Literary Devices

What is the meaning of calembour/characteristics/examples/history


The calembour is a rhetorical device that consists of changing the order of the syllables of a word or the words of a phrase to alter the meaning of the message. The dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) defines it as “the reunification of syllables with the aim of transforming the real meaning of the words that are expressed”. What is the meaning of calembour?

An example of calembour is: ‘I don’t like being that’ – ‘I don’t like the cherry tree’. As seen in the second sentence, syllables are regrouped with respect to the first to change the content of the sentence. Thus in sentence one, the subject says that he does not like being “that”, while in the second he says that he does not like the cherry tree.

According to the previous example, calembour is considered a play on words because it gives the text flexibility and dynamism. In addition, this literary element gives an ironic or humorous twist to the message that is conveyed. In this sense, the calembour can be used in riddles, stories, songs, jokes or poetry. What is the meaning of calembour?

calembour concept What is the meaning of calembour?

As mentioned at the beginning, the calembour is a literary figure that is based on the modification or alteration of the syllables of a word in order to change the message of what is said. This rhetorical element is classified as a pun because it entertains and speeds up thinking.

On the other hand, the etymological origin of the word calembour comes from the Italian language. The term is derived from the words calami and burlare , the former is translated as “feather” while the latter means “to mock.” Now, when the first syllables of these words were joined, “calembour” emerged, which is to make fun with the use of the pen. What is the meaning of calembour?


In relation to the previous concept, the calembour is distinguished by the following aspects:


calembour is a literary device that denotes expressiveness since its structure shows sarcastic, ironic and double-meaning tones. In this way, the statement presents a variety of points of view.

Pun What is the meaning of calembour?

This literary resource is recognized as a play on words, this is because the calembour produces a varied dynamic in relation to the meaning of the words and the meaning of the original sentence with respect to the second (that is, the one that receives modification ). What is the meaning of calembour?

In addition, this literary figure affects the reasoning for the understanding of the message.


The calembour is made up of other rhetorical figures that at the same time cause it to have a double meaning. In this way, a calembour can be expressed under metaphors, paronymy, homophony, polysemy or homonymy. What is the meaning of calembour?


An outstanding characteristic of calembour is its applicability within language, although it can be used in writing and spoken, in the former it is more easily understood. This is because the modification or combination of syllables is better perceived through visualization than by loudness.

In accordance with the characteristics described above, the use of calembour as a literary resource can be specified.

Applications What is the meaning of calembour?

The calembour is a rhetorical device that is used to change or modify the message that a statement contains. In such a way, the calembour becomes a play on words that transforms the sense of what is expressed, as it is loaded with humor, satirical and ironic tones. Hence it is often used in riddles and jokes.

On the other hand, writers use this literary figure to give their poems and narratives lightness, expressiveness, sound and dynamism. In addition, calembour can be applied in advertising campaigns with the intention of attracting a consuming public. This element is generally most effective when used in written language. What is the meaning of calembour?


– If I’m lying, it ‘s because of a bad foundation .

– My friend loves me. Mia, does Migo love me?

– What is the sweetest saint? (Riddle, “San Turrón).

– Look, tie Carlos up . ¿ To attack ?, To whom?

– Mental Framework. Bad comment.

– Parachute. Paraca, are you going?

– Heloise. He hoists it.

– Elba Lazo. The bullet. What is the meaning of calembour?

– Thin wire. Alan Brito Delgado.

– The hammer of clumsiness. Thor’s hammer weighs

– Are we going to the barbershop or Bar Vería ?

– Failure , are you sure? Okay … laugh .

– In three entrances. Between centered.

– Amazon. Love zones.

– Package, why are you coming over?

– Throw away the broken bottle .

– I don’t hang out with certain bad beings at concerts .

– I consume salt with great care because too much can harm me.

– Millennials. Thousand in areas.

– Falsehood is the most expensive of all facets. Falsehood is the mask of all facets.

– I go through. Naughty.

– Casimiro Las Casas. I almost look at the houses.

– Madness protects her. Lalo cures lamp. What is the meaning of calembour?

– Time stops . Time separates .

– Chosen fools. Crazy, I chose two.

– Come on, gala. Avenge her. Bengal.

– She is sincere , yes, without ear wax .

– I take a good look at you. Me, tea, with a temple … good.

– If it always rained, I’d be happy. If I always saw, I would be happy.

– She says: bless him. She says, “Come,” he says.

– I told you that with fret you can fish better. I told you: what a contrast, you fish better.


Scholars have argued that the etymological origin of the term calembour comes from Italian as explained in previous lines. However, anecdotes of its French provenance have been recorded as a play on words. The history of this literary device is briefly described below.

Historically it has been established that the calembour was established by the French writer and marquis Georges de Bievre. What is the meaning of calembour?

This he did after observing the constant sessions that took place in the court of King Louis XVI. Very especially, in the frequent mistakes of Count Kalemburg who did not speak the French language and therefore was wrong in his speeches.

On the other hand, some scholars maintain that its use began in France as a result of the sermons of a priest from the town of Kahlenberg during the fourteenth century. What is the meaning of calembour?

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