What's the longest rotational word in the English language.

Thread Starter

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
24,850
I don't know if there's an actual name for this kind of word, but for short words it is not too uncommon to find situations such as

who <<< 1 = how

i.e., rotate the letters of "who" to the left 1 place (or to the left 2 places) and you get "how"

Of course, words that are strictly reduplicative, such as mama, are rotational, but most such words are "baby words", like boo-boo. Most of these, like hush-hush, are obvious repeats of words that stand completely on their own and mean the same thing (or nearly so). I couldn't find any long reduplicative words,

But what piqued my curiosity is what the longest word is that, when rotated by some amount, produces another completely different word.

So here's the challenge. Let's see who can come up with the longest rotational word.

I wonder if there are any prefixes that can also be used as suffixes on the same word? If so, I would consider them interesting, but not eligible for consideration.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
8,077
Hi Eric,

My sources default "palandrome" to palindrome, which requires that the forward and backward words/phrases/numbers be the same.

From Wikipedia:
A palindrome is a word, number, phrase, or other sequence of characters which reads the same backward as forward, such as taco cat or madam or racecar or the number 10801. Sentence-length palindromes may be written when allowances are made for adjustments to capital letters, punctuation, and word dividers, such as "A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!"...
Different words when spelled backwards are anadromes, such as "desserts" and "stressed." But, a rotation does not reverse the order of all the letters. Anagram seems to be generic for rearrangement, but when I search on "rotation(al) anagram," and variations of that, all I get are the anagrams of "rotation."

There is "string rotation anagram," which might be close, but all I found were programs to generate the strings. A clever (bored?) person might do a dictionary attack and check all of the rotations of words of various lengths.
 

Thread Starter

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
24,850
range < anger
sport < ports
dangle < angled
strait < traits
Passover <<<< overpass
So the last one I'm going to call a "weak" rotational word. It's a compound word and I think there are going to be many of those in which reversing the order yields a different compound word. So it's still of interest, but I think that "strong" words are more "worthy".
 

joeyd999

Joined Jun 6, 2011
4,268
@WBahn,

Answer your own question: write a script to rotate all your computer's dictionary words and grep them against the same dictionary. Sort the resulting valid words by word length and see what you get.

I'd do it for you, but I am both too lazy and too busy.
 

Thread Starter

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
24,850
@WBahn,

Answer your own question: write a script to rotate all your computer's dictionary words and grep them against the same dictionary. Sort the resulting valid words by word length and see what you get.

I'd do it for you, but I am both too lazy and too busy.
Same here. It's something I might do over Christmas break, but more likely will have to wait for summer.
 
The only set of four I found:

estop > pesto > stope > topes

There are several 3 word combinations, here are a couple.

ablest > stable > tables
stripe > tripes > ripest
 
Top