The Washington Post

Winning words since 1925 at National Spelling Bee

The word that won the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee was “guetapens.” Yes, “guetapens.”

Snigdha Nandipati, 14, of San Diego wins National Spelling Bee. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

The contest was held in Oxon Hill in suburban Washington over three days, starting with 278 contestants. The youngest was 6-year-old Lori Anne Madison from Virginia, who stole the show until she misspelled the word “ingluvies” in the second round. (The word means part of the esophagus of some animals.)

Here’s a selected list of the winning words from spelling bees past, going back to the first one in 1925. You can see the entire list here.

2011 — cymotrichous

2010 — stromuhr

2009 — Laodicean

2008 — guerdon

2007 — serrefine

2006 — Ursprache

2005 — appoggiatura

2004 — autochthonous

2003 — pococurante

2002 — prospicience

2001 — succedaneum

2000 — demarche

1995 — xanthosis

1990 — fibranne

1985 — milieu

1980 — elucubrate

1975 — incisor

1970 — croissant

1965 — eczema

1960 — eudaemonic

1955 — crustaceology

1950 — meticulosity

1945 — (no bee was held)

1940 — therapy

1935 — intelligible

1930 — fracas

1925 — gladiolus

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Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.


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