Sdrawkcab Name

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search
"It's Goblin spelled backwards! This is their kingdom!"
"Hello, my name is Mr. Snrub, and I come from, er... someplace far away!"

When someone has to think of a pseudonym for themselves, an oddly popular choice is their own name, but written backwards. You'd expect them to be more imaginative, and smart enough to realize that such a pseudonym can easily give away your true identity. Sure enough, most of the time someone notices, often by exclaiming "(Eman Sdrawckab) spelled backwards is (Backwards Name)!"

The technical term for this is an "Ananym". (And yes, it does spell "My Nana" if written backwards). On a technical note, this trope is much more interesting depending on whether it's the sounds or letters that have been reversed, compared with whether it occurs in written or spoken form. For example, compare "Rotiart" (Roh-Tee-Art) to "traitor" (Tray-Tor); the letters are reversed, but the way English language rules work, the result comes out with noticeably different syllabic parsing and verbal rhythm. You might spot the trope in writing, but it sounds like a genuine name when spoken aloud. Conversely, reversing the syllables instead of the spelling can pass in writing, but may sound obvious when spoken out loud.

Also note that some other languages, such as Chinese and Japanese, assign whole syllables to each character, so while the names really were spelled backwards in their native alphabet, their English equivalents got Lost in Translation. This includes palindromes, such as "Maeda Ema" (spelled Ma-e-da-E-ma) and "Yamada Maya" (Ya-ma-da-Ma-ya).

Sometimes, the reversed spelling may be altered to look a little more plausible and/or be easier to pronounce, like "strawckab" instead of "sdrawkcab"—as "st" and "ck" are common digraphs in English, which makes it look more believable as a word.

Compare Steven Ulysses Perhero. Sub-Trope of Significant Anagram. See Alucard for a specific example that is so prevalent as to count as its own trope.

Examples of Sdrawkcab Name include:


Gnisitrevda[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Old example: Serutan, as its commercials would point out, was "natures" spelled backwards. Bored of the Rings appropriated the brand name for its parody counterpart of Saruman. The commercials themselves were spoofed by the chapter title "Serutan Spelled Backwards Is Mud".

"Skizziks spelled backwards is Skizziks!"
"What a dopey kid! Anybody knows that Skizziks spelled backwards is 'natures'!"

  • Tobor, an imaginatively-named children's toy from The Seventies, advertised during the one and only televised broadcast of The Star Wars Holiday Special. And just in case you didn't get it, the commercial's narrator helpfully points out, "Tobor is "robot" spelled backwards!" See it here.
  • Evian (a brand of bottled water) spelled backwards yields "naive", which is too tempting to use as a Take That in places where you can get clean drinking water off the tap.


Agnam & Emina[edit | hide]

  • In the KC Grand Prix Yu-Gi-Oh! arc, Yugi's grandpa disguises himself as a duelist named Apnarg to enter a tournament. If 4Kids were a bit more clever, they could've gone with Nomolos.
  • This is what clues Goku in to Uub being the reincarnation of the evil Buu in the final episodes of Dragonball Z. Considering Uub had no idea he was Buu's reincarnation, this makes it an awfully convenient name.
  • Dr. Mashirito, the Mad Scientist antagonist in Doctor Slump was named after Toriyama's editor at the time, whose surname was Torishima. It may not be obvious, but written in the Japanese syllable-alpabet, it is indeed a Sdrawkcab Name. To western eyes, it just looks like an anagram.
  • Toriyama loves this one. He recently revealed in an interview that Mr. Satan's (whose Family Theme Naming involves devil puns) moniker is just a wrestling stage name. His real name? Mark. A bit of a Lost in Translation pun to American audiences: pronounced with a Japanese accent, it sounds like "Maaku." Reverse the order of the syllables and you get "Akuma," a Japanese word meaning "devil" or "demon."
  • In Princess Nine, Nene disguises Kanako by reversing the syllables in her name—Konaka Tami.
  • Soul Eater
    • Maka Albarn wields a scythe. Fitting, seeing as the word for "scythe" in Japanese is "kama"....
    • It's not just Maka—a few of the witches have backwards names, according to their animal theme. For example, "nezumi" (rat) to Mizune.
  • Sailor Moon
    • Should probably be in "Theater", but it was from the first Sera Myu summer special. The young man known as Saito Kun reveals himself to actually be Kunzite.
    • In the manga short story Ami-chan's First Love (and in the anime special based on it) Ami's mysterious rival known as "Mercurius" turns out to be a local geek named Kurume Suuri, and he even explains how he came up with this pseudonym.[1]
  • Keroro Gunsou already features Mine Yoshizaki's Author Avatar (known as Yoshizaki-sensei), but there's also a background character called Yoshi Minezaki - she's an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette who could be easily mistaken for a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl.
  • Part of the Dub Name Change for the American version of Tokyo Mew Mew involved renaming characters Kish and Tart to Dren and Tarb. That's a fair (if teeth-grindingly dumb) description of Tart, but 4Kids apparently thinks "nerd" is synonymous with Stalker with a Crush.
  • In an omake gag 4-koma in Full Moon o Sagashite, Mitsuki Kouyama wonders what her name would be if she was a shinigami. Takuto thinks up her name backwards, "Mayauko Kitsumi". None of them like it.
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni
    • The sixth arc provides Kanon's real name, Yoshiya. This is, in fact, a modified Japanese reversal of Shannon's real name, Sayo. Shi and ya need to be slurred together into one sound, as the Japanese kana does to write the letter "Sha," and you wind up with "Shayo," which is only slightly different from "Sayo." This was one of the many big hints given in that arc that Shannon and Kanon are probably the same character with some sort of Split Personality disorder.
    • And for a way more obvious example: Dlanor A. Knox, a reference to the author Ronald A. Knox, who is her father.
  • Not used as a disguise, but Krad and Dark of D.N.Angel have each others' names spelled backwards. This is most likely intentional, as they are two halves of the same artwork.
  • Elbaf, the land of giants, in One Piece. The Viz translation missed this and translated it as "Elbaph".
  • The Grand Finale of the original Lupin III manga series featured the Musical Assassin Ataginez. Turns out it's Inspector Zenigata in disguise.
  • The Fuji television block NoitaminA


Semag Drac[edit | hide]


Skoob Cimoc[edit | hide]

