Top 10 Palindromes

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Palindromes are the most symmetrical words and phrases you’ll ever encounter.  Also, the most amusing, when you think of the nonsense and ambiguous meanings that can come from trying to achieve perfect syntactical harmony.  Here are ten for those who like to read things front to back (and then back to front again).

Not on the list are the ones we’ve heard a million times (e.g. “race car,” “go hang a salami, I’m a lasagna hog,” etc.) or any “a man, a plan…Panama” derivatives on which record-breaking, 15-thousand-word-plus palindromes are built, but rather the most tickle-inducing palindromes to stumble upon haphazardly.

(Note: these entries and a ton more appear on Palindromelist.net, a great site for word geeks.)

10.  Aibohphobia

phobia

Ironically, “aibohphobia” is the fear of palindromes.  Which begs the question: how can a doctor diagnose this condition in all sensitivity?  Actually, this term is a facetious one, rather than a clinical one, appearing in a satirical dictionary of computer terms called the Computer Contradictionary.  In that way, it is not even technically a real word but, since being coined, it has been picked up and run away with enough to where you can’t consider it any less of a word than Facebook (v).

9.  Malayalam

malayalam

This word (a real one) is a language; in particular, one that is spoken in Southern India.  A derivative of Sanskrit and Tamil, the Malayalam alphabet contains the most letters of all the Indian languages.  And if you think this word is too obscure to be uttered nonchalantly, more than 50 million people who speak the language would beg to differ.

8.  Ya, Decaf.  FACE DAY!!

decaf

Here is the first of the amusing, largely-nonsensical palindromic phrases.  How many times do you find yourself expressing to your decaffeinated beverage that today is, in fact, the esoteric holiday known as “Face Day”?  Not often, presumably.

7.  Won’t I Panic In A Pit Now?

latrinepit

Wouldn’t we all panic in a pit?  If that pit is an orchestra pit, that panic is known as stage fright.  This is one palindromic phrase of several that uses “won’t” and “now” as end caps, the usual formula for constructing such a phrase being to burn the candle at both ends and work from the outside in.

6.  Too Far, Edna.  We Wander Afoot

ednakrabappel

The journey being described to Edna is both long yet inevitable.  Another palindrome that doubles as a sort of Confucianist expression, great wisdom is shown to derive from pure and utter meaninglessness.  Meaningful meaninglessness it is; Yoda must’ve penned this one.

5.  Test Tube Butt Set

testtubes

Yes, a test tube butt set: part of every young chemist’s lab set.  Although, what kind of experiments would be performed using such a set sounds pretty frightening.  This grouping of words is simple, yet incredibly amusing in how it manages to maintain a scientific theme in the presence of said butt.

4.  Ten Animals I Slam In A Net

dunkinganimal

We would all love to know which animals those are that the creator of this phrase makes a habit of “slamming in a net.”  Completely meaningful, this phrase is one of the better that makes absurd humor of strategic word configuration.

3.  Swap God For A Janitor; Rot In A Jar Of Dog Paws

morganfreemangod

This palindrome evokes the movies Bruce Almighty and The Island of Doctor Moreau; how else but through a palindrome could you arrive at such a bizarre pairing of images, other than for the fact that the title characters in each “play God” by some means or another.  The latter part about the dog paws sounds like the cruelest kind of insult you could possibly hurl at one of your enemies.

2.  No, Mel Gibson Is A Casino’s Big Lemon

melgibson

Agreed, Mel Gibson is a casino’s big lemon.  Like a casino, he’s extremely wealthy and, like a lemon, he leaves a bitter taste in your mouth even though he looks so sweet and harmless in pictures.  The creator of this palindrome deserves to be applauded, and to be in charge of coming up with the title for Mel Gibson’s next big action franchise (Mel Gibson is…A Casino’s Big Lemon…coming soon to a theater near you).

1.  T. Eliot, Top Bard, Notes Putrid Tang Emanating, Is Sad. I’d Assign It A Name: Gnat Dirt Upset On Drab Pot-Toilet

tseliot

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For a crock of randomness, this phrase is surprisingly coherent: T. Eliot likely refers to poet T.S. Eliot (he is identified as “top bard”), as a malodorous scene is depicted (“putrid tang emanating”), one which said “top bard” is “sad” and “gnat dirt upset” about.  It appears our poet wishes for a more pleasant, perhaps cleaner, bathroom experience.


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54 Comments

  1. The most famous palindrome is when Adam met Eve he said: ” MADAM,I’M ADAM.

    Perhaps not the most famous but the first.

