A Semordnilap is a name designating a word or phrase that spells a different word or phrase backwards. “Semordnilap” is  “palindromes” spelled backwards.  My wife encountered interesting children’s names as she visited teenage mothers as part of her nursing career.  One that I recall was Semaj [ pronounced see majz].  My wife asked, “Is that an old family name?”  The young mother said, “No, it’s James- backwards.”

Recently in the Toledo area, a young girl was murdered and had the odd name, Nevaeh.  Later, I found out that it is a semordnilap of “Heaven.”  Easy ones are Bob, Ada and Hannah. Then there is Werdan for Andrew and Harobed for Deborah. What’s yours?

Sometimes a palindrome of a name renders it ethnic such as Mike becoming Ekim– almost biblical. Or  Rednaxela for Alexander.  Ekardum [Egyptian?]  for Mudrake.  Ybbor [Yiddish?] for  Robby and Ennazus [Greek?]  for Suzanne. The Russian-sounding Assenav comes from Vanessa.

But wait!  November 2, 2011 (11/02/2011) arrives next year.  One can only imagine what names clever moms will give to babies born on that day!

For a more thorough study of the effects of child-naming, see this link.


3 thoughts on “Semordnilaps

  1. todorcim kcirtap….not incan, basque or even finnish…this might be a primitive example of a brain damaged bosnian with a speech impediment from 3,000 bc….

  2. Would YOU recognize your name, first and last, backwards, Microdot? Further, if someone ran a blog and allowed ‘open ID’ comments, would you wonder who the author was if it was listed as Sr.Horar Abrab?

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