B.C. boy looks to add new word to Webster’s dictionary

Levidrome: a word that means something else when spelled backwards, Vancouver Island boy says

A Victoria second-grader fixed a gaping hole in the English language by inventing a new word.

Now he wants your help getting it into the dictionary.

Defined by Levi Budd, 6, a levidrome is a word that contains the same lettering but spells a different word when written backwards.

When Levi discovered palindromes earlier this year – words or phrases like “Bob” that read the same forward and backward – he just couldn’t get enough.

“He loves language, he loves reading, he’s a voracious reader,” said dad Lucky Budd.

It all started with the boy’s six-foot stuffed snake he aptly named Snakey Bob. The Grade 2 student at St. Michaels University School burned through discovering the usual suspects in palindromes: mom, dad, racecar. Then curiosity caught him. What about reward and drawer, or stressed and desserts? How does one describe those?

When faced with the question, his dad sought an answer. He didn’t find one, so they thought, why not make a new word?

Lucky contacted Webster, and learned to get a word in the dictionary it has to become widely used. So the duo embarked on a project. They crafted a video and set out to utilize social media to get levidrome, named for the boy, into the dictionary.

With 3,000 views on YouTube in the first three weeks, the concept is reaching teachers nationwide. Much like Levi’s classroom at SMUS, they pinned boards to their walls where students add levidromes routinely. The push is also offering young people a positive perspective on social media, Lucky pointed out.

“People are spreading the word, because it’s really cool,” he said.

His inbox is flooded with photos of kids using levidromes as well.

“It’s getting lots of kids thinking about it,” said Lucky, a writer by trade. “It’s getting kids and people talking about language.”


 

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