    • A man, a plan, a caret, a ban, a myriad, a sum, a lac, a liar, a hoop, a pint, a catalpa, a gas, an oil, a bird, a yell, a vat, a caw, a pax, a wag, a tax, a nay, a ram, a cap, a yam, a gay, a tsar, a wall, a car, a luger, a ward, a bin, a woman, a vassal, a wolf, a tuna, a nit, a pall, a fret, a watt, a bay, a daub, a tan, a cab, a datum, a gall, a hat, a fag, a zap, a say, a jaw, a lay, a wet, a gallop, a tug, a trot, a trap, a tram, a torr, a caper, a top, a tonk, a toll, a ball, a fair, a sax, a minim, a tenor, a bass, a passer, a capital, a rut, an amen, a ted, a cabal, a tang, a sun, an ass, a maw, a sag, a jam, a dam, a sub, a salt, an axon, a sail, an ad, a wadi, a radian, a room, a rood, a rip, a tad, a pariah, a revel, a reel, a reed, a pool, a plug, a pin, a peek, a parabola, a dog, a pat, a cud, a nu, a fan, a pal, a rum, a nod, an eta, a lag, an eel, a batik, a mug, a mot, a nap, a maxim, a mood, a leek, a grub, a gob, a gel, a drab, a citadel, a total, a cedar, a tap, a gag, a rat, a manor, a bar, a gal, a cola, a pap, a yaw, a tab, a raj, a gab, a nag, a pagan, a bag, a jar, a bat, a way, a papa, a local, a gar, a baron, a mat, a rag, a gap, a tar, a decal, a tot, a led, a tic, a bard, a leg, a bog, a burg, a keel, a doom, a mix, a map, an atom, a gum, a kit, a baleen, a gala, a ten, a don, a mural, a pan, a faun, a ducat, a pagoda, a lob, a rap, a keep, a nip, a gulp, a loop, a deer, a leer, a lever, a hair, a pad, a tapir, a door, a moor, an aid, a raid, a wad, an alias, an ox, an atlas, a bus, a madam, a jag, a saw, a mass, an anus, a gnat, a lab, a cadet, an em, a natural, a tip, a caress, a pass, a baronet, a minimax, a sari, a fall, a ballot, a knot, a pot, a rep, a carrot, a mart, a part, a tort, a gut, a poll, a gateway, a law, a jay, a sap, a zag, a fat, a hall, a gamut, a dab, a can, a tabu, a day, a batt, a waterfall, a patina, a nut, a flow, a lass, a van, a mow, a nib, a draw, a regular, a call, a war, a stay, a gam, a yap, a cam, a ray, an ax, a tag, a wax, a paw, a cat, a valley, a drib, a lion, a saga, a plat, a catnip, a pooh, a rail, a calamus, a dairyman, a bater, a canal – Panama!

  2. You would think that lists of “The Top Ten” this and that would (could) go on forever. Obviously I’m mistaken. Toptenz.net seems to have hit rock bottom. This list wins the “boob” award.

      • Many times I’ve said this or that list is great and well-written but if I think one is a dud (like this one), I thought I should be able to say so as well. I guess not.

        • yes you should be, these list’s have gone down hill man! I miss the bizarre and weird stuff!! who cares about Palindromes???

        • Cynthia, obviously this site is not to your high standards. While I will ignore your name calling (comment was deleted), I will take the high road and ask, what lists you would be interested in seeing. Any suggestions?

          And before anyone else roasts this list, it was written at my request. Blame me, blame me, not the writer. ::hiding my face in shame::

          Luckily it appears that a few people found it interesting.

        • Dennis and Cynthia – neither of you run websites for a living, you both work 9-5 and very likely are living paycheque to paycheque. Don’t insult.

        • I do! I generally like 2 out of 10 articles from every website with lists. But that’s OK. It’s unrealistic to expect every list to amaze you.

        • Blame?–That’s a little strong-I don’t think anyone is blaming anyone. This is not an accusation. It’s not a civil tort to put up a silly list. Rob,Cynthia and I thought this list was lame (and it is) and opined to that fact. it would be pretty boring,it seems to me, to have a site like this where everybody was a “me too.” Controversy stirs interest. You also missed “boob” and “dud” in my comments.(What a sly person Dennis is and what a slow person the TopTenzMaster is)) (kidding) And no,you don’t have to thank me for putting life into your site.
          (Since I can’t display one,imagine a smiley face below.)

        • Ken-Why is it that those with the lowest IQ’s (such as yourself) always claim to know all about others? Now get out your 8X 10 glossy of Rosie O’Donnell and keep quiet while you’re drooling.

  3. Wow. I left the first post to this list and it said simply, “Stupid”, because that is what I think of this list. Now it’s gone. Good job mods. “Stupid” is so very offensive.

    I still think this list is stupid. I’m not in the habit of flaming people online, but this has got to be one of the most stupid lists. Half of the palindromes are obviously made up as they are completely nonsensical.

    • Methinks you know not what a palindrome is…”half the palindromes are obviously made up”…uh ya, how else does a palindrome come to be? In vitro fertilization?

      • I think what he means is the words are meaningless.
        “Swap God For A Janitor; Rot In A Jar Of Dog Paws’ may technically be a palindrome but what does it mean? Nothing.-It makes no sense-So these were obviously made up and I agree with Rob.

    • IF just writing “stupid” is the best you can do, then don’t post a comment. You can criticize, but put some thought behind it and explain your reasons. Next time think your comment through and make it worth reading. Just writing stupid, is well, stupid. And it will get deleted every single time. Just like writing fail will get a deletion.

