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Coded Palindromes

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17356.  Sun Apr 10, 2005 6:32 am Reply with quote

When the great speculation over Inspector Morse's first name was at its height, Esrom was a favourite of mine mainly because Esrom Morse is palindrominc both in english and Morse code (such symmetry!!!).

Anybody know of other palindromic words in both english and morse?

Last edited by Morkris on Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:43 pm; edited 1 time in total

17359.  Sun Apr 10, 2005 6:58 am Reply with quote

Hannah is a palindromic name.

17368.  Sun Apr 10, 2005 9:00 am Reply with quote

There's the famous Biblical palindromic introduction - "Madam, I'm Adam"

To which the only possible reply is, "Eve"

17385.  Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:44 pm Reply with quote

A different topic is the apparent imbalance between male and female pallindromic names

17403.  Sun Apr 10, 2005 7:53 pm Reply with quote

I can't think offhand of any male pallindromic names!

wibble the lobster
17407.  Mon Apr 11, 2005 3:37 am Reply with quote

what do you call a man with no arms and no legs found floating in the middle of the ocean?


I'll get my coat.

17429.  Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:57 am Reply with quote

"otto" is a male name that's a palindrome in morse as well as english (--- - - ---). It's also made up entirely of dashes.

As for other phrases that are palindromes in morse as well, how about "he emits time eh" (.... . . -- .. - ... - .. -- . . ....)

Though that's slightly cheating as you have to leave out the comma and question mark :(

But, since the morse letters e, h, i, m, o, p, r, s, t, and x are palindromic in and of themselves, any palindrome using only those letters will be a palindrome in morse code as well.

Like "See prime emir pees" or "eros emits times ore"

17456.  Mon Apr 11, 2005 5:46 pm Reply with quote

See prime emir pees?

17467.  Tue Apr 12, 2005 6:14 am Reply with quote

Well, an "Emir" is "a ruler of particular Muslim countries in the Middle East". If there was a particularly good Emir, he might be described as a "prime emir" amongst his friends. And if one of them caught him urinating behind a tent......


17479.  Tue Apr 12, 2005 1:40 pm Reply with quote

Excellent !!! Will be making up phrases all night !

17481.  Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:07 pm Reply with quote

There's a chap here: who has written a palindrome-generating programme which has given him a 17,256 word palindrome. Regrettably, it makes no sense.
Speed: Once I started running my program, it seemed almost too easy. I had it print a message every time it finds a palindrome that is 200 words longer than the last one, and it consistently prints this message every second; so in 3 or 4 seconds it breaks Hoey's record, and in 30 seconds it is over 6000 words. At around 8000 words progress slows to about 1,000 words per minute, and by around 10,000 to 12,000 words progress is sporadic. This is because we are running out of good words: there are 126,000 words in the dictionary, but only about 10% of them are easily reversible. For example, there are 426 words that contain "eq" or "sq", but these are hard to use in a palindrome because there are no words containing "qe" or "qs", and only a few words that end in "q" (and could then be followed by a word starting with "e" or "se".

17482.  Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:07 pm Reply with quote

Able was I ere I saw Elba

17483.  Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:13 pm Reply with quote

Between 1971 and 1980, the Guinness people kept a record for longest palindrome. During that time the record increased from 242 words to 11,125. I guess they came to their senses and dropped the category. The editor of the Palindromist scoffs at epic palindromes, and thinks that the poems of Mike Maguire ( are the finest examples of the form. Determining quality is murkier than counting the words. You could evaluate long palindromes in the academic sense - were they published? in print, right? by whom? - then you’d be down to three (to my knowledge), of which 2002 was published by the most credible publisher (wink) and is still in print (neither Satire Veritas (58,795 words, 1980) nor Dr. Awkward and Olson in Oslo (31,954 words, 1986) can be easily found nowadays, though Spineless may bring them back).

Incidentally, though Nick has pointed out the distinction is meaningless, both of these are longer than Norvig’s, even if they have mutliple sentences. It is not clear whether either of these was computer-assisted. But I have seen them both, and neither is as gimmicky or derivative as Norvig’s. Their relative incomprehensibility makes them more aesthetically rich than a list of nouns.

But how about evaluating the quality of a palindrome using a Darwinian approach - such classics (yes, classics!) as “A man, a plan, a canal: Panama” have more or less become memes, entering popular consciousness at least as deeply as the sonnets of Shakespeare. This method of ranking palindromes favors the short ones, and requires that we know who wrote them and when, which information has not entered the popular consciousness, but which is available to those who want to do the research.

17499.  Wed Apr 13, 2005 3:29 am Reply with quote

When I was at primary school and did a project on words and phrases, I learned that the longest palindrome in the English Language was redivider, at the time I took it as read, but thinking about it now, I can’t even decide if that actually is a word.

Anyway, my question was going to be (as I know there are a number of linguists on these pages) is English more conducive to palindromes? I take it the Romans will have been into them as well – they liked their word-games – what about other cultures?

17510.  Wed Apr 13, 2005 4:07 am Reply with quote

Finnish is unquestionably the palindrome-seeker's language of choice.
The longest single English word in common usage which is a palindrome is REDIVIDER, although the contrived chemical term DETARTRATED is two letters longer. In Finnish there is a 25-letter palindromic word: SOLUTOMAATTIMITTAAMOTULOS which means the result from a measurement laboratory for tomatoes, although technically it is a compound of four words. There is also the equally long SAIPPUAKUPPINIPPUKAUPPIAS which means soap cup trader.


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