The Scripps National Spelling Bee is under way in the nation’s capital with something new: For the first time in the event’s 86-year-old year history, there is a vocabulary component to the competition.That means finalists will not only have to spell words like “guetapens” — which was the winning word in last year’s national event — but also know what it means (ambush, snare, trap).

When the National Spelling Bee announced in April that a vocabulary portion was being added to the National Championships (which end Thursday night), the reaction was swift and surprisingly negative. “It’s not fair,” was the cry, given that students had been studying all year without concentrating on vocabulary.

On the other hand, Spelling Bee Director Paige Kimball noted that the vocabulary addition was made public only after all of the contestants in the national championship had been determined at various bees around the country. That’s what seemed fair to bee officials.

In any case, here’s a selected list of the winning words from spelling bees past, going back to the first one in 1925. A look at the list shows that some winners had an easier time of it than others. You can see the entire list here.

2012  — guetapens

2011 — cymotrichous

2010 — stromuhr

2009 — Laodicean

2008 — guerdon

2007 — serrefine

2006 — Ursprache

2005 — appoggiatura

2004 — autochthonous

2003 — pococurante

2002 — prospicience

2001 — succedaneum

2000 — demarche

1999 — logorrhea

1998 — chiaroscurist

1997 — euonym

1996 — vivisepulture

1995 — xanthosis

1994 — antediluvian

1993 — kamikaze

1992 — lyceum

1991 — antipyretic

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

1929 — asceticism

1928 — albumen

1927 — luxuriance

1926 — cerise

1925 — gladiolus