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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 16 October, 2018
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Celebs are trying to get dictionaries to include a new word that a 6-year-old boy invented

This child has already achieved more than most people will.

SURPRISINGLY, THERE IS no word in the Oxford English Dictionary to describe a word that spells another word backwards (e.g. stop and pots or dog and god).

A 6-year-old Canadian boy named Levi Budd was sitting in the back of the car one day when he saw a stop sign and asked his mother “What do we call a word that spells another word backwards?”

Levi’s parents Jessy and Lucky discovered that there’s actually no word for this concept. So Levi came up with his own word – a levidrome.

Destination Star Trek Europe Source: PA Archive/PA Images

William Shatner caught wind of Levi’s invention and decided to get in touch with Oxford Dictionaries.

After submitting an email to Oxford Dictionaries, the actor tweeted:

Dearest @OxfordWords, I just sent you an email about ‘levidromes’ – a word that when spelled backwards turns into a different yet valid english word for addition in your dictionary.

Actress Patricia Arquette agreed that it was ‘such a cool idea’.

Meanwhile, Lucky’s father got in touch with Merriam-Webster and asked how they’d go about adding the word to the dictionary. They explained that the word has to be in common use before it’s printed in their dictionaries.

Schools all over Canada have been getting in touch with the Budd family to let him know that their classes have been coming up with lists of their own levidromes.

Oxford Dictionaries eventually got back to Levi, too.

The editor of Oxford Dictionaries explained that she had been alerted to this word by William Shatner. She kindly explained to Levi that the word isn’t quite ready for the dictionary, but encouraged him to keep up the good work.

If the video won’t play, click here.

Levi, there are many new words every year – some very clever ones, and some very useful ones. We don’t add all of these words to our dictionary. We’d never sleep if we did. Instead, we only add the words that get used by a lot of people for a long time.
Lots of people know your word and they know what it means, which means levidrome is well on the way to our dictionary.

Rebecca added that once the word is used outside of Levi’s campaign, the chances of it getting put into a dictionary would be greater. If people are still using the word in a couple of years, it could probably end up in their dictionaries.

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Kelly Earley

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