You might know what a palindrome is—a word or words that are the same whether you read them forward or backward. A few examples are kayak, rotator, race car, and let’s not forget mom!
But a little boy from Victoria, the capital of the Canadian province of British Columbia, has a way with words and is a big palindrome fan. Levi Budd looked at a stop sign and asked his mom what do you call a word that spells another word backwards? When his family couldn’t find a good word for it, they thought calling it a LEVIDROME would be appropriate!
Levi, 6, and his family are determined to get this word into the dictionary to make levidrome (prounounced leh-vee-drome) an official word. And after five weeks, they’re off to a great start.
In October, they made a YouTube video about their endeavor. Star Trek icon William Shatner and some other stars threw their support behind the effort. And online the Oxford Dictionaries and Merriam-Webster are pushing things forward!
Merriam-Webster added levidrome to its open-source dictionary—those are new words submitted by users. Oxford Dictionaries went a step further, putting it on its Weekly Word Watch in late November and posting a video with Rebecca Juganaru, senior assistant dictionary editor.
“William Shatner tweeted us about a new word. This word was levidrome, meaning a word that becomes a different valid word when read backwards, for example stop and pots or god and dog,” Juganaru says in the video. “Since then, media outlets have picked up on it and have called it the Levidrome Campaign.”
But to make it official by adding it to the dictionary, levidrome has to be “used by a lot of people for a long time,” she points out. “Lots of people know your word, and they know what it means, which means that levidrome is well on its way into our dictionary. After just five weeks, that’s really impressive!” She says it might make it in about a year.
What levidromes can you and your classmates come up with?