Richard's Index of Reversible Names

Star attraction: The Red Dwarf special feature, extensively extended October 2001.

Conspiracy theorists: check out the Oxford special on the Dictionary of National Biography.

James Bond enthusiasts: see the 007 spectacular.

Most recent addition, September 2011, marked thus.

If you have found this list helpful, you may also like Richard's list of people with dog names instead of people names.


Famous people with Reversible Names

  1. James Clive
  2. Jason David
  3. Duncan Alan M.P.
  4. Ashley Laura
  5. Glenn John
  6. Graham Billy
  7. Morgan Dermot
  8. Joseph Keith
  9. Canon John Jeffrey, controversy victim and Anglican cleric
  10. Windsor Charles
  11. Christian Terry
  12. Neill Andrew, former Sunday Times editor
  13. Harvey Oswald Lee
  14. Brien O'Richard, author of The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  15. Morris Johnny
  16. Dennis Les
  17. Norman Barry
  18. Ross Jonathan
  19. Ross Nick
  20. Paul Ron
  21. Perry Matthew
  22. Lee Stan
  23. Marvin Hank
  24. Owen Clive
  25. Timothy Christopher
  26. Sylvester Victor of ballroom dancing fame
  27. Graham Dieter, professional John Elton impersonator.
  28. Lewis Damian, from Spielberg's "Band of Brothers"

TV Programs with an abundance of reversible names

Red Dwarf (BBC)

  1. Barrie Christopher as Arnold Rimmer
  2. Charles Craig as Dave Lister
  3. Annett Chloe as Chris Kochansky
  4. and the completely interchangeable John Jules-Danny as the Cat!
  5. (Not to mention Ross David , who played the original Kryten in series 2.)
... and if you're a mediaeval welshman (or woman), you can have Llewellyn Robert as Kryten, too.

But it doesn't stop with the cast. The crew of Red Dwarf series VIII included

and of course the whole series was invented by (Doug Naylor and) Grant Rob in the first place.

Survivors (BBC, 2008)


The cast includes Grace Maggie, Kelly David Malcolm, Kim Dae Daniel, Kim Yunjin and Lily Evangeline.

House M.D.

Midsomer Murders (ITV)

Midsomer Murders was created by Graham Caroline.

The main character is Barnaby Tom. He has a wife called Barnaby Joyce and a daughter called Barnaby Cully (played by Howard Laura). Barnaby's first sidekick was Troy Gavin, played by Casey Daniel, and his second sidekick was Scott Dan.

A recent episode had guest appearance from Kelly Sam who was in "Allo Allo" with Kaye Gordon and Michelle Vicki. He also appeared in Carry on Dick.

Survivor (ITV)

The following list is short, but includes three out of three presenters of Survivor on ITV to date.

Blue Peter (BBC)

Former presenters of the long-running children's program Peter Blue:

Other television programmes

The cast of Last of the Summer Wine included Owen Tom, Alexander Jean, Bryan Dora, Lewis Stephen, Thomas Sarah, and Bill Owen. The latter also appeared in Carry On films, as did Dale Jim and Barrie Amanda.

Airwolf starred Vincent-Jan Michael.

Reversible Names in Comedy

  1. Gervais Ricky
  2. Bruce Lenny
  3. Thomas Mark
  4. Chris Oliver from Green Wing, not to mention Greig Tamsin, Alexander Sarah, Theobald Karl, Gomez Michelle and the fictional Todd Caroline.
  5. Allen Keith
  6. Elton Ben
  7. Mortimer Bob
  8. Benn Mitch and Dennis Hugh from The Now Show

Reversible Names in Cinema

  1. Grant Cary
  2. Hannah Daryl
  3. Hannah John
  4. Kingsley Ben
  5. Neill Sam
  6. Douglas Michael
  7. Stuart James
  8. Douglas Kirk
  9. Benedict Dirk
  10. Russell Ken
  11. Grant Hugh
  12. Allen Woody
  13. Kelly Grace
  14. George Susan
  15. Tracy Spencer
  16. Howard Ron, film director, and his brother Howard Clint, star of Children's TV show "Gentle Ben".
  17. Ritchie Guy
  18. Thomas Patrick Sean
  19. Duncan Clarke Michael

007 spectacular

  1. Craig Daniel
  2. Gilbert Lewis directed Moonraker.
  3. Glen John directed Octopussy
  4. Lee Bernard played M (1962-1979)
  5. Llewellyn Desmond played Q (1963-1999)
  6. Lee Christopher played Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun
  7. John St. Jill played Tiffany Case in Diamonds Are Forever

