Wild & Weird Winning Words Through Spelling Bee History

National Spelling Bee Champ To Be Crowned Thursday Night

Thursday night a new spelling bee champion will be crowned. That also means a new word will be picked from dictionary obscurity to spelling bee lore.

Words of all sounds, sizes and syllable patterns have propelled kids to a title in the more than eight decades of the bee.

Knack and interning were winning words in the 1930s. But the complexity of championship words has grown over the years.

Here are some of the weird and wild winning words since the bee's inception in 1925:

  • 1928 - albumen (noun): the white of the egg of certain animals, especially birds and reptiles, consisting mostly of the protein albumin.
  • 1960 - eudaemonic (adj.): producing happiness and well-being
  • 1967 - Chihuahua (noun): A small dog of a smooth-haired, large-eyed breed originating in Mexico.
  • 1979 - maculature (noun): an impression made from an intaglio engraved plate to remove ink from the recessed areas
  • 1986 - odontalgia (noun): toothache
  • 1990 - fibranne (noun): a fabric made of spun-rayon yarn
  • 1994 - antediluvian (adj.): extremely old-fashioned or outdated
  • 1996 - vivisepulture (noun): the act or practice of burying alive
  • 2005 - appoggiatura (noun): A grace note performed before a note of the melody and falling on the beat
  • 2008 - guerdon (noun): a reward; (verb): give a reward to
  • 2011 - cymotrichous (adj.): having wavy hair
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