Everyone knows that a palindrome is a word or phrase that reads the same whether it’s read backward to forward or forward to backward. For example, radar and stats are both palindromes. But what about a word that spells something different when read backwards?
One day while Levi Budd was in the car with his parents he pointed out that the word “stop” also spelled “pots” when read backwards.
The 5-year-old asked his parents what the name of the word was for words like stop. His parents were perplexed. What do you call that kind of word?
Levi has always been interested in words, especially palindromes.
When the family got home his parents, Jessy Friedenberg and Lucky Budd, conducted some research and discovered that there was no such word. They did, however, come across the word “semordnilap,” but it was never officially recognized.
So, they decided to invent a new word, levidrome.
Levi’s parents contacted Webster’s Dictionary about the new word they created.
Webster’s Dictionary told Levi and his parents that the main requirement to get “levidrome” into the dictionary was that people started using it on a daily basis.
So far it hasn’t seemed like too big of a task.
Once word got out about the little boy’s discovery, people started sharing their own levidromes and commending the little boy for his determination.
Even William Shatner sent a tweet to Oxford Dictionaries on behalf of Levi and his new word.
Dearest @OxfordWords I just sent you an email about #Levidromes – a word that when spelled backwards, turns into a different yet valid english word for addition to your dictionary. Please see: https://t.co/5SlvhaMP3U for more info on this new exciting word! ❌⭕️❗️ Bill pic.twitter.com/udcZN7psOG
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) November 8, 2017
Oxford University Press, publisher of Oxford Dictionaries, saw the tweet from William Shatner regarding “levidrome” and responded to Levi and his efforts to get “levidrome” into the dictionary.
“Levidrome is well on its way to being in our dictionary,” Rebecca, an editor for Oxford Dictionary, said in a video. “The next thing we need to see is people using the word.”
Oxford Dictionaries responded to Levi with a video of their own.
Despite the current popularity of the word, the organization stated that in about a year from now if levidrome is still being widely used it would have a good chance of being put in the dictionary.
Despite a number of people who claim a word for a levidrome already exists, semordnilap, Budd said it has been exciting to see so many talking about language.
“I’ve got schools in Ottawa, and schools in Toronto and Calgary and libraries all getting in touch with me with their boards of palindromes and levidromes,” he said. “And that’s actually what it’s all about. It’s really exciting.”