      • Did you read my entire new post? Obviously it was thought out. I even mentioned that I’m not in the habit of flaming people. I’m so sorry to have offended you, oh great Master.

        None of this has anything to do with the fact that this list is below the standards of the site, but, hey, at least you’re on top of weeding out comments you don’t like.

        So you’ve got that going for you.

        • Yes, this time you wrote more and the comment was left. So you have learned something; so you’ve got that going for you. I’m weeding out comments that don’t add to the list, such as your first comment. If I was deleting comments I don’t like, your last comment would be gone too. 😉

  4. I am a poet, wryter, and lover of language and I want to say that I love this list. Just because a list may not be to your liking does not necessarily make it a “bad list”. I found the list interesting, a little quirky and fun. TopTenz, keep up the good work! 🙂

  5. i am indeed a wryter. i have been a wryter for most of my life. It was a gift from God, because personally, i don’t think that “I” should be in the middle of “writing”! 😉

    • I agree–I draw and paint and I consider myself an artyst. But I have to go to the doctor now because I have a cist on my rear end.

      • Well, that is par for course during a man’s lyfe cicle.
        I’d imagine that cist keeps you off your by-cicle
        You must train your body, Tri Tico
        if you “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”!
        Oh, why’d you have to DYE MYCHAEL!!!”

  6. I prefer palindromes where even the spaces and punctuation are the same both directions. Otherwise it’s kinda like cheating. My favorite: “rats live on no evil star”

  7. I was sent here by a link that had a pic of a sign with this palindrome: Go hang a salami, i’m a lasagne hog. Pretty good.

  8. i have a whole book of palindromes. its called “SO MANY DYNAMOS” its got hundreds. including one that takes up a full page

  9. Dammit I’m mad.
    Evil is a deed as I live.
    God, am I reviled? I rise, my bed on a sun, I melt.
    To be not one man emanating is sad. I piss.
    Alas, it is so late. Who stops to help?
    Man, it is hot. I’m in it. I tell.
    I am not a devil. I level “Mad Dog”.
    Ah, say burning is, as a deified gulp,
    In my halo of a mired rum tin.
    I erase many men. Oh, to be man, a sin.
    Is evil in a clam? In a trap?
    No. It is open. On it I was stuck.
    Rats peed on hope. Elsewhere dips a web.
    Be still if I fill its ebb.
    Ew, a spider… eh?
    We sleep. Oh no!
    Deep, stark cuts saw it in one position.
    Part animal, can I live? Sin is a name.
    Both, one… my names are in it.
    Murder? I’m a fool.
    A hymn I plug, deified as a sign in ruby ash,
    A Goddam level I lived at.
    On mail let it in. I’m it.
    Oh, sit in ample hot spots. Oh wet!
    A loss it is alas (sip). I’d assign it a name.
    Name not one bottle minus an ode by me:
    “Sir, I deliver. I’m a dog”
    Evil is a deed as I live.
    Dammit I’m mad.

  10. With reference to MALAYALAM: I am among those 50 million who has Malayalam as mother tongue. I believe that people who are speaking Malayalam can be found almost in every countries. There is even a saying: “Wherever you go, you will find a Malayali”. I think in America itself there is lot of people who even are US citizens originally a Malayali. Check your neighborhood fella’s, there might be more than one Malayali families…… 🙂

  11. Vijaykumar Chalasani on

    In a Sanskrit poem – Sishupala Vadha – “slayng of Sishupala” – the 27th stanza is an example of what has been called “the most complex and exquisite type of palindrome ever invented”, Sanskrit aestheticians call it sarvatobhadra, “perfect in every direction” — it yields the same text if read forwards, backwards, down, or up even diagonally:

    ????????????- ???????????? ?
    ?????? ??????- ???????????? ?

    sak?ran?n?rak?sa- k?yas?dadas?yak?
    ras?hav? v?has?ra- n?dav?dadav?dan?.

    sa k? ra n? n? ra k? sa
    k? ya s? da da s? ya k?
    ra s? ha v? v? ha s? ra
    n? da v? da da v? da n?
    (and the lines reversed)
    n? da v? da da v? da n?
    ra s? ha v? v? ha s? ra
    k? ya s? da da s? ya k?
    sa k? ra n? n? ra k? sa

    “[That army], which relished battle (ras?hav?) contained allies who brought low the bodes and gaits of their various striving enemies (sak?ran?n?rak?sak?yas?dadas?yak?), and in it the cries of the best of mounts contended with musical instruments (v?has?ran?dav?dadav?dan?).”

    http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Shishupala_Vadha

  12. Vijaykumar Chalasani on

    Dennis Smith – I fully agree with you. When I have a hard on, I do go a google for a related term and reach there. This is a wrong forum altogether for a list of sexes.

    • Vijaykumar Chalasani

      How long did it take for them to get you out of Chernobyl after your brain melted. At least that’s what they’re saying on google so it must be true.

  13. steveinsandiego on

    better later than never. i think this is the best of the best, a cartoon i saw in a book about palindromes. a lady of the night is refusing her services in an oklahoma city:

    a slut nixes sex in tulsa.

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