Nipson anomemata me monan opsin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
ΝΙΨΟΝ ΑΝΟΜΗΜΑΤΑ ΜΗ ΜΟΝΑΝ ΟΨΙΝ (meaning "Wash your sins, not only your face").
Fountain named Pigi Zois (Source of Life)

Nipson anomēmata mē monan opsin (Ancient Greek: Νίψον ἀνομήματα, μὴ μόναν ὄψιν), meaning "Wash the sins, not only the face",[1] or "Wash my transgressions, not only my face",[2] is a Greek palindrome[fn 1] which was inscribed upon a holy water font outside the church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople:[3]

The phrase is attributed to Saint Gregory of Nazianzus.[2]

The inscription can also be found in the following places:

When the sentence is rendered in capital letters, as would be usual for an inscription (ΝΙΦΟΝ ΑΝΟΜΗΜΑΤΑ ΜΗ ΜΟΝΑΝ ΟΦΙΝ), all the letters are vertically symmetrical except for the Ν. As a result, if the N is stylized Ͷ in the right half, the sentence is not only a palindrome but also a mirror ambigram.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ The romanization is not a palindrome because the Greek letter ψ (psi) is transcribed by the digraph ps. The modern diacritics, which are not symmetrical, are usually omitted from inscriptions of the sentence.


  1. ^ Blake, Barry J. (2010). Secret Language: Codes, Tricks, Spies, Thieves, and Symbols. Oxford: University Press. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-19-957928-0.
  2. ^ a b Preminger, Alex; Brogan, Terry V.F.; Warnke, Frank J. (1993). The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (3rd ed.). Princeton University Press. p. 874. ISBN 0-691-02123-6.
  3. ^ Langford-James, R. A Dictionary of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Ayer. p. 61. ISBN 0-8337-5047-X.
  4. ^ "Wash the sins, not only the face". Flickr. 2012-07-20. Retrieved 2013-10-01.