Palindrome

A palindrome is any number, word, sentence, or a combination of all these which, when reading backward, is the same as when reading forward. Henry Peachman, in his book The Truth Of Our Times, first published the word Palindrome back in the year 1638. 

Humans have known Palindrome for a long time now as the first evidence of Palindrome found dates back to 79 AD in the burnt city of Herculaneum. This Palindrome is popularly known as the Sator Square and is a Latin palindrome consisting of the words “Sator Arepo Tenet Opera Rotas.”

We encounter palindromes everyday in our lives because some of the most common words used by us humans in everyday life are palindromes. For example, MOM and DAD are unarguably two of the most commonly used words all around the world, and yes, they are palindromes. 

Many times, many words are not palindromes themselves. When read backward, however, it is also a word but with a different meaning. For example, take the English word LIVE. When you read it backward, we get the word EVIL, which is completely different from LIVE. But if you put both the words together like LIVE EVIL, it forms a palindrome. 

James Joyce first penned the largest Palindrome in English dictionary in Ullesse in the year 1922. The word is tattarrattat and is the longest English Palindrome, and it means a knock on the door. Detartrated, Rotavator, and Malayalam are some other Long Palindromic words. 

When it comes to the longest Palindrome in any language, the word is SOLUTOMAATTIMITTAAMOTULOS. It is a Finnish word and is 25 letters long. There also exists another 25 letters long Palindrome and is SAIPPUAKUPPINIPPUKAUPPIAS, and it means trader of soap cups. 

When it comes to the smallest palindromes, there are two two-letter words aa(A type of Volcanic lava) and oo(a Hawaiian Bird, which now is extinct). 

In the English language, there are many sentences too, which are palindromes, and the following are some of the most common palindromic sentences.

  1. Was it a cat I saw?
  2. Neither odd nor even. 
  3. Top spot. 

Coming to palindromic sentences, the first palindromic sentence appeared back in 1614. It is mentioned in a book called “ The Funny Side Of English” and is authored by O.A.Booty. The sentence is, “Lewd did I live & Evil did I dwel. ”

There are some palindrome poems in existence as well. Read the following poem, for example.

“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

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.”

We can see in this poem above that it is a palindrome, not because of the letters in it. But it reads the same if we start reading from top to bottom or from bottom to top. The poem is the same in both cases. 

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