What is a “levidrome?” Merriam-Webster recognizes new word in honor of little boy

VANCOUVER — What is a “levidrome?” It was recently recognized by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, with a nod the little boy who thought of the concept.

A levidrome is a word that, when spelled backwards, becomes a new word. It came to the word wizards at Merriam-Webster when six-year-old Levi Budd was riding in a car with his mom and came to a stop sign, The Toronto Star reported. His word-loving mind realized the word “stop” spelled backwards becomes “pots.”

He asked his mom what you call a word that becomes another word when spelled backwards, and she was surprised to find that there wasn’t one.

Levi decided to invent one, and thus, “levidrome” (pronounced “leh-vee-drome”) was born.

Levi’s dad, Lucky, said his son began reading at age 3. Lucky proposed levidrome to Merriam-Webster.

Merriam-Webster noted that a word must be in common use before it’s officially accepted into the dictionary. The term has been added to its open-source dictionary of words submitted by users.

“I’ve got schools in Ottawa, and schools in Toronto and Calgary and libraries all getting in touch with me with their boards of palindromes and levidromes. And that’s actually what it’s all about. It’s really exciting,” Lucky told the Star.

Lucky said that Levi was always a big fan of the palindrome — a word that is spelled the same forwards and backwards, such as racecar or madam.

Levi’s dad said kids having fun flipping words has helped boost his son’s self-esteem, and hopes that one day the word will make it to the hallowed pages of the dictionary.

“Most days when we go to school Levi walks by a crosswalk and the principal of the school stands there with a stop sign welcoming the kids. She always says to him, ‘You got any good levidromes for me today?’ The other day he said, ‘Yeah, I got stressed and desserts. And drawer and reward.’”