What is a palindrome?:
Able was I...:
'Able was I ere I saw Elba'
is attributed to Napoleon but, in my opinion, it's doubtful he ever said any such thing. After all, he was a Frenchman.
Probably the most widely known example is
'A man, a plan, a canal- Panama'
Written to honor the man who built the Panama canal, it is credited to Leigh Mercer. This is also one of the best palindromes in the English language.
Good ones tend to be short...:
'Egad! A base tone denotes a bad age.'
Other good examples are:
Draw, O coward!
Niagara, O roar again!
Nurse, I spy gypsies. Run! (not politically correct)
Sex at noon taxes
Dennis and Edna sinned
Live not on evil
Longer ones make less sense...:
Harass sensuousness, Sarah.
Straw? No, too stupid a fad. I put soot on warts.
Doc, note. I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod.
Quest for the perfect palindrome...:
The dream which preoccupies the tortuous mind of every palindromist is that somewhere within the confines of the language lurks the Great Palindrome, a nutshell which not only fulfils the intricate demands of the art, flowing sweetly in both directions, but which also contains the Final Truth of Things.
Reid's longest creation was:
T. Eliot, top bard, notes putrid tang emanating, is sad. I'd assign it a name: 'Gnat dirt upset on drab pot toilet'.
Palindromes in French...:
'Eh, ça va, la vache?'
'Dabale arroz a la zorra el abad'
Reverse words instead of letters...:
So patient a doctor to doctor a patient so.
Girl, bathing on Bikini, eying boy, finds boy eying bikini on bathing girl.
An epitaph in a churchyard in Cornwall reads:
Shall we all die?
We shall die all;
All die shall we-
Die all we shall.
NO X IN NIXON
Longest palindromic word?:
DEIFIED, REPAPER, REVIVER, and ROTATOR.
Nine-letter palindromes include:
EVITATIVE, REDIVIDER, ROTAVATOR (trade-name), and MALAYALAM (East Indian language)
KINNIKINNIK (tobacco used by American Indians)
OOLOOPOOLOO (dialect spoken in Australia)
World's longest palindrome...:
In 1967, Joyce Johnson wrote one of the best long palindromes for a New Statesman competition. It has 126 words and 467 letters:
HEADMASTER'S PALINDROMIC LIST ON HIS MEMO PAD
Test on Eramus
Royal: phone no.?
Is sofa sitable on?
Sub-edit Nurse's order
Caning is on test (snub slip-up)
Birch (Sid) to help Miss Eve
Put inkspot on stopper
Caretaker (wall, etc.)
Too many d-pots
Wal for duo? (I'd name Dr O)
See few owe fees (or demand IOU)
Dr of Law
Stop dynamo (OTC)
Tel: Law re Kate Race
Caps on for prep
Knit up ties ('U')
Ned (re paper)
Eve's simple hot dish (crib)
T-set: no sign in a/c
Run Tide Bus?
Rev off at six
Noel Bat is a fossil
Lab to offer one 'Noh' play-or 'Pals Reviled'?
Sums are not set
To conclude with an interesting bit of relevant trivia:
There is a town in California named Yreka and it had a bakery called, Yreka Bakery. Hmm... food for thought.