And the following have all contributed music for James Bond films:

  1. Barry John, composer of the score for No Dr and many other Bond movies
  2. Norman Monty, composer of the original Bond theme
  3. Arnold David
  4. Simon Carly
  5. Martin George, producer of Pepper Sergeant, Soul Rubber and other records by The Beatles
  6. Duran Duran

Gone With The Wind

The 1939 hit film was written by Howard Sidney , based on a book by Margaret Mitchell. The cast included

  1. Leigh Vivien
  2. Howard Leslie
  3. Daniel McHattie
  4. Neil O'Barbara
  5. Martin Marcella
  6. Elliott Robert
  7. Douglas Kirk

Carry On Films

  1. James Sid
  2. Scott Terry
  3. Connor Kenneth
  4. Douglas Jack
  5. Jacques Hattie
  6. Clive John

See also Richard Wendy.

Reversible Names in Literature

See also Fictional characters with reversible names

  1. Hugo Victor
  2. Carle Eric, author of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"
  3. Mark Jan
  4. Dick K. Philip
  5. Leonard Elmore
  6. Conrad Joseph
  7. Lee Harper and Lee Laurie
  8. Lawrence H David
  9. Lewis S Clive
  10. Graham Kenneth
  11. Graham Greene's real name was Graham Henry
  12. Seth Vikram
  13. Mortimer John
  14. James Henry
  15. Eliot George
  16. Austen Jane
  17. Shelley Mary


  1. Sir Sydney Philip
  2. Spenser Edmund
  3. Thomas Dylan
  4. Joyce James
  5. Thomas Edward
  6. Shelley Percy
  7. Arnold Matthew (not to be confused with Matthew Arnold)

In crime fiction and thrillers

  1. Francis Dick
  2. Christie Agatha
  3. James D Phyllis
  4. Dexter Colin
  5. George Elizabeth

Reversible Names in Sport

  1. Gerrard Steven
  2. John Barry
  3. Vaughan Michael
  4. Neville Gary and Neville Philip (and I hear their father is Neville Neville)
  5. Owen Michael
  6. Barry Gareth
  7. James David
  8. Ruth Babe
  9. Elliott Matt
  10. Benjamin Trevor
  11. Henry Thiery
  12. Malcom Christian
  13. Stewart Payne
  14. Terry John (Chelsea)
  15. Ferdinand Rio (Man U)
  16. Gregory John
  17. Lee Rob
  18. Martyn Nigel
  19. Stewart Alec
  20. Fraser Angus
  21. Malcom Devon
  22. Giles Ashley
  23. Lara Brian and Gayle Chris
  24. Ferdinand Les
  25. Francis Trevor
  26. Greg Tony (give or take a bit of spelling) former England cricket Captain
  27. Stewart Jackie
  28. Campbell Donald
  29. Collin Hannah
  30. Bruce Chloe
  31. John Collins

And in the All Blacks squad, at time of writing:

coached by Henry Graham.

Reversible Names in Music

  1. Jean Wyclef
  2. Nelson Willie
  3. Charles Ray
  4. Martin Dean
  5. Henry Pierre, 20th (and 21st?) Century composer
  6. David Craig, collaborator with the Artful Dodger
  7. Simon Paul
  8. Nelson Trevor
  9. Arthur Neil
  10. Gabriel Peter
  11. Lewie Jona
  12. Harvey Brian and Mortimer Tony (out of East 17)
  13. Harvey Polly
  14. Andre Peter
  15. Martin Chris (Coldplay)
  16. Nathan Harry, composer of "Waltzing Mathilda"
  17. House music pioneer Terry Todd
  18. James Alex, from Blur
  19. James D. Richard , "The Aphex Twin" to fans of ambient music
  20. James Elmore
  21. Ritchie Lionel
  22. Dick Nigel, Britney Spears' video director

See also the 007 spectacular sublist.

Reversible names in History

  1. Bruce the Robert
  2. Joseph Emin, 18th century military officer
  3. General Grant S. William

Reversible Pseudonyms

  1. Michael George
  2. Benn Tony
  3. Wayne John
  4. John Elton
  5. Henry Lenny
  6. George Boy
  7. Dylan Bob
  8. Richard Cliff
  9. Vincent Gene, and his bass player, Neal Jack.

