Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

For example:

  • Lamina / Animal
  • Dog / God
  • Ogre / Ergo
  • Desserts / Stressed
  • Tuba / Abut

These are all anagrams, but they are a special type of anagram, where the order of letters is exactly reversed. They aren't palindromes, as they spell a different word when read backwards. I feel like there should be some sort of latin-sounding name for them, but the best I can come up with is the rather imprecise-sounding "backwards words", "mirror anagrams" or "reverse spelling pairs"...

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

I have seen a couple different terms used for this. The first is anadrome and the second, more facetiously, is semordnilap. They both mean essentially the same thing: a word (or phrase, as is the case with semordnilap) that spells another word or phrase backwards.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.