New word from a six year old: Palindromes and portmanteus: how words are formed

You are currently viewing New word from a six year old: Palindromes and portmanteus: how words are formed
An attack of destinesia

Almost every word in English has a definition and  almost every word composition has a description for why it came to be called that.

Until that is, the word that you want to know more about is not in the dictionary (try Google) or worse the composition is unexplained.

Such was the dilemma for Levi Budd a six-year-old Canadian boy who driving along the road in the back of his parents’ car noticed a stop sign.  Aha, he pointed out to his parents, “Do you know that stop spelt backwards give you pots. “Now what do you call that in English?”

Dumbfounded (composition word), his parents were at a loss for words, as it were.

There is no word in the English language that explains or describes that. Well, not until now.

“It’s a palindrome,” his mother offered.

“No,” his father corrected, “that’s when the word is spelt the same way backwards as it is forwards.”

Not satisfied with this answer, Levi put forward his own suggestion, and since he discovered it, felt quite justified to say “levidrome”.

His beaming father is now chasing down lexicographers to have the word find its place in the English dictionary and it must be Merriam Webster, no less.

Here are my top 10 favourite portmanteaus

  • Cellfish – an individual who continues talking on their phone so as to be rude or inconsiderate of other people
  • Beerboarding – extracting information from a colleague by getting them drunk
  • Internets – the cocoon of blankets and pillow you gather around yourself while spending hours on the internet
  • Askhole – someone who asks many stupid, pointless or obnoxious questions
  • Carcolepsy – a condition where a passenger falls asleep as soon as the car starts moving.
  • Ambitichous – striving to be more of a bitch than the average bitch
  • Hiberdating – when a person ignores their friends in favour of a boyfriend/girlfriend
  • Destinesia – when you get to where you were intending to go but forget why you were going there in the first place
  • Errorist – someone who repeatedly makes mistakes, or is always wrong.
  • Chairdrobe – piling clothes on a chair in place of a closet or dresser; also floordrobe

For more of them go to

How calendar days differ from others

Of acronyms and shortened words: abbreviations explained

Leave a Reply