A palindrome is a word, phrase or number that can be read and spelled the same way in either direction. Although palindromes amount to nothing more than literary trivia, they sure can tickle your funny bone!

Do you have any favorite palindromes? Common word palindromes include civic, radar, level, rotor, kayak and race car.

Palindromes can also consist of entire phrases, such as “step on no pets.” In the case of these longer palindromes, such as “no lemon, no melon,” just ignore spacing when reading them backward.

Language isn’t the only place you’ll find palindromes. For example, the number 9339 is a palindromic number.

Palindromic dates, such as 01/02/2010, fascinate many people, too. The next palindromic date will be November 2, 2011 (11/02/2011).

You can even find palindromes in music. Joseph Haydn’s Symphony 47 in G Major is often called “The Palindrome” because the third movement, minuet and trio create a musical palindrome. The piece is played forward twice, then backward twice, arriving where it began.


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  1. 1. We’ve been talking about palindromes for 2 weeks now. How ironic that you would post this.

    2. The kids loved Weird Al’s video, which took us on a short history ride through Bob Dylan’s great work.


    • We’re glad you and your kids like the Wonder AND the video, Kristin! Those were some pretty clever palindromes, wouldn’t you say? :-)

    • Thank you for sharing about that cool commercial, Patti! We WONDERed more about it after we received your comment, so we checked it out! Seeing the words typed on the screen was really neat! Thanks for being a WONDERful Wonder Friend…enjoy your day! :-)

    • Hi there, Wonder Friend EYEBYE! We agree, it would be cool if a palindrome was actually called an emorddrome, or something like that! :-)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • What is a palindrome?
  • What is a palindromic date?
  • Can you find palindromes in music?

Wonder Gallery

Wonder #101- Palindrome Static Image2Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Was it a car or cat I saw? Rats live on no evil star! Yo, banana boy!

Palindromes can be read forward or backward, but sometimes they say the silliest things. Choose a palindrome from the list below, and draw or paint a silly picture to go with it.

  • Madam, I’m Adam!
  • Step on no pets.
  • No lemon, no melon.
  • Was it a car or a cat I saw?
  • A man, a plan, a canal, Panama.
  • Go hang a salami. I’m a lasagna hog.
  • Was it a rat I saw?
  • Lisa Bonet ate no basil
  • Rats live on no evil star
  • Yo, banana boy!
  • Rise to vote, sir.

We would love to see what you come up with! When you’re finished, email or send a copy of your palindrome pictures to Wonderopolis.

Wonderopolis HQ
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Louisville, KY 40202-4237


Still Wondering

Do your children enjoy playing with words? The fun doesn’t have to end with palindromes. Visit ReadWriteThink.org to use a fun, interactive tool to create alliterative acrostic poems!


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