Did you know that there’s a building in Chicago called the Denifer — “refined” spelled backwards? When it first opened in 1921, the name was mocked by several publications. The Chicago Tribune said:
“[T]he owners of the hotel to be built at the northwest corner of Kenmore and Balmoral avenues…arrived at the conclusion that the new hostelry certainly would be refined. […] The rest of the christening was easy. The ‘d’ is made a capital; the other letters are run in backwards and–behold! We have the Hotel Denifer!”
Hotel Monthly, jumping on the bandwagon a month later, asked:
Is the word Denifer, as a reverse in the spelling of refined, a consistent name? Does it not suggest the opposite of refined?
Interesting questions in this age of Nevaeh…
Do you think that flipping the spelling of a word flips the definition of that word as well?
(And, do you think that the Jennifer-like “Denifer” could potentially catch on as a baby name?)
- “What’s in a Name?” Hotel Monthly Jul. 1921: 47.
- “Easy Way to Name Hotels.” Hotel World 25 Jun. 1921: 13.
- V27-4 Teaser #34 – Edgewater Historical Society
Image: Denifer Condominiums