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  1. Unregistered

    Words spelled backwards

    Ok, I know that a word which is spelled the same backward as it is forward is a palindrone; such as MOM.

    However, I'm curious, when someone spells a word backwards, intentionally, does it have a specific term that it is called? Ex: If someone were to spell the word "Backwards" as "sdrawkcaB", would there be a term for it other than 'backwards text'. I don't think there is, however a friend of mine insists there is.

    Could someone please resolve this ongoing debate?

    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    Re: Words spelled backwards

    mirror-writing, except that the direction of the letters is also reversed

  2. Soup's Avatar
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    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • English
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      • Canada
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    • Join Date: Sep 2007
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    Re: Words spelled backwards


    I know of four more terms:

    reverse speech
    backmasting [in songs]
    backward speech
    Shilgne Language [from "English" spelled backwards]

    Click here to read more about Shilgne, a new language | KidPub

    This site mentions the origin of Shilgne:
    Cradle of Filth

    • Join Date: Feb 2010
    • Posts: 1

    Re: Words spelled backwards


    Semordnilap is a name coined for a word or phrase that spells a different word or phrase backwards. "Semordnilap" is itself "palindromes" spelled backwards. According to author O.V. Michaelsen, it was probably coined by logologist Dmitri A. Borgmann and appeared in Oddities and Curiosities, annotated by Martin Gardner, 1961. Semordnilaps are also known as volvograms, heteropalindromes, semi-palindromes, half-palindromes, reversgrams, mynoretehs, reversible anagrams,word reversals, or anadromes.They have also sometimes been called antigrams,though this term now usually refers to anagrams with opposing meanings.
    These words are very useful in constructing palindromes; together, each pair forms a palindrome, and they can be added on either side of a shorter palindrome in order to extend it.
    The longest single-word English examples contain eight letters:
    • stressed / desserts
    • samaroid (resembling a samara) / dioramas
    • rewarder / redrawer
    • departer / retraped (construction based on the fact that verb trape is recorded as an alternative spelling of traipse)
    • reporter / retroper (construction based on the fact that trope is recorded as a verb, meaning "to furnish withtropes")
    The pair stratagem / mega tarts contains nine letters.
    Other examples include:
    • was / saw
    • gateman / nametag
    • deliver / reviled
    • straw / warts
    • star / rats
    • lived / devil
    • live / evil
    • diaper / repaid
    • smart / trams
    • spit / tips

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