Emordnilaps

A palindrome is a word or sentence that reads the same in both directions. Examples include Malayalam, madam, and flee to me, remote elf.

Have you ever wondered what the opposite of a palindrome is?

Well a word that becomes a different word when spelled backwards is known as a reverse pair, or an emordnilap, which is palindrome spelled backwards.

Apparently one of the first sightings of emordnilaps in the wild occurred back in February 2014 on the blog Wordsmythologic in a post that defined emordnilap as “any word that, when spelled backwards, produces another word”.

According to Wikipedia, another word for an emordnilap, is a semordnilap, or palindromes spelled backwards. It was probably first used by recreational linguist Dmitri Borgmann, and appeared in C. C. Bombaugh’s Oddities and Curiosities of Words and Literature (1961). Other names include anadrome, half-palindrome, heteropalindrome, reversgram, reversible anagram, semi-palindrome, word reversal and levidrome.

Some examples of emordnilaps / semordnilaps include: avid diva, drab bard, snub buns, stressed desserts, mined denim and regal lager. Actually, when written like this, these are palindromes, but I’m sure you get the idea.

Sources: Snopes, signtwordsgame

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