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I'm aware of what a palindrome is. What do you call words that, when reversed, form other words, such as ton (not) and part (trap)?

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8  
I hereby nominate backwords as a neologism to cover this term. –  Robusto Jul 11 '11 at 0:24
7  
I nominate drowkcab. –  Jay Elston Jul 11 '11 at 1:14
    
@Jay Elston Hello Might and Magic player. –  Alan Jul 11 '11 at 6:45
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3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Semordnilap is a common name for them, which has been pretty well accepted.

I know that Carroll used them in his work, but I think the term (read it backwards) was invented later.

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Hey, Guys, try Googling "Semordnilap", rather than just down-vote correct answers. –  Mark Wallace Jul 11 '11 at 12:57
    
Ooohh... You are now the answer to my question. Thanks very much. –  Dark Star1 Jul 11 '11 at 15:04
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It is a type of anagram:

An anagram is a type of word play, the result of rearranging the letters of a word or phrase to produce a new word or phrase, using all the original letters exactly once; e.g., orchestra = carthorse,

Any word or phrase that exactly reproduces the letters in another order is an anagram.

Nota Bene: The emphasis is mine.

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How can you be sure? I mean it seems so, but what gives you certainty? Anyway, here is a reference english-for-students.com/Palindromes-1.html, though would like to have better –  Unreason Jul 11 '11 at 0:43
    
@Unreason I like that link however the technical description of an Anagram seems to be the closest/ right fit. So for now I'll have to go with that. Thanks all the same –  Dark Star1 Jul 11 '11 at 1:55
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Wikipedia's Palindrome article gives semordnilap, as Mark Wallace's answer correctly pointed out. It also lists several alternatives:

volvograms, heteropalindromes, semi-palindromes, half-palindromes, reversgrams, mynoretehs, reversible anagrams, word reversals, or anadromes.

Such pairs could also reasonably be called mutual palindromes, by analogy with mutual recursion and mutual quine

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