  • Sonic the Hedgehog
    • In the Fleetway continuity, Dr. Robotnik used to be a friend of Sonic's, a kindly scientist called Dr. Ovi Kintobor. In one of the novels, Sonic goes back in time before the transformation occurs, nearly blurting out Robotnik's name at one point before realising that, while Kintobor is a little ditzy at times, he's not stupid.
    • He was also called Kintobor in the Archie Comic series. Julian Kintobor, at that. "Julian Kintobor of the House of Ivo", fully. (In SatAM, he was called "Julian", but no last name was given.)
  • There were two different Golden Age comic book villains named "Doctor Allirog".
  • Another Golden Age villain named "Dr. Doog", in the origin of Starman, was reused in All-Star Squadron. It was originally supposed to be "Doom" and needed to be changed, but the new name happens to be "Good" backwards (in other words, evil).
  • In DC Comics, the extradimensional imp Mr. Mxyzptlk can (usually) only be banished by somehow tricking him into saying his name backwards.
    • Also from Superman there is Htrae, the Bizarro World.
  • One story of the Turma da Mônica (Monica's Gang) comics had Monica, Cebolinha/Jimmy Five and Cascão/Smudge meeting a knight named Rengaw (actually an RPG-obsessed man living in his very own fantasy world) and getting captured by a dragon. At one point, Cebolinha lampshades this by saying that Rengaw's name is just "Wagner" backwards, implying that this might be Rengaw's real name.
  • In Spanish comic-book Superlopez, the spell destroying the Lord of the Pacifiers is Etev la oonreuk, a slight modification of a backwards Vete al cuerno, which is Spanish for Get lost.
  • Zatanna doesn't reverse her name, but her magical spells are spoken through backwards words (but the sentence will still be read right-to-left). For example, if she wanted a nice frosty one she'd say "Teg em a reeb!"
    • Her evil counterpart from another universe (featured in Countdown), however, was indeed named Annataz Arataz.
  • Green Lantern sees a lot of these in the new Lanterns. Many names are simply the names of creators backwards, for example Isamot Kol's first name is Peter Tomasi's last name backwards. Sn'hoj of the Sinestro Corps is clearly backwards Geoff Johns. Duel Eknham for Doug Mahnke, and a number of others.
  • An early Batman comic had a criminal masquerading as record shop owner "Old man Rekoj". He has also gone by Dr. J. Reko, DDS.
  • There is some fan speculation that master of disguise Eno Orez from Motter and Lark's Terminal City is a robot.
  • Some people saw it as significant that the given name of Marvel's Sub-Mariner, Namor, is "Roman" spelled backwards. His favoured battle-cry is the pseudo-Latin "Imperius Rex!"
  • Strongman, from Crash Comics, was active during the 1940s and fought against troops from the country of Aissur (Russia). Their leader was even called Linats, which is very close to being a backwards name for Stalin.
  • It once took the Justice Society of America an entire issue to realise that evil Professor Elba and kindly Professor Able were one and the same. Not exactly their finest moment.
  • In the mini-series Doctor Strange: The Oath, Doctor Strange discovers that his servant and friend Wong is suffering from a brain tumor. In order to save his friend, Strange travels to the dimension imprisoning Otkid the Omnipotent to find a cure. A bit of a Shout-Out in this case; "Otkid" is a Significant Anagram of "Ditko."
  • Fantastic Four foe Diablo once used the alias 'Mr Olbaid'.
  • In Zombo, the title character's successor was deliberately named Obmoz to indicate how he is the opposite of Zombo.
  • Captain Marvel once fought his duplicate from a (literal) Mirror World, who was named Niatpac Levram.
  • Mandrake's Mirror World counterpart Ekardnam.
  • A Carl Barks story featured female creatures called "larkies". When disguised as males, the called themselves "eikrals". Each larkie's eikral counterpart has a name that's the larkie's name spelled backwards. For example, the larkie named Agnes became an eikral named Senga.
  • While not strictly a name, per se, the "magic word" which triggers Miracleman's Transformation Sequence is "kimota". Alan Moore's Re Boot of the comic in the early 1980s lampshaded this by having an adult, semi-amnesiac Michael Moran remember the word by seeing "atomic" written on a glass door from behind.


Repapswen -- Scimoc[edit | hide]

  • During his tenure as writer on Dick Tracy, Max Allan Collins was fond of giving his villains last names that were words describing them, spelled backwards.
  • In Terry and the Pirates, the Dragon Lady sometimes used the alias Miss Nogard.
  • In FoxTrot, Eileen uses the on-line handle 'Sgt. Neelie'.


Skrow Naf[edit | hide]

  • This trope is quite often used in Russian FanFics because Russian writing is more phonetic based, i.e. each letter codes (mostly) exactly one sound, making such invertions easier.
  • In Fallen Angel, The title of the book Katherine is reading is "Noisull id nanoit peced" or, fixed, "Deception and Illusion" Both backwards and spaced wrongly, but it makes sense when you know who's reading it.
  • In the universe of Marissa Picard, there's a star system named "Naklab". It's home to the planets Nevolsia, Troac, Sobnia, and Bresia.
  • In ITS MY LIFE! there is Assirram Strebor, Marrissa Roberts' Evil Knockoff.


Noitamina -- Smlif[edit | hide]

  • The sorcerer in the "Sorcerer's Apprentice" segment of Fantasia is called Yen Sid, which is Disney spelled backwards. Similarly, the Disney live-action film Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N has a story credited to Retlaw Yensid.
  • King Llort from A Troll in Central Park. Not as obvious outside of the context of this page as one might think.


Noitca-Evil -- Smilf[edit | hide]

  • Troll 2. "Nilbog! It's Goblin spelled backwards!"
  • In The Last Seduction, Linda Fiorentino's character has some kind of upside-down, back-to-front spelling obsession. She's able to produce a perfect signature upside down. Having ripped off her husband and hidden in a small town, she wants to get back to New York, and chooses the name "Wendy Kroy". Knowing both her backwards-writing thing and her love of NYC helps her husband to find her.
  • In the movie Spaceballs, the villainous President Skroob. Technically an anagram, but it's only a letter off, so most people can figure it out. Mel Brooks decided it was a cooler name than Skoorb.
  • Young Sherlock Holmes. Villain Eh Tar uses the alias of Professor Rathe for his cover job at Brompton Academy. Watson even spells this out towards the end of the film as a "very important clue."
  • In The Watcher in the Woods, when the Curtis family receives a puppy as a pet, the younger daughter Elle, under the influence of the Watcher, gives it the name Nerak, which is backwards for Karen, a girl who, during a seance-like ceremony, disappeared 30 years ago.
  • In Bill and Teds Bogus Journey, the villain De Nomolos is sdrawkcab for one of the writers.
  • The Mothman Prophecies. Leek is based on the book's author Keel.
  • In the third The Howling movie, we have the town of Flow.
  • Tin Man: "Ahamo" is named after the original wizard's hometown: Omaha, Nebraska.
  • In Time Runner with Mark Hamill, the evil alien mole bidding for President of the United States is named "Neila". Did we mention he is an alien?
  • The very character of Emit Flesti, played by Willem Dafoe, in Faraway, So Close!
  • Star Wars has a few. For just three, Coleman Trebor (reference to visual effects artist Rob Coleman), Cin Drallig (the stunt coordinator who plays him, Nick Gillard) and a huge in-joke: the canon name for the E.T. that cameos in The Phantom Menace is Grebleips. Not to forget the infamous Ewok (close to "Wookie" spelled backwards).
  • "Grebleips" first appeared in Steven Spielberg's first feature film Duel, as the name of a pest control company.
  • In Splice, the two scientists name their creation "Dren", "nerd" backwards.
  • Tobor the Great (1954) was about a robot designed to replace astronauts.
  • Commander of the Soviet spacecraft in 2010: The Year We Make Contact (the sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey) is Captain Kirbuk, a reference to Stanley Kubrick, who directed the original film.
  • A robot named "Tobor" shows up in the film The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl.
  • In the short film "Mouse Mania" made by (and starring) rogue independent film-maker Mike Jittlov, the character he portrays visits a pyschoanalyst who, according to the sign on his door, is named "Dr. Ekim Volttij".

Erutaretil[edit | hide]

  • In the Callahans Crosstime Saloon's short story "Mirror/Rorrim Off the Wall", we get introduced to Robert Trebor from a Parallel Universe. He has backwards money and an Evil Twin that he wants to be imprisoned in htrownevaeL.
  • In Piers Anthony's Being a Green Mother, the heroine Orb shares a romantic attachment with a man named Natasha, whose true identity is revealed when he proposes marriage to her: "Ah, Satan".
  • The syllabic version of this trope is Older Than Print: Tristram disguises himself as "Tramtris" in the Arthurian legends.
  • The Arthurian legend's use of a backwards name is Lampshaded in Gerald Morris' novel The Ballad of Sir Dinadan: "Tramtris. That was the best he could come up with. Didn't you realize it was Tristram?" Spoofed further when Dinadan talks to a holy hermit who wants to write an allegorical adventure story, the villain of which is "Stultus," being Latin for fool. Then the two dismiss that as too obvious and call him "Sutluts" instead. So much better. When "Tramtris" comes in and begs Dinadan not to reveal his name, Dinadan says "Don't worry. If anyone asks, I'll say you're Sir Sutluts."
  • The Deltora Quest series:
    • Nevets, the brother of Steven. Of course, initially, the protagonists believe Steven to just be crazy when he talks about having an invincible warrior brother inside him.
    • The villains with the backward names Nij and Doj prevent the heroes from realizing they are the baddies they have been warned about, and who speak backward letter-for-letter, which obviously only works on paper. With a little clear-headed enchantment, the hero Lief is able to hear their words for what they are, and realizes that they're cheerfully discussing how to cook the group for dinner.
  • In Deryni Checkmate, Duke Alaric Morgan's bard Gwydion ap Plenneth informs him about public opinion in his ducal capital Coroth, including popular songs against Morgan. One of these is about an evil oppressor and entitled "The Ballad of Duke Cirala". In his report, Gwydion lampshades the trope: "...I might also mention that the name Cirala is quite familiar if one only spells it backward: C-I-R-A-L-A-A-L-A-R-I-C."
  • Sharon Shinn's novel The Truth-Teller's Tale features twins named Adele and Eleda, whose appearances are mirror images of each other. (For example, each has one blue eye and one green eye, but it's a different eye on each twin.)
  • The first teacher of the class on the 30th floor of Wayside School was named Mrs. Gorf. In Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger, the class has a series of substitute teachers named Mr. Gorf (Mrs. Gorf's son), Mrs. Drazil and Wendy Nogard.
  • The villain of James Thurber's juvenile fantasy The White Deer is named Nagrom Yaf.
  • Discworld
    • Early in Thief of Time, a very punctual milkman by the name of Ronnie Soak is introduced as a minor character. However, once the plot truly gets underway, his true nature is revealed: he is Kaos, the fifth Horseman of the Apocralypse (not a typo), who left before the other four became famous. Pratchett himself had not planned it that way, at least consciously. The story goes he'd planned for him to be the fifth horseman, but hadn't figured out what he would be, until he looked at the name in the mirror.
    • Hogfather:

