A YouTube video featuring six-year-old Levi Budd, and his dad, Lucky, is making the rounds on the internet.

Six -year-old Levi is obsessed with words and playing with words. At five, he fell in love with palindromes, which are words that are the same backwards and forwards.

Then Levi noticed something different about words. At a stop sign, Levi noticed that stop, spelt backwards created the word pots.

“Mom. I see that stop spells pots backwards.That’s not a palindrome. What do we call a word like that in the English language where a word spells another word backwards?” Levi said to his mom one day.

The family decided to research the topic at home.  But they couldn’t find a word to describe a word that spells another word backwards, like stop and pots, god and dog, pit and tip.  So they created their own word called “levidrome.”

“People are talking about language,” Lucky said. “People are having this conversation about levidromes and palindromes. We’re getting letters from schools showing their boards of levidromes.
People are finding a lot of inspiration from this story, and that is just amazing.”

Their goal is wide acceptance of levidrome in popular culture and to have it in the dictionary.  There are more than 10,000 views of their video and counting.  Actor William Shatner tweeted to the Oxford Library to accept levidrome.  Grammar Girl, influential with hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers, says she’ll use it.  And local Olympian Simon Whitfield is trying to recruit Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds to get on the levidrome wagon.

Even academics admit they’ve used it.  “I used it in class today.” University of Victoria Linguistics professor Alexandra D’Arcy loves language and the idea of a new word. But this one has to grow.

“If it can transcend its original boundary so we are only talking about it when we talk about this clever young man, and his drive to have this word brought into the English language, then it stands a chance of making it into the dictionary,” D’Arcy said.

With the Webster and Urban Dictionaries on board, and growing legions of fans, levidrome may just have a chance to be a real word.

 

Mary Griffin