Reversible Names: The palindromes Hannah, Otto and Nan

If you’re looking for a name with perfect symmetry and balance, nothing could fit the bill better than a palindromic appellation, meaning one that reads the same backwards and forwards. Granted, that’s a pretty limited field, and a lot of the choices begin and end with the letter ‘a’ with only one consonant in-between, but there are a few others as well. Here are the most usable:


A sweet turn-of-the-last century favorite that’s recently returned, climbing more than 350 places in the past decade, partly as a replacement for the overused Ava. Notable namesake: Ada Lovelace, mathematician daughter of the poet Lord Byron, who worked on the forerunners to the calculator and computer.

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21 Responses to “Reversible Names: The palindromes Hannah, Otto and Nan”

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oboeplayer1 Says:

September 5th, 2013 at 10:49 pm

I love palindrome names!

JH Says:

September 5th, 2013 at 11:32 pm

I love Hannah (wish it wasn’t so popular) and Elle. I also like Emme.

nowsintechnicolor Says:

September 5th, 2013 at 11:47 pm

My name is Hannah… wouldn’t recommend naming your kid that, there seems to be a Hannah everywhere I look hahhaha but some people call me Nanna, which I like better

capturedcastle Says:

September 6th, 2013 at 1:10 am

I think Hannah (my own name) is probably the only name for which people CONSTANTLY comment, “Oh it’s a palindrome!”

tori101 Says:

September 6th, 2013 at 2:22 am

My favourite palindrome names from the list…

ollieollie Says:

September 6th, 2013 at 5:09 am

We have an Asa and still love the name. We’ve only met on other IRL. Otto has spunk but not sure we’d actually use it. I have an Aunt Nan who is constantly explaining ‘No, it’s just Nan!’.

maggiefromcanada Says:

September 6th, 2013 at 7:24 am

I love Anna and Eve. Alla is lovely and makes me think of the singer Alla Pugacheva.

misshoppy Says:

September 6th, 2013 at 8:02 am

You missed one of my favorites — Aviva.

Pam Says:

September 6th, 2013 at 8:21 am

You’re right, misshoppy — we added Aviva, and Aziza!!

KateMP91 Says:

September 6th, 2013 at 2:11 pm

I love Renner. Sadly, it’s on my unusable list =( My great grandmother always went by Nan, although, I don’t believe it was her real or full name.

iwillpraise Says:

September 6th, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Not a huge fan. I prefer Adah with an ‘h’ — and the only remotely usables for me would be the classics: Anna and Hannah (although I would more than likely choose Susannah over them).

Just a bit too predictable for my taste. To be honest, I think one’s naming style is reflective of who you are; I mean, even my art/design style is that of A-symetrical balance. Nothing matchy-matchy, one-note cookie-cutter, but rather pairing the expected pattern with an unexpected, subtle, surprising element! In this way, I’d describe my naming style more like a scrapbook patchwork (varying degrees of complimentary patterns) but with a surprising element: an unpredictable focal point along the edges or corners of the page 🙂

Each to their own… I’ll leave the palindromes to the rest of you Berries!

CsprsSassyHrly Says:

September 6th, 2013 at 4:58 pm

I had a friend with the last name Allen. Jokingly one night, we decided he should name his daughter Nell Ann Allen. 🙂

alphabetdem Says:

September 6th, 2013 at 7:17 pm

I know someone whose last name is Otto… he’s constantly correcting people who think it’s Auto! I kinda like Aviva… it’s like an elaborate, more exotic Ava.

I didn’t like the picture on the front page though. The sexist sandwich joke is getting old.

lovelynames Says:

September 6th, 2013 at 10:43 pm

I have always loved Anna.

My name is Candace, but some of my friends nicknamed me Nan!

_Magnolia_ Says:

September 7th, 2013 at 8:09 am

I love Ada, Elle and Eve.

milo2011 Says:

September 7th, 2013 at 3:07 pm

My names Anna I’ve never been overly concerned about the fact its the same forwards and backwards. But I guess it makes learning to spell your name easy, more chance of getting the letters round the right way 🙂

chloeadele Says:

September 7th, 2013 at 5:38 pm

My son is named Otto but it wasn’t because I just woke up one day and thought “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to have a name that’s spelt the same backwards as it is forwards.
Though it is fun to write.

Also, nobody ever mishears it as “Auto” because we are in Australia and it’s pronounced OTT-OH not AH-TO

wgcathyhillary Says:

September 7th, 2013 at 6:51 pm

My middle name is Hannah and I’ve never liked it but ever since my mom told me when I was little, I’ve loved the fact that it’s a palindrome!

annak88 Says:

September 11th, 2013 at 1:07 am

My mother loved Palindromes. My name is Anna, and my sister is Eve. When my brother was born, there wasn’t a lot of choice other than Otto…. so he was named Thomas :))

Fourthseason Says:

December 8th, 2013 at 2:30 am

Ivi, would be a good option too.

Liztheartist Says:

December 13th, 2013 at 1:28 am

I do like Asa, Aviva, Anna, and Hannah. I prefer the Hanna spelling though.

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