The National Spelling Bee is upon us, an annual event that dates back to the Coolidge administration that has served as a defining moment of immortality for 91 victorious children.
While the point of the Bee is to spell the words, not define them, half of the fun for the viewer is to get a taste of some of the more arcane elements of language.
We went back through the history of Spelling Bee winners to find the coolest words that won a kid a trophy.
Ordered sequentially by year:
2009: Laodician (adj.) – lukewarm or indifferent in religion or politics
Spelled by Kavya Shivashankar.
autocthonous (adj.) – formed or originating in the place where found, nativeSpelled by David Tidmarsh
2002: prospicience (noun) – the act of looking forward, foresight
Spelled by Pratyush Buddiga
1999: logorrhea (adj.) – excessive and often incoherent talkativeness or wordiness
Spelled by Nupur Lala
1997: euonym (noun) – a name well suited to the person, place, or thing named
Spelled by Rebecca Sealfon
1996: vivisepulture (noun) – the act or practice of burying alive
Spelled by Wendy Guey
1989: spoliator (noun) – One who plunders, pillages, despoils, or robs
Spelled by Scott Isaacs
1980: elucubrate (verb)- to solve, write or compose by working studiously at night.
Spelled by Jacques Bailly
1962: esquamulose (adj.) – Not covered in scales, or of scale like objects, a smooth skin
Spelled by Nettie Crawford and Michael Day
1961: smaragdine (adj.) Of or relating to emeralds, having the colour of emeralds.
Spelled by John Capehart
1959: eudaemonic (adj.) – producing happiness, based on the idea of happiness as the proper end of conduct
Spelled by Henry Feldman
1951: insouciant (adj.) – lighthearted unconcern, nonchalance
Spelled by Irving Belz
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