Alucard: This reversal of "Dracula" is so prevalent as to count as its own trope.
Sdrawkcab Alias: A character reverses his or her own name to disguise his or her identity. Of course, this fails as soon as someone thinks to reverse the pseudonym.
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.
open/close all folders
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".
Dr. Mashirito, the Mad Scientist antagonist in Dr. 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.
Nevinyrral's Disk, a Shout Out to Larry Niven (and specifically to his story "The Magic Goes Away"). The story involves a wizard proving that magic is a limited resource (a metaphor for fossil fuel) by creating a disk that has two spells on it — one causes it to spin faster and faster without limit, and the other binds the disk together against the increasingly extreme forces that would otherwise tear it apart. The result is a small 'do nothing' engine that, in a very short time, consumes all the magic in the vicinity and leaves a zone in which magic does not exist and spells do not work. The Magic card works similarly; activating it immediately destroys all the spells and summoned creatures in play.
The Citanul Druids (and other such) — "Citanul" becomes "lunatic"....
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.
Parodied in Sergio Aragonés destroys DC, when Batman defeated the villain, the Darker and Edgier in Nineties Anti-Hero style version of company mascot Johnny DC saying he would buy a CD player called CD Ynnhoj. When the villain asked "What is a CD Ynnhoj?", he realized too late it was his name spelled backwards, and vanished exactly as Mr. Mxyzptlk would.
In Spanish comic-book Superlópez, 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 left-to-right). 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.
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 Dog 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.
In Zombo, the title character's successor was deliberately named Obmoz to indicate how he is the opposite of Zombo.
While not strictly a name, per se, the "magic word" which triggers Miracleman's Transformation Sequence is "kimota". Alan Moore's reboot 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.
In Tex Willer, Mephisto during his second appearence once told some people that his name was "Anatas". It didn't last long, but he was quite in a hurry at the time. During his third one, he goes by the much more creative pseudonym of "Fiesmot".
It gets complicated in Archie Comics Sonic The Hedgehog. Dr. Robotnik was originally an alias for Julian Kintobor. However, when the comic integrated elements of Sonic Adventure 2, they added in a separate Robotnik family. Eventually it was retconed from an alias to this trope, with the mad doctor taking his parent's names upon rising to power.
Urbanus: The character Ed Luived is actually Satan in disguise. ("De Duivel" is Dutch for "The Devil".)
Scimoc — Srepapswen (Comics — Newspapers)
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.
Naf Skrow (Fan Works)
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.
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.
Troll 2. "Nilbog! It's Goblin spelled backwards!" (Actually, "Goblin" was supposed to be the original title of the movie. Someone thought that making people think it was an actual sequel to Troll would make it better.)
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.
Holes features a protagonist named Stanley Yelnats the 4th. Every man in his family is named Stanley.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In The Last Hero, Da Vinci expy Leonard of Quirm builds the Disc's second spaceship. The lever marked Troba is cited by Vetinari to be one not to pull, while the lever marked Sekarb stops the ship while it is crashing.
The one weakness that all Discworld vampires share is their belief that spelling their name backwards is an effective way of fooling people.
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.
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.
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 Potterand 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.note I show not your face but your heart's desire.
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".
"Ecirp Nelle Hada" of The Poisonwood Bible likes to write and speak backward.note Her real name is Adah Ellen Price.
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.
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.
X-Wing Series: 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.
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.")
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?
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...
Literature The Culture: 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.
Three of the seven stories in Tuf Voyaging center on S'uthlam, a planet in perpetual crisis due to overpopulation.
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.
Roger Zelazny's The Chronicles of 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.
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.
In the Commonwealth Saga short story "Manhattan in Reverse", Bernadino "Dino" Paganazzi is part of the biological survey team that initially studied a recently-settled planet and the expert on the Onid, a herbivorous native species. We're not told who named the Onid and how they came up with that name...
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.
In Power Rangers Turbo, the team meets a mysterious child who calls himself Erutan. ("Nature" spelled backwards; he's actually a powerful forest spirit, maybe even a Genus Loci.)
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).
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 Technobabble.
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....
In one episode, the crew goes to a sleazy bar to find an informant; the guy they eventually come up with is named Yranac.
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".
One episode of Farscape features a villainous alien geneticist named Namtar — he's a genetically-altered lab-rodent.
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 Ipswich, 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.
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 Virgo Zodiarts real name. Kuniteru Emoto. Emoto = Otome, which is "virgin" in English.
In a 2011 episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, Bill introduces the fictitious GOP candidate for the 2012 presidential election: Karab Omabo, an American who is the complete opposite of Barack Obama in every way except gender, as a way to mock the excessive Commander Contrarian attitudes which the GOP holds towards Obama.
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."
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, Suid Akr A, is the guitarist/vocalist's first name "Arkadius" spelled backwards.
For a while, there were two competing lineups of the band T.S.O.L. touring at the same time - one playing their earlier punk songs, the other playing their then-current glam metal material. The latter had the rights to the name and threatened to sue, so the former briefly started billing themselves as LOST.
