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Forwards - backwards Chinese words

I just found this cool thread on Baidu Zhidao, where posters have collected examples of Chinese words that can be reversed. They’re grouped into categories based on how related the meanings are after you swap the characters around.

This list is by no means comprehensive - there are probably thousands of words like this. These are just some interesting examples, courtesy of the users at Baidu Zhidao.

You can study this list on Skritter.

Verb / adjective & noun reversals

虚空 - 空虚 xūkōng - kōngxū empty - emptiness

煎熬 - 熬煎 jiān'áo - áojiān to suffer - suffering

情痴 - 痴情 qíngchī - chīqíng to be infatuated - infatuation

报喜 - 喜报 bàoxǐ - xǐbào to announce - announcement

愿意 - 意愿 yuànyì - yìyuàn to wish for - a wish

适合 - 合适 shìhé - héshì to suit - appropriate

年少 - 少年 niánshào - shàonián young - youth

忌妒 - 妒忌 jìdù - dùjì to be jealous of - jealousy

金黄 - 黄金 jīnhuáng - huángjīn golden - gold

画图 - 图画 huàtú - túhuà to draw - drawing

锁门 - 门锁 suǒmén - ménsuǒ to lock a door - door lock

犯罪 - 罪犯 fànzuì - zuìfàn to commit a crime - criminal

Meaning is very similar when reversed

宵夜 - 夜宵 xiāoyè - yèxiāo midnight snack

讲演 - 演讲 jiǎngyǎn - yǎnjiǎng lecture

觉察 - 察觉 juéchá - chájué sense, perceive

夜半 - 半夜 yèbàn - bànyè midnight

胆大 - 大胆 dǎndà - dàdǎn bold, brave

依偎 - 偎依 yīwēi - wēiyī cuddle, snuggle

喜欢 - 欢喜 xǐhuan - huānxǐ like, be fond of

累积 - 积累 lěijī - jīlěi accumulate

互相 - 相互 hùxiāng - xiānghù each other

代替 - 替代 dàitì - tìdài replace, substitute

问询 - 询问 wènxún - xúnwèn inquire

奋发 - 发奋 fènfā - fāfèn effort, work hard

质朴 - 朴质 zhípǔ - pǔzhí simple, plain

寂静 - 静寂 jìjìng - jìngjì quiet, still

容颜 - 颜容 róngyán - yánróng countenance, bearing

情感 - 感情 qínggǎn - gǎnqíng feeling, emotion

别离 - 离别 biélí - líbié to leave, to part

久远 - 远久 jiǔyuǎn - yuǎnjiǔ old, distant

登攀 - 攀登 dēngpān - pāndēng to climb, to scale

并吞 - 吞并 bìngtūn - tūnbìng merge, annex

整齐 - 齐整 zhěngqí - qízhěng orderly, neat

虫害 - 害虫 chónghài - hàichóng pest insect

Meaning is closely related when reversed

Products and sources

牛奶 - 奶牛 niúnǎi - nǎiniú milk - cow

蜂蜜 - 蜜蜂 fēngmì - mìfēng honey - bee

猪肉 - 肉猪 zhūròu - ròuzhū pork - pig for eating

菜油 - 油菜 càiyóu - yóucài rapeseed oil - oilseed rape

蛇毒 - 毒蛇 shédú - dúshé venom - viper

鸡肉 - 肉鸡 jī ròu - ròujī chicken (meat) - chicken (bird)

井水 - 水井 jǐngshuǐ - shuǐjǐng well water - well

笔画 - 画笔 bǐhuà - huàbǐ brush stroke - brush

Other closely related reversible words

和平 - 平和 hépíng - pínghé peace, placid

语言 - 言语 yǔyán - yányǔ language - speech

开放 - 放开 kāifàng - fàngkāi to open - to relase

焰火 - 火焰 yànhuǒ - huǒyàn fireworks - flame

雪白 - 白雪 xuěbái - báixuě snow white - white snow

彩色 - 色彩 cǎisè - sècǎi multi-coloured - colouring

云彩 - 彩云 yúncai - cǎiyún cloud - rosy clouds

明天 - 天明 míngtiān - tiānmíng tomorrow - dawn

牙刷 - 刷牙 yáshuā - shuāyá toothbrush - to brush teeth

计算 - 算计 jìsuàn - suànjì to calculate - to reckon

Meaning is loosely related when reversed

缓和 - 和缓 huǎnhé - héhuǎn to alleviate - to relax

质变 - 变质 zhìbiàn - biànzhí fundamental change - detoriate

生产 - 产生 shēngchǎn - chǎnshēng childbirth - to give rise to

现实 - 实现 xiànshí - shíxiàn reality - to realise

中心 - 心中 zhōngxīn - xīnzhōng heart - in one's heart

官宦 - 宦官 guānhuàn - huànguān official - eunuch official

发挥 - 挥发 fāhuī - huīfā to develop - volatile

面相 - 相面 miànxiàng - xiàngmiàn facial features - facial divination

感动 - 动感 gǎndòng - dònggǎn to move - dynamism

上马 - 马上 shàngmǎ - mǎshàng mount a horse - immediately

调情 - 情调 tiáoqíng - qíngdiào to flirt - tone, mood

动乱 - 乱动 dòngluàn - luàndòng turmoil - to meddle with

人情 - 情人 rénqíng - qíngrén emotion - lover

乡下 - 下乡 xiāngxià - xiàxiāng countryside - go to countryside

海上 - 上海 pinyin maritime - Shanghai

故事 - 事故 gùshì - shìgù story - accident

当家 - 家当 dāngjiā - jiādàng manage household - family property

Meaning is totally different when reversed

带领 - 领带 dàilǐng - lǐngdài to guide - neck tie

万一 - 一万 wànyī - yīwàn just in case - ten thousand

文盲 - 盲文 wénmáng - mángwén illiterate - braille

[Study this list on Skritter](http://www.skritter.cn/vocab/list?list=146892016&siteref=eastasiastudent" rel="external nofollow "Skritter | Forwards – backwards Chinese words [sponsor]")

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