It's a sad and terrible thing that high-born folk really have thought that the servants would be totally fooled if spirits were put into decanters that were cunningly labelled backwards. And also throughout history the more politically conscious butler has taken it on trust, and with rather more justification, that his employers will not notice if the yksihw is topped up with eniru.

    • The Discworld concept of being "knurd"—so sober that you actually need an alcoholic beverage or two to be normal.
    • Another example, this time as a parody of "Erewhon/Nehwon": an area in the Hublands called "Ecalpon".
    • The town of Llamedos, which is "Sod'em all" backwards, and is itself a reference to the Welsh town of Llareggub in Under Milk Wood.
    • Carpe Jugulum: The narration describes vampires' apparent inability to compensate for their well-known weaknesses, and at one point says "Do they really think spelling their name backwards is going to fool anyone?"
    • In Thud, the Ankh-Morpork City Watch's new vampire recruit Salacia sends a "clacks" (a sort of clock-punk version of a telegram) using the alias "Aicalas". The normally practical and intelligent vampire Salacia von Humpeding suffers from the curse of her kind : the deep and abiding conviction that no one will recognise your name if you spell it backwards. Of course, Vimes instantly sees through that, mentionning it as one of the vampires' lesser-known failings.
  • The eponymous country in Erewhon by Samuel Butler is an almost-reversal of "nowhere". (An exact reversal would be "Erehwon".) This is a reference to "Utopia", which means "nowhere". The inhabitants (for the most part) have names like Senoj Nosnibor.
  • On a similar note, the world of Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser tales is Nehwon.
  • Damon Knight wrote a short story about a plant-based vampire, called "Eripmav" which was defeated by a steak through the heart.
  • A short story for a Russian history class features a group of boys going on a camping trip and being whisked away to the far-off year of circa 1957, where every country is a Socialist Republic and everyone speaks Esperanto. They meet a similar group of boys, many of whom have the reverse of their names: Grisha's counterpart is Ashirg, etc. It's Lampshaded when the story turns out to be a campfire story told by the boys' troopleader, and one of the boys points it out.
  • A more elaborate scheme is found in Kingdom of Warped Mirrors by V. Gubarew. The girl Olya has her counterpart Aylo. Most other persons have names which correspond to their character and/or position. There is the Most Important Minister Gorf, The Very Definitely Most Important Minister (!) Kwah (Hawk, which has negative associations in Russian), the king Topsed 7, the good slave Evals and so on. The book was adapted into a film.
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley wrote a novel entitled Falcons of Narabedla. Frederik Pohl wrote an apparently unrelated novel called Narabedla Ltd. Both titles are derived from the star Aldebaran.
  • A series of German children's novels by James Krüss include the Baron Lefuet, from the reverse of the German word for Devil.
  • The Silmarillion: Beren and Finrod Felagund, while masquerading as Orcs in some of the earliest versions of Tolkien's The Lay of Leithian. Felagund gives his own name as Dungalef and Beren's as Nereb when they're captured by Sauron. That seems to work, but they still get found out.
  • As discussed on the Lost in Translation page, a robot in a Stanislaw Lem novel uses the battle cry "awruk", which spelled backwards is a Polish expletive literally meaning "whore" but used as an exclamation in the same way as "fuck" is in English.
    • Michael Kandel translated it as "tikcuff!" Other language translators weren't as imaginative.
  • One of the main characters of Holes is named Stanley Yelnats. It doubles as a palindrome. His great-great-grandmother actually gave her son the name Stanley because she noticed this.
  • His Dark Materials doesn't play this exactly straight, but it does feature a minor character called Sir Charles Latrom in the second book. Spell his last name backwards, then take a wild guess as to what ends up happening to him.
  • The Mirror of Erised from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone not only has a Sdrawkcab Name for what its purpose is, but also mirror writing along its edges which essentially describes exactly what the mirror does.

Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi.[2]

