Herein Lies Yet Another Route to Madness


Here is another item from Futility Closet (, re-posted with the permission of Greg Ross.


It was British wordplay expert Leigh Mercer who coined the classic palindrome “A man, a plan, a canal—Panama” in Note & Queries on Nov. 13, 1948. He later said that he’d had the middle portion, PLAN A CANAL P, for a year before he saw that PANAMA fit.

Mercer published 100 palindromes in N&Q between 1946 and 1953. Here is a brief selection:

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