Monday, December 18, 2017
Grammar

Dictionary May Make 6-Year-Old’s ‘Levidrome’ a Real Word

Ever heard of a levidrome? The Oxford Dictionaries have, thanks to a 6-year-old boy, and it might be one of the next newest additions to the dictionary!

The story of the word Levidrome begins with a 6-year-old boy in Victoria, British Columbia.

And if he and his supporters — including actor William Shatner — have their way, it will end with the Oxford Dictionary officially adding the word to its listings.

If you haven’t heard of a Levidrome, don’t feel bad: most people haven’t, and that’s why there’s a holdup in getting it into the Oxford Dictionary.

More on that in a moment.

If the word Levidrome reminds you of palindrome, you’re on the right track. A palindrome is a word that, when reversed, spells the same word.

Some of the more famous examples of palindromes are noon, kayak and radar. Reverse each word and you have the exact same word again.

A famous phrase that doubles as a palindrome is, “Madam, I’m Adam.” You have to adjust the punctuation, of course, but the phrase still is the same backward or forward. I doubt seriously that Adam ever greeted Eve in quite that fashion, however.

A Levidrome, on the other hand, results when one word is reversed to form a different, but still letigimate, word. Levi Budd realized that reversing the word stop produced the unrelated word pots.

There is, apparently, no existing word to describe such a linguistic curiosity, so Levi decided Levidrome would do nicely. It turns out little Levi does have a competitor: emordnilap, a curious word formed by reversing palindrome.

Levidrome seems to roll the tongue a bit easier, I think.

The trouble is, before Oxford Dictionaries will actually add a word, they want to see it in common use. That’s where William Shatner, aka Captain James T. Kirk, comes in. He heard of Levi’s quest to get his newly-coined word into the dictionary and decided to tweet about it.

He placed asterisks next to examples of Levidromes in his own tweet and encouraged others to use the word to get it the attention it requires.

And Oxford Dictionaries called the attention the word is getting “really impressive.” If it continues, you might see Levidrome in the dictionary some day.

Would you prefer ‘Levidrome’ or ’emordnilap’?

Leave a Response

Patrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 26 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.