Around the time 12-year-old Ananya Vinay of Fresno, Calif., triumphed with “m-a-r-o-c-a-i-n,” the people in her home state struggled with “b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l.” The following year, when 14-year old Karthik Nemmani of McKinney, Tex., bested his opponent with “k-o-i-n-o-n-i-a,” Texans really wanted to know how to spell “s-u-p-e-r-c-a-l-i-f-r-a-g-i-l-i-s-t-i-c-e-x-p-i-a-l-i-d-o-c-i-o-u-s.”

The Scripps National Spelling Bee starts Tuesday, pitting 565 contestants age 7 to 15 against each other to spell words they will likely never use in a sentence. Back also is Google with its list of America’s top spelling searches (it was previously called America’s most misspelled words).

In an email Friday, Google spokeswoman Jennifer Kutz said that the spelling bee data “encompasses searches in 2019 to date.” and the “data shows the the top related searches for the phrase ‘how to spell’ in each state, and we then look at the top words that come next.”

“As for why beautiful is California’s top word for 3 years, we can’t say!” she wrote.

This leaves much to our own imagination.

For example, why are people from so many states searching “How to spell beautiful”? In 2019, a “beautiful” belt runs from Virginia through the Carolinas and Georgia into Florida.

Why “niece” in Alabama or “embarrassed” in Idaho? “Pneumonia” is the top word searched in Pennsylvania this year; it topped for Alabama and Washington, D.C., in 2017.

“Indict” in Louisiana seems ominous. What about “independence” in North Dakota? Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious appeared in 2017 and 2018 only to fall off entirely this year. Hawaii went from “grateful” in 2018 to “Hawaii” in 2019. The District simply had “enough.”

Then there is New York, where “bougie” won out. That doesn’t seem like it would stump a spelling bee champ.

The full list for 2019 is below.

  • Alabama: niece
  • Alaska: preferred
  • Arizona: patient
  • Arkansas: family
  • California: beautiful
  • Colorado: favorite
  • Connecticut: neighbor
  • Delaware: veterinarian
  • Washington, D.C.: enough
  • Florida: beautiful
  • Georgia: beautiful
  • Hawaii: Hawaii
  • Idaho: embarrassed
  • Illinois: beautiful
  • Indiana: activities
  • Iowa: loose
  • Kansas: committee
  • Kentucky: ninety
  • Louisiana: indict
  • Maine: guess
  • Maryland: heart
  • Massachusetts: grey
  • Michigan: amazing
  • Minnesota: especially
  • Mississippi: fifteen
  • Missouri: definitely
  • Montana: comma
  • Nebraska: delicious
  • Nevada: appreciate
  • New Hampshire: recess
  • New Jersey: grey
  • New Mexico: patience
  • New York: bougie
  • North Carolina: beautiful
  • North Dakota: independence
  • Ohio: favorite
  • Oklahoma: February
  • Oregon: phenomenal
  • Pennsylvania: pneumonia
  • Rhode Island: message
  • South Carolina: beautiful
  • South Dakota: jewelry
  • Tennessee: intelligent
  • Texas: beautiful
  • Utah: important
  • Vermont: benefit
  • Virginia: beautiful
  • Washington: grey
  • West Virginia: eleven
  • Wisconsin: opinion
  • Wyoming: tear