  • According to Word of God, Ursula K. Le Guin did this in her famous story The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas. She saw a sign for Salem, O (regon) and reversed it, based in part by the similar sound of Salem to Shalom/Salam and the fact that when reversed, it gave a similar sound to the word helas (alas). Thus, the effect something like "Utopia when read forward, Dystopia when read backwards".
  • Bruce Coville's goblins correct humans who mistakenly call their kingdom Goblin-land, saying it's rude (they have a point, since human kingdoms aren't called "People-land"). The correct name is, of course, "Nilbog". Muuuuch better.
  • Racso and the Rats of NIMH by Jane Leslie Conly. Racso admits to Timothy Frisby at one stage in the book that his real name is "Oscar", but he much prefers the Sdrawkcab nom de plume he came up with.
  • Midnight's Sun - A Story of Wolves by Garry Kilworth uses Sdrawkcab names for some of his characters. Athaba's mother and father are Meshiska and Aksishem, respectively. Although this is totally ignored in Athaba's case when he becomes Ulaala's mate.
  • In The Abhorsen Trilogy, it's mentioned that the original Big Bad Kerrigor was born Prince Rogirek, generally known as Rogir. Kerrigor was the nickname Touchstone gave him.
  • X Wing Series
    • Child actor-turned-pilot Garik "Face" Loran, left on their stolen ship while infiltrating the bad guys, is forced to come up with a disguise and a name to keep a planetary governor from getting suspicious. He comes up with Lieutenant Narol. In later instances of the same basic mission he uses a better disguise with the same name, and we never see him called on it. This might have something to do with the fact that in the Galaxy Far Far Away, Narol is a perfectly normal-seeming name. It also helps that he had previously faked his death.
    • Lara Nostil—that's one of her names, anyway—has an assumed last name that is the same as Wes Janson's actor, Ian Liston, backwards. Wes and Lara are in the same squadron. Liston was flattered and amused, but apparently this was unintentional on Aaron Allston's part.
  • In the Redwall prequel Martin the Warrior, Ballaw the hare poses as a rabbit named "Tibbar".
  • In Brian Jacques' less well-known work, Castaways Of The Flying Dutchman, the two main characters get called Denmark and Nebuchadnezzar. This in turn gets shortened to Den and Neb. These then get reversed upon the two's escape to Ben and Ned, the crafty little devils.
  • The Shining. While it's not a name, it is an important Arc Words: Redrum!
  • One of the Beaver Towers books features a villain called Retsnom.
  • Christopher Stasheff's A Wizard in Rhyme series features in one of the books' backstory an Evil Chancellor named Reiziv. It's not commented on as a backwards word by anyone in the story, making it also a Stealth Pun. (Well, if the definition of "Stealth Pun" is "pun nobody points out or explains in the story" rather than "pun it actually takes effort to get.")
  • In The Deed of Paksenarrion, Sertig, the god of the smiths, has an enemy called Gitres.
  • Taken to extremes and lampshaded in Young Wizards, where a dog turns out to be guess.
  • One Dutch children's book titled Lyc-Drop features a character called Seuz. He turns out to be a Greek deity, and if you can't guess which one, you just might be an idiot.
    • He's not the god of canals, is he?
  • There is a famous Sociology/Anthropology study of the "Nacirema" which is meant as a caution of treating other cultures as savage.
  • An couple of newspaper serials that ran in the 1870's tell of the adventures of a man who discovered a race of humans with tails living in New Guinea, in the village of Etihwretep. Spell "Etihwretep" backward, and you get "Peter White." The people live in the valley of "Eloc" and call themselves the "Elocwe." It should come as no surprise that the author's name is Edward William Cole.
  • Where's Waldo: Another "Evil Twin" version is Odlaw, Waldo's nemesis. He's stil called Odlaw in the UK version despite Waldo being called "Wally", presumably because Yllaw really doesn't work. Unless you made him Welsh...
  • The Culture
  • In Consider Phlebas, Bora Horza Gobuchul at one point identifies himself as Orab.
    • Done with "Vatueil" in Surface Detail. In this case, the name isn't the character's own name scrambled but the name of a relative. Specifically, Vateuil is actually Zakalwe from Use of Weapons, and his pseudonym is an anagram of Livueta, his step-sister, and the one who exposed his true identity to his Culture colleagues.
  • In Dead Beat, a novel of The Dresden Files, Harry gives himself a minor self-deprecation for not figuring out that Sheila (shee-la) was Lasciel (la-sheel).
  • Three of the seven stories in Tuf Voyaging center on S'uthlam, a planet in perpetual crisis due to overpopulation.
  • In Talbot Mundy's Jimgrim, Femme Fatale secret agent "Princess Baltis" signs into a hotel as "Ranee Sitlab". Somewhat justified in that she wasn't actually trying to avoid notice.
  • A characteristic of the twisted magic contained in The Book of Atrix Wolfe by Patricia A. McKillip.
  • The mystery short story "Death by Rubik's Cube", published in the August 2011 issue of Games Magazine, features a police detective by the name of Errol Lorre. The Genre Savvy suspects realize that his parents loved puzzles a lot and that he himself hates them.
  • Alec Leamas from The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. (Leamas reverses to Samael.) No, he's not Satan or any other supernatural figure in disguise, but a Fake Defector and Reverse Mole Anti-Hero whose moral dilemmas form a major part of the plot.
  • Several in Basil of Baker Street and sequels; for example, the Mouse World counterpart to Irene Adler is Madmoiselle Relda.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's Tunnel In The Sky includes a warning to the main character's class to watch out for stobor, the most dangerous creature they willl encounter on their field exam. The students don't realize that "stobor" is "robots" spelled backwards; Stobor are humans; their competing classmates.
  • Roger Zelazny's Amber series of stories. The Pattern is in Castle Amber, which is located on a mountain overlooking the sea. The Castle and Pattern have a duplicate in the seas bordering Amber, in an underwater world known as Rebma.
  • In Jane Langton's The Diamond in the Window, Edward Hall speaks backwards fluently and daydreams about an alter-ego named Trebor Nosnibor. It's stated that he wishes his name were Robert Robinson specifically because he thinks it sounds much cooler backwards than "Drawde Llah" would.
  • This is how Wizards dealing with the Darke hide themselves in Septimus Heap: By spelling their name backwards. Played With in Septimus's case, as he takes only the last letters S-u-m on Marcellus Pye's advice.
  • In Brian Aldiss's illustrated poem "Pile", (subtitle "Petals from St. Klaed's Computer") the hero escapes from Pile and it's computer "St. Klaed" to find the alternate world of Elip run by St. Dealk.


VT Noicta-Evil[edit | hide]

  • Doctor Who: The War Games, The War Chief's space-time-travel machines are called SIDRATs.
  • These work better in real life than one might think. In the reality show Who Wants to Be a Superhero?, each contestant has a Code Name. In the middle of the first episode, it was revealed that one of the contestants was actually a spy. The contestant Rotiart stepped forward and proclaimed dramatically, "Rotiart spelled backwards is..." (rip off name tag for The Reveal) "Traitor!"
  • Long-running American soap opera Days of Our Lives is well-known for its far-fetched plots, particularly those centered around the arch-villain Stefano DiMera. One plot had several characters leave the show's usual locale of Salem during the Fall of 1995 to attend a wedding in the town of Aremid. Events conspired to make many of the characters stay in Aremid until the following spring, but in that time nobody seemed to notice that Aremid was actually DiMera spelled backwards. The show repeated the trope nine years later when several characters found themselves abducted from Salem and kept captive on the island of Melaswen (New Salem), a place filled with recreations of several landmarks from their hometown.
  • Scrubs
    • In the episode, "My Princess", a Something Completely Different episode in the form of a fairy-tale Dr. Cox is telling his son, Bob Kelso's counterpart is the Dark Lord Oslek (which, on a completely unrelated note, is what Ted calls him when he suffers stress-induced dyslexia).
    • Another episode had the Janitor use the name "Rotinaj".

J.D.: Rotinaj is just "Janitor" spelled backwards, Rotinaj.
Janitor: (to Indian doctor) Mornin', Dr. Rotinaj.
Doctor: Good morning, Mr. cleanup man!

  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
    • An episode mentioned a toxic substance called Selgninaem. One of the show's writers acknowledged this to be a comment on the meaningless nature of Techno Babble.
    • In the second-season episode "Where Silence Has Lease", the Omnipotent Being of the Week was named "Nagilum", or "Nagillum," depending on what you read. That second name is important when you consider that the producers originally wanted Richard Mulligan for that role....
  • The CBBC Fantasy-based kids game show Raven has a villain known as Nevar and a general anagram in another character, Ervan.
  • Dave Barry also writes about a kids TV show he used to watch called Captain Video and mentions an episode with a robot named TOBOR.
  • In the Frasier episode "The Show Must Go Off", Jackson Hedley is mentioned as playing an android named TOBOR on TV.
  • In an episode of Round the Twist, the kids discover a machine in the top room of the lighthouse that makes mirror-image copies of whatever you put into it. When Linda clones herself, the mirror-image copy is dubbed "Adnil".
  • Babylon 5. The name of Londo Mollari's first wife (and the one he does not choose to divorce) is Timov. That is all.
  • One episode of Farscape features a villainous alien geneticist named Namtar -- he's a genetically-altered lab-rodent.
  • The "H. Maddas" files in Arrested Development turn out to be this (and a Chekhov's Gun).
  • In Dark Oracle, Cally's pet frog, Nemo, turns out to be the Season 1 Big Bad, Omen. Justified in that he was named by someone else, as a joke (Nemo translated to "nothing").
  • On Parker Lewis Can't Lose principal Grace Musso had a devoted flunky called Lemmer; in a few episodes, her rival Norman Pankow had a flunky called Remmel. Remmel was visually an anti-Lemmer: while Frank Lemmer was a pale-skinned, dark-haired guy dressed all in black, Remmel was a black guy with blond hair who dressed all in white.
  • Archie Campbell's retelling of Cinderella ("Rindercella") on Hee Haw. (Actually more like anagrams and spoonerisms, but the joke was that he was telling the story backwards.)
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: This exchange from the Parrot Sketch, after the customer is sent to Bolton, is told by that pet shop clerk he's in Ipswitch, and finds he actually is in Bolton:

Clerk: It was a pun.
Customer: A pun??
Clerk: No, not a pun. What's that word that spells the same backwards as forwards?
Customer: A palindrome?
Clerk: Yeah!
Customer: It's not a palindrome. The palindrome for "Bolton" would be "Notlob"!

