Word by word, ‘legendary’ spelling bee marathon finally ends
Legendary -- “very famous or well-known” -- How a Jackson County Spelling Bee coordinator two weeks ago described running out of words to give to seventh-grader Kush Sharma and fifth-grader Sophia Hoffman in Kansas City, Mo. The pair survived 66 rounds before the list of words was exhausted.
Slobber -- “to let saliva or liquid flow from your mouth” -- One of the words spelled Saturday when the pair reconnected for another 29 rounds.
Boodle -- “a collection or lot of persons” -- What the Helzberg Auditorium at the Kansas City Central Library saw Saturday, forcing organizers to set up a television outside, allowing more people to see the duel. This also turned out to be one of the words viewers heard.
Stifling -- “to be or become unable to breathe easily” -- Could explain how Sophia felt when she misspelled this word. She said she incorrectly heard the word, but judges reviewed the tape and rejected her appeal.
Definition -- “an explanation of the meaning of a word, phrase, etc.” -- What Kush asked for, along with the word’s origin and a usage example, before he spelled this word to win the bee. “The speller on stage asked for the word ‘definition,’ ” the moderator offered as an example.
Schadenfreude -- “a feeling of enjoyment that comes from seeing or hearing about the troubles of other people” -- A word spelled correctly two weeks ago was nowhere to be heard at the Kansas City library on Saturday. Kush reportedly consoled Sophia and told her to stop crying, saying he would start crying if she didn’t.
Jacamar -- “any of a family (Galbulidae) of usually iridescent green or bronze insectivorous birds of tropical American forests having a long sharp bill” -- Kush knew how to spell the name of this bird, but is unlikely to see one anytime soon if he lives up to his vow to spend all of his free time preparing for the Scripps National Spelling Bee in late May.
Muumuu -- “a Hawaiian dress that is usually long, loose-fitting, and decorated with bright colors” -- One of the words Sophia struggled with, though she got it right. It might provide inspiration for a nice vacation before she breaks out the dictionary again in hopes of beating Kush next year.
Definitions from Merriam-Webster.
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