In the spirit of the What is a Word™/Phrase™ series started by JLee, a special brand of Phrase™ and Word™ puzzles.

If a word conforms to a special rule, I call it an Bi-Directional Narcissistic Word™. Use the following examples below to find the rule.

$$\begin{array}{|c|c|} \hline \textbf{Bi-Directional Narcissistic Words™}&\textbf{Not Bi-Directional Narcissistic Words™}\\ \hline \text{MOTTO}&\text{GOAL}\\ \hline \text{AIM}&\text{TARGET}\\ \hline \text{OVUM}&\text{EGG}\\ \hline \text{TWO}&\text{ONE}\\ \hline \text{THAT}&\text{THIS}\\ \hline \text{WHO}&\text{WHICH}\\ \hline \text{WHAT}&\text{WHEN}\\ \hline \text{WHY}&\text{WHERE}\\ \hline \end{array} $$

And, if you want to analyze, here is a CSV version:

Bi-Directional Narcissistic Words™, Not Bi-Directional Narcissistic Words™


The puzzle satisfies the series' inbuilt assumption, that each word can be tested for whether it is an Bi-Directional Narcissistic Word™ without relying on the other words. These are not the only examples of Bi-Directional Narcissistic Words™, more, but a very limited number exist.

What is the special rule these words conform to?

  • $\begingroup$ Is "BAT" a bdn word? $\endgroup$ – Dr Xorile Jan 9 '19 at 2:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Dr Xorile - no, it is not. $\endgroup$ – Mea Culpa Nay Jan 9 '19 at 17:07

I think that Bi-Directional Narcissistic words have the property that

They are all composed solely of letters with vertical symmetry: - A, H, I, M, O, T, U, V, W, X, Y

On the explanation of the word narcissistic

As Dr Xorile pointed out in the comments, narcissists spend their time looking in the mirror and these particular letters are unchanged under reflection in a mirror.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, hexomino, you got it correct by identifying specific letters( when written in uppercase)- which can be combined to form such words. I will accept this as the correct answer. However it explains the the bi-directional part of it. Any thoughts on the remaining part( narcissistic)? $\endgroup$ – Mea Culpa Nay Jan 10 '19 at 7:10
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Narcissists spend their time looking in the mirror $\endgroup$ – Dr Xorile Jan 10 '19 at 13:31

It seems that the word "bi-directional" offers the biggest clue. I think

They are words which feature a mixture of letters which are either symmetrical along a vertical axis (T,A,M,O,V,U,W,Y) and a horizontal axis (H,O,I)

  • $\begingroup$ Any feedback on the downvote? I have explained how the letters the words are comprised of are symmetrical/reflective (narcissistic) along 2 different axis (bi-directional) which aspect was incorrect? $\endgroup$ – bw1984 Jan 13 '19 at 19:48

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