A palindrome is a word or a phrase that is the same if you read it from left to right or from right to left. The words wow and radar are palindromes, for example. The origin of the word is Greek, meaning “running back again”.

A classic palindrome is a bit of imaginary dialogue from the Garden of Eden, when Adam introduced himself to Eve (whose name is also a palindrome):

“Madam, I’m Adam.”

Another classic palindrome describes the reflections of former emperor Napoleon Bonaparte during his exile on the island of Elba. It centres on the archaic word ere, meaning “before”:

Able was I ere I saw Elba.

A more contemporary palindrome records what the satisfied owner of a certain make of Japanese automobile might say:

A Toyota’s a Toyota!

As you might imagine, today there are whole websites dedicated to palindromes, although it is quite difficult to create a complete palindromic expression that actually makes sense.


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