The world opening up again in the post-pandemic spells out “g-o-o-d n-e-w-s” for the return of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
The annual spelling extravaganza was canceled last year due to COVID-19 – marking the first time the competition was called off since 1943 to 1945 because of World War II.
Zaila Avant-garde, 14, from Harvey, Louisiana reacts after spelling a word correctly during the finals of the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee at Disney World Thursday, July 8, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (AP Photo/John Raoux)
This year’s history-making return saw 14-year-old Zaila Avant-garde as the first African American winner in the competition’s 96-year history when she spelled out the arguably complex word, “Murraya.”
Here’s a look back at winning words, their definitions and the champions who spelled them.
Words: Scherenschnitte, meaning “scissor cuts” or the art of paper cutting design.
Nunatak means the summit of a mountain that jets out from a glacier.
Winners: 2015’s Spelling Bee champions were Vanya Shivashankar, who spelled “Scherenschnitte” correctly, and Gokul Venkatachalam, who spelled “Nunatak.”
Words: Feldenkrais, from the “Feldenkrais Method,” is a type of exercise therapy said to connect between the brain and body to improve movement and mental state.
Gesellschaft is a hypothetical society based on impersonal ties
Winners: Jairam Hathwar, who spelled Feldenkrais correctly and Nihar Saireddy Janga, who got Gesellschaft right.
Words: Marocain, a heavy fabric made of silk, wool or both
Winner: Ananya Vinay
Words: Koinonia means “Christian communion.”
Winner: Karthik Nemmani
Word: Auslaut, the last sound of a word or syllable
Winner: Rishik Gandhasri
Word: Erysipelas, a common bacterial infection
Winner: Erin Howard
Word: Bougainvillea, thorny vines, bushes and trees
Winner: Saketh Sundar
Word: Aiguillette, a cord with metal tips
Winner: Shruthika Padhy
Word: Pendeloque, a diamond or other gem used as a pendant
Winner: Sohum Sukhatankar
Word: Palama, webbing on the feet of aquatic birds
Winner: Abhijay Kodali
Word: Cernous, when a flower or bud droops downward
Winner: Christopher Serrao
Word: Odylic, name given for hypothetical vital energy or life force in the mid-19th century
Winner: Rohan Raja
For the first time since World War II, the National Spelling Bee was canceled because of the pandemic.
Word: Murraya, a genus of flowering plants in the citrus family.
Winner: Zaila Avant-garde