premises Yrella Gallery.

The longest single-word palindrome in any dictionary is tattarrattat, in the Oxford English Dictionary. It means a knock on the door and was coined by James Joyce in Ulysses.

The longest palindromic place name is Nerren Nerren (12 letters) in Australia. It's both a letter- and a word-palindrome.

Peter Norvig of Google has come up with a 21,012 word palindrome A man, a plan, a caretaker, ... Komarek, a ter, a canal, Panama in his quest to find the world's longest palindrome. Google's AI is still trying to figure out the meaning of that 21k-word-long sentence.

The longest palindrome in Morse code is for the word incalescence: .. -. -.-. .- .-.. . ... -.-. . -. -.-. .

.. -. -.-..-.-.. . ... -.-. . -. -.-. .
i n c a l e s c e n c e

Palindromes have a special significance in genetics.

This is a palindromic URL: https://wordsmith.org/words/sdrow/gro.htimsdrow//:sptth. It works!

According to Guinness, the longest one-word palindrome in any language is saippuakivikauppias (19 letters), but it's not a very common word. It means a soapstone merchant and these days how many people sell soapstone only.

Palindromes occur in music as well. For example, Lulu, an opera by Alban Berg, has a palindromic sequence.

Lulu opera
A palindromic passage in Lulu

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