Mental Challenge: Spelling Words Backwards – It’s Tougher Than it Sounds!

Brain Games

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We talk at lengths about challenging our minds and pushing our limits with brain games.  Now it’s time to walk the talk!  I’m going to begin posting a lot of brain games and mental puzzles and challenges.  I’ll include a great variety of puzzles and different challanges, I want them to work all the different levels of our minds, even the ones especially the ones that have been dormant for years.

I’ll make an image to put in the sidebar that you can always click on to access this series of posts. 

It should be up later today, complete with a great start of posts to go along with it.  You’ll also be able to get to this category by clickig on the category titled “Mental Flexation.”

To get things started, I have what has always been a really tough challenge for me – spelling words backwards.  I don’t know why, but somehow my mind just doesn’t like going in that direction.  That’s why I’ve been treating (treating? more like tormenting) it lately with this particular challenge.  Throughout the day, I’ll take special note of certain words.   When I hear one on the radio or read it in the newspaper, I’ll immediately try to spell it backwards.

It’s harder than it sounds, for me anyway.  Try it yourself.  To give you a taste of the challenge, I’m providing you with some perfect words below.  Read the word, then close your eyes or look away and try to spell it backwards.  Don’t write the letters down, keep them in your head.  When you first start doing these backwards spelling challenges, go ahead and write in the air with your finger or on your thumb with your finger. 

Eventually, you’ll want to attempt the challenge and be able to say, “Look, Ma, no hands!”  But if you need the finger at first, be my guest.  I did!

  1. Instant
  2. Maximum
  3. Southern
  4. Category
  5. Waltz
  6. Perfume
  7. Monday
  8. Other
  9. Because
  10. Science

I’ll give tougher words in the future, but for now, master these.  Remember, any time you take your brain cells in a new, fresh, challenging direction – you are doing yourself an absolute world of good.

Make challenging your brain a habit.  Subscribe to this blog’s rss feed or e-mail updates, so you’ll always know when new challenges have been added for you.

Make each challenge count double,

~ Joi

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6 comments… add one
  • sankofa Link

    Interesting thought. Do you perchance have any research to back up this being something substantive beyond a mental exercise? I imagine it would be a useful way to learn spelling words, but seek a researched rationale.

  • Prashanth Link

    hi…i am prashanth from chennai india..
    i am almost similar to u.
    from the age of 3, where ever i go and wat ever i see(a word) i had the habit of spelling it in backwards..
    now i am my surprise, now i am able to spell all words in backwards in a tremendous speed..and even if i haven’t heard the word, i’ll listen to the straight spelling only once, and can tell in backwwards in the same u think this is a talent?

    mail me at

  • jemma Link

    i thought i was the only one who did this! since childhood i would recite the letters of words backwards at speed in my head, usually in moments of boredom such as waiting rooms. eventually it became something i just did wandering around (in my head, not out loud!) but almost in the way some people hum to themselves or sing softly while they are concentrating. i would even link backwards words together and make great strings of gobbledygook! it sounds slightly bizarre, i guess, but as i say, i found it just like humming to yourself while you potter around. i can also speak words backwards fairly easily and without practice – people egg me on to repeat a sentence backwards in the pub occasionally, a bit of a party piece. a tib fo a ytrap eceip. a favourite of mine for some unknown reason was always the words ‘yorkshire pudding’ – ‘gniddup erihskroy’. am i strange?! ????

  • Hannah Link

    Hiya, I can also spell words backwards. When I got bored in school I would just try and spell things backwards and now I can do it naturally. There are some words that I get stuck on but generally I can say and spell most things backwards which everyone finds amazing. Nice to know there are some other people who have mastered this ???? Now I want to find something else to amaze everyone with , any suggestions ?

  • Kev Link

    wow, Ive never seen or heard of other speed spellers. Good to know im not the only one as I have been spelling sentences just as fast as i can say them since i was like 6.

  • Kev, how amazing it must be to have a mind that works so fast! I wish I could work with numbers as quickly. Math isn’t my strong suit, I’m much better with words.

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