creativity / random / writing

When is a word not a word? – Cas Lester

So, the daughter asked, ‘Do you know what ‘palindrome’ means?’

‘It’s a word or a sentence which is the same when you read it forwards or backwards.’ I replied. ‘Like ‘noon’ or ‘eye’ or ‘Never odd or even’ or ‘A nut for a jar of tuna.’


‘Yes, I know,’ she said, smiling like someone who’s successfully lured their unsuspecting mother into a fiendish trap. ‘But do you know what ‘emordnilap’ means?’

‘There’s no such word as . . . as. . . that,’ I cried, giving up even trying to pronounce it.

She begged to differ. ‘An emordnilap (which is ‘palindrome’ backwards) is when you reverse a word and it makes another word. Like ‘stressed’ and ‘desserts’’’ she announced, smugly.


‘Seriously?’  I said, googling furiously.

It seems she’s right.  (Go ahead, google it!)

But – interestingly – one of the web entries said it wasn’t an ‘official’ word.

Which got me wondering. New words are being invented all the time – so when does a word become an ‘official’ word in the English language?

Apparently it’s when it gets included in a dictionary – either a printed or an online dictionary.

So I googled new words in dictionaries. (Btw,  the word ‘google’ was added to dictionaries in 2006.)

Here’s some new words recently added to the Oxford Dictionary:

nuff said


Well, I thought, awesomesauce! Nuff said?


4 thoughts on “When is a word not a word? – Cas Lester

  1. WOW! So interesting Jo! 😀 I’m going to find out how many other words are related to other words! 🙂

    In Pokémon, Ekans says Snake, and Arbok, it’s older version, is Kobra. 🙂

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