What are palindromes

Did you know that there are entire poems and novels written as a palindrome? There are more than 232,232 capicual expressions that can be read backwards and forwards. We choose for you the 50 best that, due to their sound, their rhythm or their ingenuity, rival ‘Tenet  in the art of symmetry.

“ Arriba la birra ”, which says the famous palindrome. Or said the other way around, “ up the beer ”. What does this mean? Well , Tenet , Christopher Nolan’s movie , was not so original; that we love beer and that there are words and phrases in Spanish that can be read in both directions . We call them palindromes, and they are not always the effect of beer but of wit.

What is a palindrome?

“Palindrome” comes from the Greek palin dromein which literally means “that runs in reverse” . That is to say, that the last letter of a sentence is the same as the first, that the penultimate is identical to the second, etcetera, etcetera. Same as the numbers and palindromic dates (2002, 23.832, 11.11.11…), but with the letters. Of course it is the favorite pastime of the superstitious, of the crazy ones of the symmetry and of the lovers of the letters.

The palindromes range from some of the most beautiful words in Spanish , such as “ recognize ” or the dye “ aniline ”, and proper names to entire poems that have been written with perfect symmetry like those of Darío Lancini. The film director Julio Médem has a palindrome surname and he liked it so much that he named the protagonists of ‘Los amantes del círculo polar’ Otto and Ana , which can also be read upside down. Like the circular love story in the movie.

The most ingenious palindromes are often two-sided palindromes and take advantage of the fact that there are words that read backwards have a different meaning . Do you remember when you used to say as a child many times in a row ham ham ham nun nun nun… ? Well that. Try Adam and nothing or fox and rice . Of course, in this game accents don’t count.

Yet it is extremely difficult to make a long palindrome. Even if you play with the separation of words as in the most beautiful palindrome of all: “ Rome is not known without gold, nor is it known without love ”. The longer the palindromes are, the more difficult it is not to resent their meaning. Sometimes they are absolutely incomprehensible. Look at this: “She shot her anal custard in Bali.” Well good.

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