  • Happy Days: In "They Call It Potsie Love," Joanie develops a crush on Potsie and nicknames him "Dren" (backwards for "nerd").
  • Ringo Starr was featured in an NBC special in the late '70s in a variation of The Prince and the Pauper, with him as himself and a poor Hollywood maps peddler named Ognir Rrats.
  • The first episode of Red Dwarf's third series, entitled "Backwards". The main characters land on an Earth where everything is backwards, and Lister & Cat read a sign to London as "Nodnol". They just assume they're in Bulgaria.
  • The L Word uses an Alucard variant of when one of the main cast ends up dating an expert in vampiric folklore with slightly vampiric tendencies (stronger than usual, preference for night, pale complexion, etc.). Her name is Uta Refson.
  • When a character named Nilrem appeared in Brazilian show "Caça Talentos", the fairies were worried because that name was Merlin spelled backwards.
  • Kratts' Creatures has an animated character named "Ttark", possibly to sound like an African name.
  • A variation on CSI: NY: Stella's psycho ex-boyfriend named a sculpture he made for her the Aresanob, which was her last name, Bonasera, spelled backward. He then uploaded a sex tape to Aresanob.com shortly after.
  • In an episode of L&O SVU, an innocent man who Olivia had helped to convict had been released from prison and was out to get revenge on her. As part of his plan, he set up a phony company named "Aivilo" or "Olivia" backwards.
  • During the All-Star season of America's Next Top Model, each of the girls had to write lyrics for, record and make a video for a song, and they were required to use the phrase "Pot Ledom is Top Model Backwards" someplace in the song. The "Pot Ledom" thing was reinforced in the videos when they would cut away from the model to show Tyra in a "Pot Ledom" shirt and repeating the full line.
  • The Muppet Show features a sketch in which Lew Zealand and Rowlf sings "Owt Rof Aet" ("Tea for Two" backwards).
  • The Shout-Out Theme Naming of the main characters in Kamen Rider Fourze, has Tomoko Nozoma, who was named after Kamen Rider Amazon.


Cisum[edit | hide]

  • The B-side of the classic Sanity Slippage Song "They're Coming to Take Me Away Ha-Haaa!" by Napoleon XIV is "!aaaH-aH ,yawA eM ekaT oT gnimoC er'yehT". It's credited to "Noelopan VIX", and is in fact the A-side played backwards. Even the label of the b-side was almost entirely in mirrored writing.
  • Rapper Kool Keith, a.k.a. Dr. Octagon, has also released an album under the name Mr. Nogatco. The title of the album? Nogatco Rd.
  • Dream Theater's first album featured a song called The Ytse Jam, which was their original band name, Majesty, spelled backwards.
  • Symbion Project, on its Red album, has a song called Tcejorp Noibmys.
  • Australian band TISM had a song called "U.O.Y. Sevol Natas", a pisstake of rockstars and rumours of backwards masking.
  • The Ukrainian singer Ani Lorak. Her real first name is Karolina.
  • In "The Further Adventures of Nick Danger", on the Firesign Theatre's album How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You're Not Anywhere at All?, the title character looks up at one point and reads the name written on his office door: "Regnad Kcin".
    • This is because he's inside his office, and the door is closed, not because his name is spelled incorrectly.
  • NWA's Niggaz4Life was written mirrored on the album, and sometimes referred to as Efil4zaggin. This is more due to censorship though.
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers' song titled "Emit Remmus" has a stealth Title Drop in chorus: "London in the summertime".
  • Stevie Wonder released an instrumental album credited to Eivets Rednow.
  • For legal reasons, the Melvins album Prick was credited to Snivlem.
  • The song "Dinner at Deviant's Palace" by Cradle of Filth is actually the Lord's Prayer recited backwards.
  • After vocalist Lynn Strait's death, Snot eventually reformed as Tons.
  • The Bloodhound Gang's One Fierce Beer Coaster ends with a short sketch consisting of someone doing a Homer Simpson impression and explaining the joke of the album title - to avoid potential copyright issues, it was titled "Reflections Of Remoh".
  • The Beatles
    • The end of the 1966 tune "Rain" (B-side of "Paperback Writer") has John repeating the first line of the song backwards.
    • Zig-zagged: "Revolution No. 9" has a voice loop of someone calling "number nine" ad infinitum, which if when played backwards is supposedly "Turn me on, dead man," one of many clues to the "death" of Paul.
    • The Love album (a CD remix compilation) includes "Gnik Nus" (gnick noos), a deliberate parody of this and backmasking and a remix of their earlier "Sun King".
  • In The Beatles spoof "The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash," it is stated that if you play the title of Sgt. Rutter's Only Darts Club Band backwards it is supposed to say "Stig has been dead for ages, honestly," when it in fact says "Dnab Bulc Strad Ylno Srettur Tnaegres."
  • After The Gits' vocalist Mia Zapata's murder, Joan Jett joined the remaining members of the band for a benefit concert and an album under the name Evil Stig. Evil Stig is of course "Gits Live" backwards.
  • Eels "Efil's God", sort of: It's based around a backwards sample of an earlier song of theirs called "Dog's Life".
  • After KMFDM temporarily broke up in 1999, members Sascha Konietzko and Tim Skold started a new project with Lucia Cifarelli and called it MDFMK.
  • Sort of done with Daft Punk's "Funk Ad", which is a backwards reprise of "Da Funk" - if it were fully backwards, it would of course be "Knuf Ad".
  • The name of the Folk Metal band, SuidAkrA, is the guitarist/vocalist's first name "Arkadius" spelled backwards.


Aidem Wen[edit | hide]


Gniltserw Orp[edit | hide]

  • Former TNA wrestler John Hugger, also known before that as Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli in WCW/WWE, worked under the gimmick of the monster RelliK (with a backwards K). Rellik is Killer spelled backwards. Rellik is killer spelled backwards! He also went by Redrum in indy promotions. Mike Tenay always mentioned that "Rellik is Killer spelled backwards" whenever he appeared. Hugger created the gimmick during his indy days between his WWE release and signing with TNA. The gimmick was originally called "REDRUM".
  • In WCW, The Ultimate Warrior decided to make a stable to combat the New World Order (nWo). He called it the One Warrior Nation (oWn). It only had one member besides Warrior, Ed Leslie aka The Disciple. The horridness of everything Warrior did in WCW in general and Warrior's general flakiness as a performer spelled a quick end to it.


Oidar Teppup[edit | hide]

  • The setting of Under Milk Wood, Llareggub; at the time also a case of Getting Crap Past the Radar.
  • In the radio version of The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy, the Lintilla clones are approached by Allitnil clones with offers of marriage which are actually agreements to cease existence. The name "Allitnil" was pronounced as if "Lintilla" were played backwards on tape.


Semag Potelbat[edit | hide]

  • The dark messiah "Susej", from Satanis Unbound.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • In the Spelljammer setting; "scro" (singular and plural) are advanced orcs.
    • D&D also has "nilbogs" and "llorts", both of which are damaged by healing magic, and vice versa.
    • The D&D campaign that became the World of Greyhawk included Jim Ward, Robert Kuntz, and of course Gary Gygax. Legendary Greyhawk wizards and heroes include Drawmij, Ztunk, Zagyg, Zagig Yragerne (who may be the same person as Zagyg), Xagyg (who probably isn't), etc.
    • D&D gods include the Trickster Olidammara, who has the ability to summon a nine-banded shell around himself, and a god of chance called Norebo.
    • Snilloc, a wizard from Forgotten Realms.
    • Module Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits. The names of 5 of the 6 Drow Lieutenants of Lolth were reversed versions of Drow names in module D3 Vault of the Drow, with some minor changes to make them pronounceable. Ardulace (Eclavdra), Anatlab (Beltana), Minolin (Nilonim), Lirdnolu (Vlondril) and Adinirahc (Charinida). Riklaunim (Minualkir?) is the only exception.
    • Dragon magazine #96 had an April Fools section which included the joke module Nogard ("Dragon" backwards).
    • Module I12 Egg of the Phoenix. After the Chaotic Evil illusionist Tuke is defeated by the PCs, he shows up later going under the alias Captain Ekut.


