There are lots of artificially constructed palindromes out there, easily found on the Internet. Inspired by an email from Anu Garg at Wordsmith.org i decided to search for palindromes that occur naturally in various books, documents or forms of literature. A palindrome is a word or phrase (or set of sentences) that reads the same backward or forward, although usually it is permitted to ignore spacing and punctuation. The best-known English one I know of is “Madam, I’m Adam.”
Here are some examples I’ve found:
sensuousnes(s) – this appears in many, many works. I’ve seen “is sensuousness – I” and several variations.
“la minima minima+ (L” part of the scientific name of a gray-cheeked thrush)
“name not one man”
“drawn inward”, “drawn onward” – full-word phrases
“Palamala, Talamala), p” – at 17 letters, the longest I’ve found, tied with the next one.
“e madame! Vive madame”
“no man; even amon(g)” is the longest in the King James Bible (Isaiah 41:28)
There were many cases of long repeated sequences like “No, no, no,…” etc. that I dismiss as not in the spirit of what I am trying to find. Feel free to paste any natural palindromes you find in the comments. Please, no constructed ones.