Related: backing vocals in the Utada Hikaru songs Passion and Sanctuary are played backwards. Reversed the right way round and the lyrics are "I need more affection than you know" and "I need true emotions."
The Elevator Drops' album title Pop Bus is "Sub Pop" (as in the independent record label) backwards - the cover features a bus with a reversed Sub Pop logo on it.
Nosaj Thing is the musical project of Jason Chung - aside from "Nosaj" being "Jason" backwards, it's also sort of a pun on "no such thing".
Orp Gniltserw (Pro Wrestling)
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, 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.
In the radio version of The Hitchhiker's 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.
In Sue Limb's 1990 BBC English Civil War comedy The Sit-Crom, the housemaid Mercy is actually a Royalist spy who receives her instructions in backward code - e.g., "Eht Gnik si gnimoc worromot". Later on, when she starts to develop feelings for the Roundhead Captain Higgs she is alarmed to receive an order to "Llik eht Niatpac Sggih".
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 (c.f. armadillo), and a god of chance called Norebo.
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 under the alias Captain Ekut.
Modules Slayers of Lankhmar and Avengers in Lankhmar. Both modules were written by Dale "Slade" Henson, and one of the characters in the modules is named Elad Edals.
Dragon magazine #55, adventure "The Creature of Rhyl". Several names were backwards versions of Real Life names: Asereht (Theresa), Namreh (Herman) and Laechim (Michael).
Module C6 Official RPGA Tournament Handbook has a character named Gabtrid (Dirtbag).
Module CM3 Sabre River has a character named Erbas, who is actually a manifestation of a magical sabre.
Module EX2 The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror has a vorpal sword named Laprov.
RuneQuest supplement Into the Troll Realms, adventure "The Flying Trollkin". The leader of the title criminals is named Nesretep. Steve Petersen co-wrote the supplement.
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.
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. Mondar even outright states it: "Haven't you yet realized? Random Hajile is Elijah Modnar spelled backwards."
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.
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and its sequel features Draug, the first armored Knight that joins you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Noitu Love and Xoda Rap from the Noitu Love indie game series.
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...
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.)
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).
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.
Rotom is "Motor" backwards. Makes sense, given its origins.
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: 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").
Similarly, a Bonus Boss in Live A Live is a robot named Erauqs. Presumably, they changed it to Eraqus when they revisited the idea in Kingdom Hearts to make it easier to pronounce.
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.
The Floda lederhosen company in Flight of the Amazon Queen.
Defender II has an enemy called the Yllabian Space Guppy. Yllab is Bally backwards.
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.
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.
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 has aliens named Eneg Doowtrop and Nerual Ttoille, after two of the developers.
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).
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.
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."
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."
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 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.
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."
“Brother From The Same Planet” has a sequence where Homer forgets to pick up Bart after soccer practice and leaves him there all night. At one point, Bart tries to psychically send him the message "Pick up Bart! Pick up Bart!" - cut to a brief The Shining parody with Milhouse writing "PICK UP BART" on the wall in mirrored writing and chanting "Trab pu kicp! Trab pu kcip!".
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....
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 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.
In another episode, Jade tries to guess the password to one of the safety devices protecting the talismans, and types in "Namsilat". It doesn't work, and Captain Black is briefly confused before she spells it out for him.
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.
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.
A Continuity Nod to some extent, as Pinky also said "Troz" in later episodes.
In the Monorail episode of The Simpsons, Mr. Burns introduces himself at a town-hall meeting as "Mr. Snrub".
Teen Titans has an imp called Nosyarg Kcid (Dick Grayson spelled backwards).
The names of two stars in constellation Delphinus, "Sualocin" and "Rotanev" are "Nicolaus" and "Venator" backwards, referring to Latin name of Italian astronomer Niccolo Cacciatore.
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.
"Norac" was the codename of French agent (and playwright) Caron de Beaumarchais.
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.
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, SteveEvets (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 Colonel Paul K.Tibbets's mother Enola Gay Tibbets, as Col. Tibbets wanted the plane's name to be unique. Which is kind of strange considering what Enola spelled backwards is.
"Enola Gay" was a character in a novel, "Enola; or her Fatal Mistake," by Mary Young Ridenbaugh (1866) that was popular in the US shortly before Tibbets' mother was born. The title character is well aware of the origin of her name.
Ambulance labels are particular variations of this for drivers to read it properly in their rear view mirrors.
In Fairfax, Virginia, there is a street by the name of "Derosnec Drive". No idea why they chose that word to reverse though.
Two points on the Denver & Salt Lake line - the Moffat Road, in Colorado: Dotsero, where the lines to Tennessee Pass and the Moffat Tunnel diverge, and Orestod, a point near Bond where the Denver and Rio Grande Western merged with the D&SL.
The group Team Starkid constantly refer to an evil group called the 'Dikrats'.
This Sdrawkcab Name is an Sollasac Name: Comic artist Eman Casallos signs his art with "Name".