How One Starbucks Cup Broke The Internet

by Dasha Fayvinova

Proving the impossible quite possible, it turns out that a barista sold a Starbucks cup that says "Anna" and "Julia" at the same time. That's right! Most of us are so used to seeing misspellings of names from coffee baristas that we cannot even fathom this miracle taking place right before our eyes. But a miracle did take place, for this lucky costumer.

The name Anna was spelled correctly on the outside of the cup, but after sipping some of the deliciousness away, Anna noticed that the inside of the cup revealed the name Julia. Some gifted barista was able to write one name that spells a different name backwards! Was this a mistake? No. Was this a sign that Anna has a secret twin living somewhere in the United States? Maybe. Was this a one-in-a-million occurrence that Anna should be thankful for? Um, heck yes. It's not every day you get served a cup of awesome. So drink up, Anna, drink up.

The technical term for what happened is called semordnilap. It means that unlike a palindrome, when a word is spelled backwards, it spells out a different word. If you pay close attention you can see that semordnilap spells palindrome backwards, once again proving that people who make up language terms are all nerds like us! Semordnilaps are also known as backronyms, volvograms, heteropalindromes, semi-palindromes, mynoretehs, word reversals, or anadromes. All this from a simple coffee drink? Thanks, Starbucks!

Here is an easy visual explanation of what happened:

While other people have tried to do the same thing with their drink orders, it seems like Anna was one of the lucky few. Looks like anything is statistically possible, if you just ~believe~. And I'm certainly a believer — clever word-play is one of my favorite things. Good luck with your caffeinated identity crisis, Anna/Julia. May we all be so lucky to find our secret twins with our iced beverages someday.