Syot[edit | hide]


Semag Oediv[edit | hide]

  • Sarevok/Koveras in Baldur's Gate. The part of the trope description where one would expect him to be more imaginative is lampshaded when one of his underlings mistakenly thinks that you're working for him too and tells you all the details of the Evil Plan. Regarding the pseudonym, he says something like "Not very original, I'll admit, but then it's not like any of us are gonna be stupid enough to tell him that!"
  • In the otherwise unrelated first act of Tex Murphy - Under a Killing Moon, the robber's accomplice gives the name Ema Nymton. As Murphy himself notices, it's of course "Not My Name" spelled backwards.
  • Hector from Castlevania: Curse of Darkness is aided by a priest by the name of Zead. It was easier to tell in the original Japanese, but his name is a phonetic reversal of Death.
  • The main protagonist of the Miyamoto-created series Pikmin is Captain Olimar. In Japan, though, his name is written with the three katakana characters O-RI-MA. Write them backward..., as you can see the English version retains the pun via Significant Anagram (and an l).
  • In Snatcher, the bounty hunter Random Hajile turns out to be a bioroid made in the image of Elijah Modnar, an Evilutionary Biologist, by his father who disagreed with his son's methods.
  • Legna from Drakengard 2 -- "Angel" backwards. Coincidentially, the dragon that Caim made a pact with in the first Drakengard is named Angelus.
  • Alexandra Roivas, the heroine of Eternal Darkness. Gains extra points for stealthiness: Roivas is an actual real-world surname.
  • Llednar Twem in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, the negative emotions of Prince Mewt Randell given form!
  • Fire Emblem
    • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and its sequel features Draug, the first armored Knight that joins you.
    • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn features Danved as a playable character, who has a striking resemblance to Devdan in Path of Radiance. Instead of a full reversal, they swapped the syllables and reversed one of them. Furthermore, in the Japanese release, Danved was known as Nadved—a full reversal. Said Japanese name was also used in Path of Radiance's Danved/Largo supports.
  • The climax of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake has the scientist Kio Marv supposedly store some secret information in an MSX cartridge. When the cartridge is retrieved and booted up, it displays the MSX BIOS screen, with a visual RAM of 01K - so it reads 'VRAM 01K'. Snake realises that the cartridge is genuine.
  • Ultima V
    • The Messianic Archetype Avatar could recruit a party member named SADUJ; a spy for the Oppression who would promptly turn on you and try to kill you the next time you entered combat. The smart players made him into Hairu in one particular battle.
    • The same game also had a royal scribe named Remoh.
  • Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman's Mine takes place in the wild-west town of Anozira.
  • Grobyc, the assassin with a robotic arm in Chrono Cross.
  • Colonel Redips/Spider, the Big Bad, in Mega Man X Command Mission. The instruction booklet of the game intentionally misspells the former name (Rideps) so that keen players wouldn't see the connection, at first.
  • The Skrejgib, alien antagonists from Captain Comic 2.
  • La-Mulana
    • A rather tricky one: La Mulana was developed by a programmer by the name of Naramura. Write the syllables in that name in reverse order, and you get Ramurana. And with the lack of distinction in Japanese between "r" and "l"...
    • And in an even further pronunciation stretch for English speakers: syllable-reverse the name of developer Samieru, and you get ru-mie-sa, the origin of "Lemeza", the main character's name.
    • The third developer, duplex, also got this treatment. The elder you consult at the beginning of the game is named Xelpud.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
    • In Case 3 of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations, you hear of someone going around impersonating Phoenix, and Maya immediately takes to calling this person Xin Eohp.
    • The "Tear of Emanon" in the third game.
    • In Apollo Justice, there's a noodle chef named Guy Eldoon. His noodle stand has a sign reading "NOODLE" on one side, and "ELDOON" on the other. This is a plot point! A witness's lying about where they were standing is revealed when they say the sign read noodle, when from where he claimed to be standing it read Eldoon.
  • In Tales of Vesperia the character Yeager maintains the double identity of Regeay. The "two" characters are near total opposites in personality and demeanor.
  • Noitu Love and Xoda Rap from the Noitu Love indie game series.
  • Might and Magic
    • In the series entry Darkside of Xeen, there is an order called the Drawkcab Monks. They study palindromes, and speak entirely in such.
    • Also in M&M VI: The Mandate of Heaven, there's goblin-infested fort in New Sorpigal, which apparently belonged to these monks. It serves as a hint for solving the password lock inside.
    • Also in Mandate, First Mate's Code: KCOPS Navigator's Code: ULUS Communication Officer's Code: ARUHU Engineer's Code: YTTOCS Doctor's Code: YOCCM Captain's Code: KRIK. Not one of these are any good without the proper papers, though...
  • Final Fantasy
    • The Weapon attack Aire Tam from Final Fantasy VII. The key to not getting decimated by this attack is to unequip all of your materia before entering battle with it. It does more damage based on how much materia you have equipped.
    • In Final Fantasy VI, a rather Guide Dang It of a puzzle features this. Four tombstones with four "random letters" each—ERAU QSSI DLRO WEHT. Put them back in the right order and you get "THE WORLD IS SQUARE", and a secret path to a very nice item.
  • Final Fantasy X: The Hymn of the Fayth. It's Japanese lyrics written western style, left to right in rows, then read vertically eastern style (though still left to right.) The grid is four characters wide except for the last line.
  • In Ketsui, the Mega Corp that you battle is called EVAC. "EVAC" spelled backwards is "CAVE", the company that made the game.
  • The god in Shadow of the Colossus is named Dormin. (A reference to the Old Testament-era god, not the modern-day insult.)
  • The goal of Nethack is to steal the Amulet of Yendor from the Wizard of Yendor.
  • The Seiddab from old ZX Spectrum game Astroclone, making this (in video games, at least) Older Than the NES.
  • Thief 2 - The Metal Age features a memorable extra named Ekim, famous for the number of people who stopped killing extras after killing him and reading his love letter. Do I need to tell you the name of the person who created him?
  • In Cave Story, the password to a Locked Door is revealed to be the Japanese name of the game (Doukutsu Monogatari) written backwards in katakana. This is not so obvious in the English version, which transliterated the password as "Litagano Motscoud" instead of translating it into something like "Yrot Sevac."
    • The Nintendo port of the game, at the very least, does make it "Yrots Evac."
  • Dragon Quest Swords
    • The Rorrim Mask, a boss called Draug, and a sword called Rednusadner. Then again, the game does feature a Mirror World.
    • Also, all the Bonus Bosses are cameos of enemies from previous games with reversed names.
  • In the Mortal Kombat series Noob Saibot's name is in fact the last names of the series' creators written backwards (Tobias and Boon).
  • In My Sims Kingdom, there's a robot named... wait for it... T.O.B.O.R., mixing this with Fun with Acronyms.
  • Pokémon
    • Three Pokémon: Ekans and its evolved form Arbok from Gen. I, and the Gen. IV Electric/Ghost-type Rotom.
    • And the syllables of Lucario when subjected to Japanization and listed backwards and then re-un-engrished spell (Sound) out Oracle. Ru Ca Ri O -- O Ri Ca Ru—Oricaru—Orical—Oracle. Yes, THAT was intentional.
    • And Muk... that one probably wasn't intentional, though.
  • The final boss in the NES version of Double Dragon III is an evil sorceress named Queen Noiram, who is revealed to be Marion (whose name is usually spelled "Marian" in other games) possessed by an evil spirit. In the original arcade and Famicom versions, she was actually Cleopatra.
  • Naxat Soft, the video game division of Kaga Electronics, had a short-lived American subsidiary called Taxan. Ironically, only one of the 11 games Taxan distributed (Serpent for the Game Boy) was developed or published by Naxat Soft.
  • MOTHER 1 features a bear enemy known as Raeb Yddet.
  • Kingdom Hearts
    • Wonk uoy naht noitceffa erom deen i...
    • Swond dna spu ynam os/ My heart's a battleground/ snoitome eurt deen I...
    • The names of all the Nobodies from Kingdom Hearts 2 are anagrams of their original names plus an x. This makes the name of Roxas' Somebody incredibly easy to guess.
    • In what was a deliberate Shout-Out to the above Yen Sid example, in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Ventus, Aqua, and Terra's master is named Eraqus, another example of the use of a digraph, and one that is a perfect reversal in Japanese ("Erakwusu").
  • Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work involves Passionate Patti infiltrating the offices of des Rever Records, whom her employers suspect are slipping subliminal messages into their records.
  • The XGen Studios game MotherLoad features a helpful gentleman named Mr. Natas, who, if you dig down far enough, turns into a giant demon with whom you fight.
  • Chaos Legion: The Apocrypha of Yzarc. Crazy, right?
  • The Floda lederhosen company in Flight of the Amazon Queen.
  • Defender II has an enemy called the Yllabian Space Guppy. Yllab is Bally backwards.
  • Rastan Saga II was released outside Japan under the Market Based Titles Nastar and Nastar Warrior ("st" is a diagraph).
  • In the game Shrek 2, Donkey makes the observation that ogre spelled backwards is ergo. Deep, isn't it?
  • Syphon Filter: Mara Aramov's surname minus the suffix is her first name backwards.
  • Rome: Total War features an Easter Egg unit called Yubtseb Elephant. According to the unit description, their summoning involves dark rituals dedicated to G'ni'tek'ram, the God Of Shiny Things Man Does Not Need But Desires Anyway.
  • One of the Daedric Princes in The Elder Scrolls games is Namira, which is Ariman backwards.
  • Team Fortress 2 combines this with Gratuitous Russian with the Dalokohs bar; "dalokohs" being the Russian word for chocolate, "shokolad", spelled backwards.
  • Though StarCraft II has only just begun its "trilogy", Wild Mass Guessing has already pegged a certain Professor Narud as being an important character from the previous game who was conspicuously absent in this one.
  • The Fan Nicknames for the two Toads in New Super Mario Bros. Wii: Yvan and Wolley.
  • There is a town called Gorlab in Ultima I. It also appears in Serpent Island as the Gorlab Swamp (the town itself was pulled into the dream realm). Gorlab is balrog backwards.
  • One puzzle in King's Quest I, Rumpelstiltskin gives you a riddle on how his name is spelled. The clue received is to think backwards. You think it's spelled "Nikstlitselpmur", but you have to reverse the alphabet (A becomes Z and so on) which spells the quite unpronounceable "Ifnkovhgroghprm". This was resolved in the remake by making both solutions acceptable.
  • In the first episodes of the Wizardry series, the good guy is Lord Trebor and the evil antagonist is called Werdna. Predictably, the game was first written by two guys named Robert and Andrew.
  • Shufflepuck Cafe, an air hockey game, allows you to play against one of nine computer-controlled opponents. The two with the strongest AI are named Eneg and Nerual.
  • In Breakline, a 1993 Breaking Out game, copy protection and the save-state system use codes built from eight symbols, the "Runes of Power". Four of them have Sdrawckab Names, slightly disguised: Drasah (hazard), Terces, Telfer (reflect) and Immenne (enemy).
  • Nanoc the Obliviator from Comic Jumper.
  • In the "meet the programmers" ending of Chrono Trigger, a guy says ".siht daer naht od ot gnithon evah I"
  • In Ghost Trick, a big part of the game's plot is kicked off by a meteor landing in Temsik Park... a meteor that grants people the ability to manipulate objects, or even go back in time and alter the past to save people from death. "Temsik" spelled backwards is "kismet", which means "fate" in Turkish.
  • Fortix has the Evil Sorcerer Xitrof as its Big Bad.
  • The Spellcasting Series has the Lost City of Sitnalta in the third entry.