Reversible prime ministers

  1. Cameron David
  2. Stuart John
  3. Perceval Spencer
  4. Russell John
  5. Stanley Smith-Edward
  6. Gordon Hamilton-George
  7. Cecil Gascoyne-Robert
  8. Primrose Archibald
  9. George Lloyd-David

Nigeria's President Jonathan Goodluck deserves a mention, too.

Reversible names in cookery

  1. Oliver Jamie
  2. David Elizabeth
  3. Harriott Ainsley (well, near enough)
  4. Leigh Rowley
  5. Ray Rachael
And as a bonus, here are some recipes that become names when reversed:
  1. Lorraine Quiche
  2. Diane Gateaux
  3. Benedict Eggs
  4. Oliver Bath
  5. Charlotte Apple
  6. Dick Spotted

Names That Reverse Themselves

  1. Jerome K. Jerome
  2. Boutros Boutros Ghali
  3. James James (who co-wrote "Land of My Fathers" with his father, James Evan)
  4. Sirhan Sirhan
  5. Courtney Taylor-Taylor

Transsexual Reversible Names!

  1. Lynne Jeff
  2. Stuart Moira
  3. Keith Penelope
  4. Gordon Hannah
  5. Harry Deborah
  6. Nicole David, newsreader on Classic FM
  7. Ryan Meg
  8. Amos Tori
  9. Lee Sarah, purveyor of Gateaux chocolat
  10. Fraser Antonia
  11. Tracey Spenser
  12. Craig Wendy
  13. James Wendy
  14. Lucy Gary
  15. Benjamin Floella and Arthur Toni (from BBC's Play School )
  16. Kelly Matthew and Kelly Henry
  17. Frank Anne
  18. May Brian
  19. Kaye Peter
  20. Bruce Fiona
  21. Quentin Caroline

See also Reversible Chefs and Reversible Names in Soap Operas

The Triple Whammy!

  1. Jason Jennifer-Leigh
  2. Thomas Kristin-Scott
  3. Curtis Lee-Jamie
  4. Lee Scott-Lisa
  5. Francis Mark-Lewis

Reversible Names in Soap Operas

I apologise to my international readership (no, really) for the British emphasis in this and the subsequent section.

In Coronation Street ,

and the cast also includes Lindsay Sally and Elliot Evelyn .

in EastEnders,

in Neighbours,

Oxford special: Dictionary of National Biography

The four editors of the Dictionary of National Biography (at Giles St, Oxford), to date, have been:
  1. Lee Sidney
  2. Stephen Leslie
  3. Matthew Colin
  4. Harrison Brian

and don't overlook consultant editors Harvey Barbara and Lloyd Christopher, either!

Fictional Characters blessed with Reversible Names

  1. Tracy Dick
  2. Gabriel Nelson
  3. Giles Rupert
  4. Captain Kirk T. James
  5. Elliott Billy
  6. Major Major from Catch 22
  7. Ryan Jack, the secret agent who has been played by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and now Ben Affleck.
  8. Dick Moby
  9. Ray Rachel, Finn Phineas and Bertram George are all eponymous characters in novels by Anthony Trollope.
  10. Roy Rob, from the novel by Scott Walter
  11. Gordon Flash, sci-fi hero created by cartoonist Raymond Alex.
  12. Cornelius Buster
  13. Barnaby Tom
  14. Mary Mary (from Jasper Fforde's Nursery Crime novels)
  15. Humbert Humbert

See also Reversible Chefs and Reversible Names in Soap Operas.

Chain-Reaction Reversible Names

  1. (!) John Barry / Barry John
  2. (5) Douglas Michael / Michael George / George Lloyd-David / David Craig / Craig Wendy
  3. (5) Douglas Kirk / Kirk T James / James James / James Henry / Henry Pierre
  4. (5) Norman Barry / Barry John / John Elton / Elton Ben / Benjamin Floella
  5. (3) Nathan Harry / Harrison Brian / Brien O'Richard
  6. (3) Marvin Lee / Lee Laurie / Laurie Hugh
  7. (3) Carroll Lewis / Lewis Lennox / Lennox Annie


A big round of applause please ladies and gentleman for

Black Francis

for services to the cause:

reversing his pseudonym to Frank Black for his solo career.

Additions and corrections to please. Unless you want to tell me how to spell "Kenneth Grahame", that is.
Richard's Useful Lists
One-trick Words Untruisms
Reversible names Heteronyms
Silent letters Morissettes
Pet names Quotes and Links

Wordplay compiled by Richard Stevens and Ruth Coleman.