A six-year-old boy is campaigning to get the word “levidrome” added into the Oxford English Dictionary
Levi Budd, from British Columbia in Canada, created the word “levidrome” after he came across a ‘stop’ sign while in the car and realised it would spell ‘pots’ backwards.
He had been taught about the word “palindromes” (which means: words that read the same forwards as they do backwards), but wondered what it was called when a word forms a different word when spelled backwards.
He and his dad researched and realised there was no official word for this in the English language, aside from people playfully using the word “semordnilap” (palindromes spelt backwards).
So the pair decided to come up with a completely new word for these reverse pairs: “levidrome”.
Levi and his dad filmed an explanation to their story on YouTube, and it has had nearly 20,000 views.
They were told that for a word to make it into the dictionary, it had to be actually used by people. So they started a campaign to get people on social media using the word.
Actor William Shatner got involved and showed that he had submitted a case to the Oxford English Dictionary for “levidrome” to be added.
Oxford Dictionaries responded to the tweets by explaining the process of adding a word to the dictionary - and it seems there’s a while to go yet.
Speaking on the video, a woman named Rebecca said: “Two weeks ago William Shatner tweeted to let us know about a new word.
“It was created by six-year-old Levi in Canada.”
Addressing Levi directly, she said: “So Levi, there are many new words each year, some very clever ones and some very useful ones. We don’t add all these words to our dictionary.
“Instead, we only add the ones that get used by a lot of people for a long time. Lots of people know your word and know what it means, which means levidrome is well on its way into our dictionary after just five weeks.”
Rebecca said the next thing they needed to see was people using the word levidrome, not just as part of the campaign.
“Then, all we do is wait and hope people keep using the word,” she added. “Levidrome is on our list of words to keep an eye on.”
She said in a year or so, if people are still using the words, the OED will look into getting the word added.
So if you want to do to help, just keep using the word.