Scimoc Bew[edit | hide]

  • Order of the Stick
    • Elan's evil twin brother Nale. Apparently, these are their birth names; either the reversal is a coincidence or their parents have a unique sense of humor. Given that said parents were a Chaotic Good barmaid and a Lawful Evil warlord... (and guess who raised which boy). A Dangerously Genre Savvy father could've intentionally named them both that way, without even knowing which one would be the evil twin.
    • In contrast to pure fighter and Genius Bruiser Roy, there's the Thieves' Guild's pure fighter and Dumb Muscle Yor (the stereotype Roy does his best to avert).
  • In Corner Alley 13, Tsac Tuo is revealed to be the shapeshifter Drel in disguise, and points out that his name is 'just outcast spelled backwards'. The heroine's response? "I thought it sounded foreign."
  • In Schlock Mercenary, Lieutenant Commander Der Trihs always manages to get himself mostly-dead-ified in one way or another... An added bonus is to add another little t in there and get a name that sounds suspiciously like Detritus.
    • Daehremmah - aliens with heads somewhat like that of, well, hammerhead sharks - a double Shout Out to the "Hammerhead" character in Mos Eisley cantina in Star Wars, and David Drake's Hammer's Slammers (they have a mercenary company called "Pranger's Bangers").
  • In Looking for Group, the Jerkass undead warlock Richard named his imp familiar Hctib Elttil; "I was looking for something to define what his role in our partnership would be."
  • In Chasing the Sunset our heroes are accompanied by a pixie named Feiht, (pronounced "Fate"), who lives up to her sdrawkcab name by regarding all shiny things as her possessions. Hilarity Ensues (usually).
  • This The B Movie Comic strip.
  • Geist Panik does this with "Sevink". Which is just "Knives" backwards.
  • In possibly the most blatant example ever, the opposite of Chris-chan in Sonichu is called... Reldnahc Notsew Naitsirhc. This idea for names generally works better when it's simply one name spelt backwards rather than three in a row, but that's the level of unimaginativeness of this comic.
  • Sluggy Freelance has one of the more embarassing versions in this strip. While Torg simply goes by "Grot", Sasha has the dubious honor of being "Ass-Ass."
  • Domain Tnemrot has one right in the title.
  • The Drab Lord of Captain SNES. Drab as in Bard.
  • Twokinds has a slave named Evals.

Lanigiro Bew[edit | hide]


Noitamina Nretsew[edit | hide]

