Word Pairs in Spanish

Linguists use the term “irreversible binomial phrases” to describe words pairs that we use in our daily speech, such as “black and white,” “lost and found” and “rock and roll.” They are “irreversible” because, although not incorrect, hearing these word pairs in the reverse order doesn’t “sound right.”

Here are some Spanish examples with their English equivalents:

blanco y negro (black and white)

tarde o temprano (sooner or later)

cara o cruz (heads or tails)

esto y lo otro (this and that)

o todo o nada (all or nothing)

sano y salvo (safe and sound)

Cuál es la cara y cuál la cruz? en Off-Topic › Miscelánea