Consider the word rotor. Whichever way you read it, from left to right or from right to left, you get the same word.

Is there any specific word for words like this?

  • 1
    A little tip! You may first check 'Reverso' dictionary that gives you a word depending on the description. Test it: Search: word that reads the same reverse and see the magic! :)
    – Maulik V
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 8:33
  • @User1 Different people use different conventions to signify a linguistic structure... I've seen all-caps used by many newbies around ELL that don't know the English-language conventions. Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 15:00

2 Answers 2


This is called a palindrome:

a word, verse, or sentence (as “Able was I ere I saw Elba”) or a number (as 1881) that reads the same backward or forward



As it is clear from the meaning that it is not only limited to words, but phrases, sentences and numbers, too. Allowances may be made for adjustments to capital letters, punctuation, and word dividers.


  • Nurses run.
  • A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
  • A Santa lived as a devil at NASA.
  • 12321

There is another word, semordnilap, which is nothing but palindromes spelled backward. However, semordnilap is a name coined for words that spell a different word in reverse.


stressed <=> desserts


Wiki and Merriam-webster

  • 4
    One of my favorite palindromes of all is the Crab Canon, found in the book Gödel Escher Bach, by Hofstadter. Is essentially a palindromic conversation, and worth a mention just for its sheer genius.
    – J.R.
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 16:08
  • 1
    There is also this Weird Al spoof on a Bob Dylan song filled with palindromes.
    – Octopus
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 20:00
  • "the word X is nothing but Y spelt backwards. however, it is also Z" - hmm, doesn't make much sense Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 21:47
  • @J.R. A palindrome poem called “Doppelgänger” by James A. Lindon is worth mentioning.
    – Usernew
    Commented Nov 7, 2015 at 6:41

That is called a palindrome; as the Google dictionary defines it:

A word, phrase, or sequence that reads the same backwards as forwards

  • At first you mixed it up with pantomime, as the link still showed it :-)
    – Impair
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 15:48
  • @Impair Ah didn't realize it thanks for pointing it out.
    – CipherBot
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 23:41

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