  • Star Trek: The Animated Series
    • Walter ("Pavel Chekov") Koenig wrote a episode featuring a poisonous plant called a retlaw.
    • The episode "The Counter-Clock Incident" has a planet named Arret in a universe where time runs backwards. Arret is Terra backwards, and Terra is often used as an alternate name for Earth.
  • Mighty Orbots has a Shadow-controlled duplicate of the Orbots called Tobor.
  • Every single race' in Wakfu.
    • The Xelor (yes, the watch brand. They manipulate time.), Sadida (yes, the shoe brand. Don't ask.) and Enutrof (they really like money) are just the most obvious English ones.
    • And at least one case have managed to get crap past the radar this way: The whip-wielding beastmasters are called "Osamodas" -- "Sado-maso".
  • G.I. Joe
    • Tomax and Xamot.
    • The character of Dusty Tadur in the toyline and comics, who was named after G.I. Joe artist Ron Rudat, was renamed Dusty Rudat in the animated series.
  • In The Emperors New School, Yzma's alias while masquerading as the principal of Kuzco U. is Amzy. Of course, no-one falls for her Paper-Thin Disguise except for Kronk, the only one who's supposed to know. Though this is subverted in the finale when Kronk admits he figured out "about three episodes back" and proceeds to point out everything that made it obvious while admitting he'd been pretending to remain ignorant since the realization.
  • In Gargoyles, the Evil Twin (so to speak) of Goliath is Thailog... not a precise reversal. Of course, the writers admitted they did it this way because "Htailog" would have been very hard for the voice actors to say.
  • During his initial appearance in Totally Spies!, Tim Scam masquerades as Mac Smit. Alex figures it out when she sees his name tag in the mirror, although the letters are not mirror-image reversed.
  • In the "Marge vs. the Monorail" episode of The Simpsons, Mr. Burns attempts to get his money back by disguising himself with a fake mustache at the town meeting and calling himself "Mr. Snrub". Surprisingly, it fails instantly. Remember, this is Springfield we are talking about.
    • In the "New Kids on the Blecch" episode Bart, Milhouse, Ralph Wiggum, and Nelson are in a boy band that is secretly sponsored by a military force. The main song's hook had the lyrics "yvan eht nioj."
  • One episode of Danny Phantom features Danny and his mom taking a "free" (i.e.: it's an evil plot) vacation thanks to the "Dalv" Cooperation. Gee, I wonder who could be behind this....
  • Greek god Ares goes by the alias "Mr. Sera" in Justice League Unlimited "Hawk and Dove".
  • Similarly, the Almighty Janitor Mr. Suez in Class of the Titans is... well, you figure it out.
  • Scooby Doo
    • In Shaggy and Scooby Doo Get a Clue, the Big Bad's Mad Scientist assistant, Dr. Trebla, turns out to be Shaggy's missing Uncle Albert in disguise.
    • All of the "Wild Brood" bikers in Scooby Doo Mystery Inc have these, from smooth-acting leader Odnarb, to Foog and Dren, to the disgusting Gabtraf.
  • The second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series uses several of these in a non-alias context, the most notable being Mortu the Utrom. There is also a running gag involving recurring character Kluh ("Hulk"), where concepts related to him are also backwards names for things related to the Marvel character—his father is called Ammag ("gamma"), and his home planet is named Levram ("Marvel").
  • A strange example in The Fairly OddParents is Poof's anti-fairy counterpart Foop. I say strange because he's the only anti-fairy with this kind of name, all the others share their counterparts names with "anti" in front of it (Anti-Cosmo, Anti-Wanda, etc.). Why he doesn't follow this naming convention? Presumably because "Anti-Poof" might be considered homophobic. Then again, the Anti-Fairies might think names like "Omsoc", "Adnaw", "Negroj", "Yknib" are too odd.
  • One episode of Codename: Kids Next Door had Sector V visiting a Mirror Universe. The KND counterpart was the Destructivly Nefarious Kids (DNK), the Delightful Children From Down The Lane (DCFDTL) were now the Little Traitor Dudes From Childrens Defense (LTDFCD), and the alternate Lizzie was named Eizzil, leading some fans to believe this applies to all names (the DNK operatives are only referred to as Negative Numbuh X).
  • Spoofing Superman's "Mr. Mxyzptlk", an episode of Family Guy has a clip in which Adam West provides "Kebert Xela" as his answer on Final Jeopardy, causing host Alex Trebek to disappear when he read it aloud.
  • In the Kim Possible episode "A Sitch in Time", Shego uses the pseudonym "Mrs. Ogehs" in her scheme to break up Team Possible.
  • During the season one episode of Regular Show, in the episode "Dizzy", had Pops has a hallucination about a non-humanoid versions of Mordecai and Rigby, Iacedrom and Ybgir.
  • Popeye
    • In 1943's The Hungry Goat, the title animal tells the projectionist to run the film backwards so he can re-examine the title card.
    • In 1961's There's No Space Like Home, cans of aersol spinach cause Popeye's space capsule to blast off and go the speed of light, causing everything on Earth to go backwards.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy: At the start of "The Prank Call Of Cthulhu," Mandy says "Cartoons will rot your mind" backwards.
  • In American Dad episode "Dungeons and Wagons", Hayley breaks up with Jeff, but when she tries to get back with him he's too busy playing an MMORPG with Steve. In order to get Jeff away from the game, Hayley kills Steve's character with a special command: his character's name backwards.
    • Later on in the same episode they attempt to revive Steve by taking him to the Castle Roodpart. Haley calls it immature, and when Jeff starts talking about how it probably has some deep plot significance, Haley interrupts with "Crap, it's 'trapdoor' spelled backwards."
  • In a first-season episode of Jackie Chan Adventures, a talisman brings Jade's beloved Gnomekop toy to life. Remember that the G is silent.
  • Filmation The New Adventures of Superman episode "Luthor Strikes Again". Lex Luthor's lair is a paint factory owned by the "Rohtul Paint Co."
  • Danger Mouse episode "The Hickory Dickory Dock Dilemma": DM sends himself and Penfold into the future in the time-traveling grandfather clock where DM sees London is ruled by Dlofnep the Magnificent, a spitting image of and whose name is backwards for Penfold.
  • Polly Pocket story "Pollyworld" featured two exchange students named Karl and Lark.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures had one episode where Jade tried to guess the password to one of the safety devices protecting the talismans. Her guess was "Namsilat".
  • In one episde of Phineas and Ferb, Dr. Doofenshmirtz invented a substance he named "Eulg" that works opposite to glue.
  • Pinky and The Brain had one episode where Pinky started saying "Troz", which, as Pinky explained, is "Zort" backwards.
  • Ruff and Reddy was a Hanna-Barbera show in the late Fifties. The very first story arc involved "the dreaded planet Muni-Mula," which the narrator went out of his way to inform viewers is "aluminum spelled backwards." Muni-Mula actually looked more like the Death Star (almost twenty years early) than a planet.


Efil Lear[edit | hide]

  • Professional baseball player Nomar Garciaparra's unique name is his father's name, Ramon, spelled backwards.
  • One name that has become somewhat popular in recent years is Nevaeh, "heaven" written backwards. It seems to be a rule that if a new parent is telling you that s/he named a child Nevaeh, the conversation will almost inevitably go, in a breathless rush, "We named her Nevaeh -- that's Heaven spelled backwards." It begins to grate after a while.
  • Other backwards-spelled names that have come into somewhat occasional use (though not to the extent of Nevaeh, which is in the U.S. top 100 as of 2005) include: Semaj, Senga, Traeh, and Neleh. The last one was the name of a contestant on Survivor in 2002.
  • The transport company "Elddis" is a reverse of its original name, "Siddle".
  • Oprah's production company is called Harpo, Inc.
    • Fun fact: In The Color Purple, Oprah Winfrey played Sofia, whose husband was named Harpo.
  • "Norac" was the codename of French agent (and playwright) Caron de Beaumarchais.
  • People do fall for this in real life. Walt Disney bought up land in Florida with a dummy company called Retlaw Enterprises. "Retlaw" = "Walter".
  • During the Russian Revolution of 1905, university students went on strike. A conservative newspaper "Novoe Vremya" published letters of "outraged students" calling for putting the strike to an end. Such letters were often signed by such names as Karud, Toidi, Noipsh or Tseipulg, which can be translated into English as Norom, Toidi, Yps and Loof.
  • Nivek Ogre. First name is Kevin backwards.
  • A small street in Annapolis, MD bears the name Silopanna Road.
  • The actor Robert Trebor. Trebor is best known as Salmoneus in both Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess.
  • Lots of places in Nebraska named Aksarben. Ak-Sar-Ben arena and racetrack started it. (Stress is on the middle syllable.)
    • While not named after the State, there is a town in Texas called Reklaw named after the founder, whose last name was Walker.
  • Another actor and former Fall bass player, Steve Evets (ne Murphy).
  • There are two different Canadian communities called Adanac, both in the province of Ontario. Pluralized, it's the name of a lacrosse team in Coquitlam, British Columbia, and there's also the Adanac Military Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery in northeastern France.
  • Inva Mula, the women who sang "The Diva Dance" from The Fifth Element, first name is her father's name (Avni) backwards.
  • Napoleon's sister Caroline married Joachim Murat, who in 1808 became king of Naples (Italian: Napoli), but lost his throne and his life in 1815 when he rashly went to war in support of his brother-in-law. For the rest of her life, Caroline Murat went by the title of Countess Lipona, a syllabic inversion of "Napoli" (which works better for Italian in any case).
  • Cornish Yarg cheese was created by Allan and Jenny Gray.
  • The most popular (though likely apocryphal) explanation for how the town of Levan, Utah got its name is that it's "navel" spelled backwards (because it's in the center of the state).
  • The names of certain physical units for quantities that are the reciprocal (that is, one divided by) other quantities are the names of the units of the latter quantities spelled backwards: examples include the mho (the unit of electric conductance, from "ohm", the unit of electrical resistance), the yrneh and the daraf. (Note, however, that scientists tend to eschew such levity and use other names for these units; for example, the mho is called the siemens.)
  • There's even a whole dialect of this trope in East Java, called the Malangan dialect (named after its origin region, Malang). It's a lot like a East Javanese, but some of the words are in fact reversed words of the language. Naturally it leads to Heh Heh, You Said "X" and Hilarity Ensues situations. Some examples:
    • kera, from Javanese arek, which means something akin to 'boyz' in English. Kera in Indonesian means ape.
    • kunam, from Javanese manuk, which means 'bird' in English. 'Manuk' is the Javanese slang for male genitalia, so arguably it serves an opposite purpose.
      • Trilingual Bonus: You now see another connection between a raised middle finger and its slang "flipping the bird". Have fun with that.
  • Operation Ortsac. Yes, the plan to invade Cuba was named Castro, spelled backwards.
  • The Enola Gay, the infamous bomber that dropped the A-Bomb, was named after the commanding pilot's mother, who wanted the plane's name to be unique. Which is kind of strange considering what Enola spelled backwards is.
  • Ambulance labels are particular variations of this for drivers to read it properly in their rear view mirrors.
  • Magician P. T. Selbit was actually named P. T. Tibbles.
  1. His name in Japanese is read Suuri Kurume; reversing the syllable order produces Merukuriusu, which is the Japanese rendition of "Mercurius".
  2. I show not your face but your heart's desire.