Word of the Day: Palindrome

Word of the Day

Today’s word of the day is palindrome. It’s a noun that refers to “a word, line, verse, number, sentence, etc., reading the same backward as forward, as ‘Madam, I’m Adam’ or ‘Poor Dan is in a droop.’” In the study of biology, it means “a region of DNA in which the sequence of nucleotides is identical with an inverted sequence in the complementary strand” (https://www.dictionary.com/browse/palindrome?s=t). According to www.etymonline.com, it enters the language in the “1620s, from Greek palindromos ‘a recurrence,’ literally ‘a running back.’ Second element is dromos ‘a running’ (see dromedary); first is palin ‘again, back,’ from PIE *kwle-i-, suffixed form of root *kwel- (1) ‘revolve, move round.’ PIE *kw- becomes Greek p- before some vowels.”

Here are some examples of palindromes.

Some single word palindromes: Anna, civic, kayak, level, madam, mom, noon, racecar, radar, redder, refer, repaper, rotator, rotor, sagas, solos, stats, tenet, wow (https://examples.yourdictionary.com/palindrome-examples.html).

Some phrases that are palindromes:

Don’t nod.

I did, did I?

My gym

Red rum, sir, is murder

Step on no pets

Top spot

Was it a cat I saw?

Eva, can I see bees in a cave?

No lemon, no melon.

Here are some from grammarly.com:

A nut for a jar of tuna.

Al lets Della call Ed “Stella.”

Amore, Roma.

Borrow or rob?

Taco cat

Was it a car or a cat I saw?

Murder for a jar of red rum.

In this one, it is the words that are the same from front to back: King, are you glad you are king?

The poem “Doppelganger” reads the same from bottom to top as it does from top to bottom (https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/216-poetry-lyrics-and-essays/61045377), making it a kind of poetic palindrome.

So why it today’s word palindrome? Today’s date, written out in just numbers, is 02022020, a numeric palindrome no matter where you live. It can also be 20200202. Some palindrome dates happened only in the UK, where the day number is listed before the month number, like February 20, 2002, which in the UK was 20022002 but in the US was 02202002. There can also be palindrome dates if the 0 of the first number, whether day or month, is left off, but that won’t be a global palindrome day.

The next time a date will be a global numeric palindrome will be 12122121 (or, with the year first 21211212), over 100 years from now. If you like numbers, if you’re the kind of person who notices when the odometer of your car hits 100,000 or 67,876, then you think today’s date is pretty cool. If you’re not at all interested in such number sequences, then move on. But keep this in mind: the last time there was a palindrome day was 909 years ago: 11111111.

The image is from the BBC, which has called those of us celebrating palindrome day “geeks.” The word geek entered the English language…. Never mind.