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A ‘palindrome’ is a word, number, phrase or other sequence of characters which reads the same backward as forward, such as madam, eye, kayak, refer, civic, level or Hannah. The word was apparently coined in 1638 by Henry Peacham using the Greek roots ‘palin’ (meaning again, back) and ‘dromos’ (meaning running). So literally ‘palindrome’ means running back again. However, there is evidence of the use of palindromes dating back to 70CE. Today, there are even palindrome competitions.

Sentences can also be palindromes but you usually need to ignore capitalisation, punctuation and word boundaries for them to make sense!

Palindrome Activities

  • Create palindrome artwork (see image above).
  • Provide a definition and have students find or match it to the correct palindrome.

  • Give students a list of places which are palindromes and ask them to find the country in which each place is located (see list at the bottom).
  • Although not exactly a palindrome, have students write a story which although the sentences are always read forward, the story itself can be read forward or backwards. See Turn it Around (scroll down to listen to video story).

List of Palindromes and Palindrome Phrases

  • kayak
  • bib
  • deified
  • rotator
  • repaper
  • deed
  • peep
  • wow
  • noon
  • civic
  • level
  • mom
  • nan
  • pop
  • bird rib
  • taco cat
  • Borrow or rob?
  • Never odd or even.
  • We panic in a pew.
  • Won’t lovers revolt now?
  • Ma is a nun, as I am.
  • Don’t nod.
  • Sir, I demand, I am a maid named Iris.
  • Was it a car or a cat I saw? 
  • Yo, Banana Boy! 
  • Eva, can I see bees in a cave?
  • Madam, in Eden, I’m Adam. 
  • A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!
  • Never a foot too far, even. 
  • Red roses run no risk, sir, on Nurse’s order. 
  • He lived as a devil, eh?
  • Ned, I am a maiden. 
  • Now, sir, a war is won!
  • Evade me, Dave!
  • Dennis and Edna sinned. 
  • Step on no pets!
  • No lemon, no melon
  • Top spot

Palindrome Places

  1. Abiriba, Nigeria
  2. Acaiaca, Brazil
  3. Aka Aka, New Zealand
  4. Akasaka, Japan (Tokyo)
  5. Alavala, Andhra Pradesh, India
  6. Aramara, Australia
  7. Ateleta, Italy (L’Aquila)
  8. Aworowa, Ghana
  9. Burggrub, Germany
  10. Callac, Brittany, France
  11. Ebenebe, Anambra, Nigeria
  12. Eleele, Hawaii, United States
  13. Etsaste, Estonia
  14. Glenelg, Highland, Scotland
  15. Haddah, Yemen
  16. Hallah, Yemen
  17. Hammah, Lower Saxony, Germany
  18. Heddeh, Khuzestan, Iran
  19. Idappadi, Tamil Nadu, India
  20. Ikazaki, Ehime, Japan
  21. Itamati, Odisha, India
  22. Kanakanak, Alaska, United States
  23. Killik, Antalya, Turkey
  24. Kinikinik, Alberta, Canada
  25. Kinikinik, Colorado, United States
  26. Lal Lal, Victoria, Australia
  27. Margram, West Bengal, India
  28. Mussum, Bocholt, Germany
  29. Neuquén, Argentina
  30. Noagaon, Bangladesh
  31. Notton, West Yorkshire, England
  32. Okonoko, West Virginia, United States
  33. Oktahatko, Florida, United States
  34. Paraparap, Victoria, Australia
  35. Planalp, Switzerland
  36. Qaanaaq, Greenland
  37. Renner, South Dakota, United States
  38. Sarras, Ardèche, France
  39. Selles, Eure, France
  40. Semmes, Alabama, United States
  41. Sennes, South Tyrol, Italy
  42. Senones, Vosges, France
  43. Serres, Macedonia, Greece
  44. Staats, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
  45. Tabbat, Urmia, West Azerbaijan, Iran
  46. Tommot, Sakha Republic, Russia
  47. Ubulubu, Delta State, Nigeria
  48. Wassamassaw, South Carolina, United States
  49. Woddow, Germany
  50. Yessey, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia