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All About Palindromes

Updated on December 14, 2008
The Oldest Known Palindrome, at 100 AD
The Oldest Known Palindrome, at 100 AD

So What's a Palindrome?

A palindrome is a word, number, phrase, or sequence of symbols that appears identical whether read fronwards or backwards. For instance, mom and dad are both palindromes, as you read them identically both ways. The number 12234543221 is also a palindrome. The concept of a palindrome is simple, but oftentimes palindrome puzzles are extraordinarily difficult to solve.

A History of the Palindrome

So where did the concept of a Palindrome originate from?  Well, although it is impossible to know exactly when the palindrome was created, the earliest known use of the palindrome is copied above this.  It was found in the ancient Roman city of Herculaneum, and dated at around 79 AD.  Since then it's use has spread to various cultures, and now most every culture has some ancient historic palindromes. 

Kinds of Palindromes

There are numerous kinds of palindromes; some are more obviuos than others, but all can be considered palindromes if you use the definition widely enough.

Words - This is a most basic use of a palindrome. Tenet, mom, and dad are all great examples of palindromes. The longest English single word palindrome record, however, is the word "tattarrattat" from the Oxford English Dictionary (it means a knock ont he door). The longest word period that is a Palindrome belongs to the Finnish word "saippuakuppinippukauppias"

Phrases - There have been some pretty long phrases that are palindromes.  One example is "LIVE EVIL".  If you search the internet you can undoubtedly find hundreds upon hundreds of palindromes.  The longest ones are over 10,000 words.

Music - Some famous musicians have decided to make their music a palindrome; that is, that it plays the same way whether played frontwards or backwards.  It's a pretty spectacular feat to manage that 

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      sam 6 years ago

      not helping

    • profile image

      Li 6 years ago

      Hate this so difficult to use wish it could help with some palindromes.BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    • profile image

      Li 6 years ago

      Hate this so difficult to use wish it could help with some palindromes.BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!