Can you spell as well as the winners of the Scripps National Spelling Bee?

Arts, entertainment, and more.
June 3 2011 11:21 AM

How Would You Do at the National Spelling Bee?

Take our test and find out.

Sukanya Roy and Richard A. Boehne. Click image to expand.
Sukanya Roy won the National Spelling Bee

Last night, Sukanya Roy, a 14-year-old from Pennsylvania, won the 84th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee by correctly spelling cymotrichous, a Greek-descended word meaning "having wavy hair." Are your orthographic skills better than an eighth grader's? Try our mock spelling bee and find out.

Each word in the quiz below won some lucky kid the grand prize in a past bee. Click on the audio player to hear the word pronounced. Need a hint? Click and drag your cursor over the [bracketed] area to reveal the word's part of speech, definition, use in a sentence, language of origin, and, finally, its spelling.

Except where otherwise noted, definitions and word origins are taken from Webster's Third New International Dictionary, the official lexicon of the bee. Good luck, and let us know how you do in the comments!

Part of speech: [noun]
Definition: [an instrument "designed to measure the amount and speed of blood flow through an artery"]
Sentence: [The researchers used a --- to determine whether the experimental drug was having an effect on the animals' cardiovascular health.]
Language of origin: [German]
Spelling: [stromuhr]

Part of speech: [adjective]
Definition: ["lukewarm or indifferent in religion or politics"]
Sentence: [My --- father never cared much if I skipped church.]
Language of origin: [Latin and Greek]
Spelling: [Laodicean]

Part of speech: [noun or transitive verb]
Definition: [noun: reward, recompense; verb: reward; "to be a recompense for"]
Sentence: [Whenever I did well on a spelling test, my mother gave me a dollar as a ---.]
Language of origin: [Middle English, from Middle French]
Spelling: [guerdon]

Part of speech: [ noun ] Definition: ["a small forceps for clamping a blood vessel" ] Sentence: [ Holding the scalpel with her left hand, the doctor clipped the artery with the --- in her right hand. ] Language of origin: [ French ]      Spelling: [ serrefine ]

Part of speech: [noun]
Definition: ["a parent language, especially one reconstructed from the evidence of later languages"]
Sentence: [Germanic is the --- of many West-European languages.]
Language of origin: [German]
Spelling: [Ursprache]

Part of speech: [noun]
Definition: ["an accessory embellishing note or tone preceding an essential melodic note or tone"]
Sentence: [On sheet music, an --- is usually indicated with a note of smaller size.]
Language of origin: [Italian]
Spelling: [appoggiatura]

Part of speech: [adjective]
Definition: [indigenous or native, especially plants or animals]
Sentence: [The birdwatcher was astonished to see a cockatoo in the forest—he did not think the creatures were --- to that region.]
Language of origin: [Greek, according to dictionary.com]
Spelling: [autochthonous]

Part of speech: [adjective]
Definition: ["indifferent, nonchalant"]
Sentence: [When I fell down in the subway car, the other passengers remained ---, as if this was a common occurrence.]
Language of origin: [Italian]
Spelling: [pococurante]

Part of speech: [noun]
Definition: ["one that succeeds to the place of another; substitute"]
Sentence: [When I ran out of Advil, I took a Tylenol as a ---."]
Language of origin: [Latin]
Spelling: [succedaneum]

Part of speech: [noun]
Definition: [course of action, maneuver (particularly in a diplomatic context); a diplomatic statement; a "statement of views to a public official"]
Sentence: [When the mayor would not meet our demands, we issued a --- to the local newspaper.]
Language of origin: [French]
Spelling: [demarche]

Part of speech: [noun]
Definition: ["pathologically excessive and often incoherent talkativeness"]
Sentence: [Her --- prevented her from making friends, since no one could ever get a word in edgewise.]
Language of origin: [Greek]
Spelling: [logorrhea]

Part of speech: [noun]
Definition: ["a name well-suited to the person, place, or thing named"]
Sentence: [Melody was indeed a ---, because she sang like a bird.]
Language of origin: [Greek]
Spelling: [euonym]

Part of speech: [noun]
Definition: ["the act or practice of burying alive"]
Sentence: [Stephen was both claustrophobic and afraid of death; consequently, his nightmares always involved ---.]
Language of origin: [Latin, according to dictionary.com]
Spelling: [vivisepulture]

Part of speech: [noun]
Definition: ["yellow discoloration of the skin from abnormal causes"]
Sentence: [Maintaining a healthy cholesterol level can help reduce the risk of developing ---.]
Language of origin: [Latin]
Spelling: [xanthosis]

Nina Shen Rastogi is a writer and editor, and is also the vice president for content at Figment.

TODAY IN SLATE

Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

Even When They Go to College, the Poor Sometimes Stay Poor

Here’s Just How Far a Southern Woman May Have to Drive to Get an Abortion

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy

It’s also a mess. Can the movies do better?

Behold

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Watching Netflix in Bed. Hanging Bananas. Is There Anything These Hooks Can’t Solve?

The Procedural Rule That Could Prevent Gay Marriage From Reaching SCOTUS Again

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 3:53 PM Smash and Grab Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 5:39 PM Whole Foods Desperately Wants Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 1:10 PM Women Are Still Losing Jobs for Getting Pregnant
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 5:03 PM Marcel the Shell Is Back and as Endearing as Ever
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 20 2014 4:59 PM Canadian Town Cancels Outdoor Halloween Because Polar Bears
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.