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Not only are these palindromes, they could form a damn weird scenario. Original photo: Unsplash/Joe Woods

Today's CNY Date And These Phrases Are Palindromes

If your Ah Lian friend dropped one of her elaborate CNY acrylic nails in your living room on her CNY visit, and you came across it, you could ask someone, "Ah Lian nail ha?"

And if you wrote that down, and read the phrase backwards, it would still read "Ah Lian nail ha". And that, my friend, is a palindrome - a word, phrase, number or sequence of words that read the same backward as they do forward.

The word "palindrome" comes from the Greek words "palin" (meaning "back") and "dromos" (meaning "direction"). Apparently, the phrase alluded to the way a crab moves.

And today's date (12 Feb 2021) in numeric form will probably send numerologists (and Toto fans) into a frenzy: 12022021. Not only that, if you abbreviate the number to just 12/1/21, then the 12th of January to September and November this year is a palindrome:

• 12121
• 12221
• 12321
• 12421
• 12521
• 12621
• 12721
• 12821
• 12921
• 121121

Ways to use palindromes in real life

You can use this on Third Aunt when she asks, "Did you find a girlfriend this year?":

• I did, did I?

When those 8 relatives who haven't visited in a year drop by and don't realise you adopted two dogs during CB:

• Step on no pets.

And if your cousin asks, "Anyone wants fruit juice?", you can answer, "Yes please!" and add:

• No lemon, no melon.

And after stuffying your face with all those pineapple tarts, bak kwa and love letters, you can tell yourself that your home for the rest of the year will be:

• My gym.

Happy Lunar New Year everyone!


Bonus palindrome: "In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni" is a Latin palindrome which is actually a riddle that translates to: “We enter the circle at night and are consumed by fire” or “We turn in circles in the night and are devoured by fire.”

The answer: Moths.

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