#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 14°C Friday 18 June 2021

12 incredibly hard-to-spell words that have won America's National Spelling Bee

We elucubrated some autochthonous Business Insider content for you. 

THE SCRIPPS NATIONAL Spelling Bee finals aired in America this week, and for the second year in a row, it ended in a tie. 

The two winning words were scherenschnitte and nunatak.

Scherenschnitte is a German word for the art of paper cutting designs.

Nunatak is a hill or mountain that has been completely encircled by a glacier.

In another tie last year, Texas teenager Ansun Sujoe gave up on trying to pronounce the winning word, just saying “whatever” and proceeding to spell it.

That word was feuilleton, a section of a European periodical designated for gossip and other topics that would appeal to the general reader (sort of like the New York Times’ style section).

The other winning word, stichomythia, means a dispute delivered by actors in alternating lines, like in classical Greek drama.

The winning words weren’t always this arcane or difficult to spell. In 1932, for example, the winning word was knack. The word interning won in 1936, and therapy took the prize four years later. Since the 1950s, though, the Bee has featured words such as cymotrichous which had most people scratching their heads.

We looked back at some of the most mind-boggling words that won the Bee:

2011: cymotrichous (adj.); having wavy hair

Spelled by Sukanya Roy.

2009: Laodician (adj.); lukewarm or indifferent in religion or politics

Spelled by Kavya Shivashankar.Spelling bee Scripps

2004: autochthonous (adj.)formed or originating in the place where found, native

Spelled 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.

Spelling Bee Past Winners Gallery Source: Associated Press

1996:  vivisepulture (noun); the act or practice of burying alive

Spelled by Wendy Guey.

1986: odontalgia (noun); toothache

Spelled by Jon Pennington.

1980: elucubrate (verb); to solvewrite or compose by working studiously at night.

Spelled by Jacques Bailly. 

Evan O'Dorney Scripps National Spelling Bee

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.  

1960: eudaemonic (adj.)producing happiness, based on the idea of happiness as the proper end of conduct 

Spelled by Henry Feldman.

Walter Hickey wrote the original version of this post. 

More: The world’s most enthusiastic spelling bee contestant has charmed the internet

Read: Watch this child win $30,000… and stay ice-cool

Published with permission from:

Business Insider
Business Insider is a business site with strong financial, media and tech focus.

Read next: