One of the most frequent complaints that I hear about the Scripps National Spelling Bee is that “you can’t actually use any of those words.” Well I’ve compiled a little list to prove all of the haters wrong. Not only were all of these words used in competition, they were all used in the Semifinals rounds or later, meaning these were words used to weed out the 49 Semifinalists from the 10 Championship Finalists. Meaning they’re among the more difficult words used in competition, and these spelling bee words are still relevant to our twenty-first century lives.
mulct – (noun) fine, penalty
As in… I thought my pathetic performance for the police officer would get me out of a speeding mulct, but alas, I was mistaken.
réclame – (noun) a gift or passion for publicity : showmanship
As in… The reality star’s natural réclame makes it difficult to believe anything he says is real and not just for the cameras.
sprachgefühl – (noun) a feeling for what is linguistically effective or appropriate
As in… Leigh envied Allison’s seemingly intuitive sprachgefühl; she always knew which emoji to use in any situation.
vilipend – (verb) to hold or treat as of small worth or account
As in… Although the class mean girl tried to vilipend her at every opportunity, Parker knew that deep down, she was just jealous.
faineancy – (noun) remiss indolence : inactivity
As in… Ian’s mother worried about his increased faineancy during the summer months.
urgrund – (noun) a primal cause or ultimate cosmic principle
As in… Spencer lives by his guiding urgrund: YOLO.
diamanté – (adjective) decorated with a sparkling decoration consisting usually of paste brilliants or glass used especially on evening gowns
As in… The diamanté sleeves on the actress’s dress caused quite a commotion on the Academy Awards’ red carpet.
And because I couldn’t help but include a bonus,
bacchius – (noun) in poetry, a foot of three syllables, the first short, the other two long
As in… 151,000 of Drake’s fans liked his spelling bee cameo, and I secretly hope the word bacchius makes it into his next single.
(If you don’t know what I’m talking about, take a gander at this little video on Drake’s own Instagram!)