You might have heard of palindromes —you know, words or phrases that spell out the same thing whether you read them forwards or backward? “Noon,” “racecar” and “step on no pets” are all palindromes, for example.
Well they’re old news now. “Levidromes,” which are words that spell out a whole different word when read backward, are the new hit linguistic curiosities - and the word for them was just invented by 6-year-old Levi Budd from Victoria, British Columbia, according to the Toronto Star.
It all started when Levi noticed a stop sign while riding in a car, his father Lucky Budd explained in a YouTube video. Levi noticed that “stop” spelled a whole different word when read backward - “pots.” He asked his father if there was a word for that. There wasn’t, so they made one up: levidrome.
Some other examples of levidromes would be things like dog (God), desserts (stressed) and tips (spit) or drawer (reward).
In the video, Levi’s dad says they contacted Websters dictionary to see how it could be added to the official English lexicon, and they told him the only way for it to be added was for people to begin using it. So, Levi’s dad is reaching out to the internet masses to spread the word about his son’s newly coined creation.
And folks have certainly taken up the cause. Former Star Trek actor William Shatner sent a message to Oxford Dictionaries in support of the word and has continued to campaign for it on Twitter.
Levi has gotten support from many others on Twitter eager to see the new word make its way into the dictionary’s hallowed pages.
Shortly before Thanksgiving, Oxford Dictionaries sent Levi a video in response to the social media fervor.
“Levi, there are many new words every year, some very clever ones and some very useful ones,” says editor Rebecca Jaganaru in the video. “We don't add all of these words to our dictionary. We'd never sleep if we did. Instead, we only add the words that get used by a lot of people for a long time.”
But there’s hope yet, she added. If people keep using the word (and that’s where we all come in), it could find itself in the dictionary sooner than later. In fact, it’s already been added to Urban Dictionary and Webster’s open-sourced dictionary.
“We have a list of all the words we want to keep an eye on, and levidrome is on that list,” Jaganaru said in her video. “In a year or so, if lots of people are still using your word, it might well get into our dictionary.”