Palindrome Words and Phrases in English

The word palindrome might look a little intimidating, but its meaning is quite simple.

A palindrome word or phrase simply refers to those words or phrases that read the same right-to-left or left-to-right. In such cases, punctuation and capitalisation are not taken into account while reversing the order of the alphabets.

For instance, the phrase, ‘was it a cat I saw‘ can be written backwards as, ‘was it a cat I saw‘ (ignoring capitalisation). Interesting, isn’t it?

Palindromes can be quite amusing once you start noticing them. English language offers many palindrome words and phrases. Some of them are given below:


“Madam” is a term used to respectfully refer to a woman. It is one of those words that you learn very early in life, or when you’re very much interested in historical dramas on Netflix.

“Ma’am”, contracted version of “madam”, is also a palindrome.


“Racecar” is another famous example of a palindrome. It refers to a very fast car that is used for professional automobile racing.


“Ailihphilia” literally means love for palindromes and this term was deliberately constructed by adding -philia with its reversed spelling.

Similarly, the term “aibohphobia” was deliberately constructed to show an irrational fear of palindromes.


“Tattarrattat” is often considered to be the longest palindrome in English language and was coined by James Joyce in his famous work, Ulysses (1992), to imitate the sound of a knock on the door.

On top of being a palindrome, “tattarrattat” is also an example of onomatopoeia, which means that it’s a word that sounds just like what it’s describing.

Quick information: The world’s longest palindrome in everyday use is a Finnish word of 19 letters – “saippuakivikauppias” which translates to a salesman who sells caustic soda in English.


“Dennis sinned” is actually a famous instance of palindrome phrase that is nonsensical in nature and doesn’t really refer to anything specific. Though, watch out for Dennis; he seems to be a bad influence!


“Taco cat”? It could be a cat dressed as a taco. Sounds cute, doesn’t it?

Check out some hilarious cat costumes here!


Seems like something your teacher might say when you’ve been nodding too much in class. We’re hoping those are NOT sleepy nods, or you’ll be in trouble!


When life gives you lemons, you turn them into melons. Wait! That’s an amazing example of an anagram (word formed by rearranging the letters of another word).


Eva seems to be an apiologist (someone who studies bees). Though what these bees are doing in a cave is something we’ll never know.


We think Santa Claus is bored of living at the North Pole and has taken up a part-time job at NASA. Though living as a devil is something he would never do, would he?

Quick information: The words “lived” and “devil” are the exact reverse arrangements of each other, but they differ in their meanings. Such examples are called emordnilap (which is the exact reverse arrangement of palindrome).

Some examples of emordnilap words are given below:


Check out the given video for a better understanding of palindromes

Know more palindromes? Comment your answers below.

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