The National Spelling Bee Words Are Getting Harder Every Year
In 1940, if you could spell "therapy" correctly, you might've won the National Spelling Bee championship. Now, you need to know "scherenschnitte."By Kate Grumke | May 26, 2016
We're on stage at the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee. There's about 270, pretty much, spelling geniuses that are here to compete to be the National Spelling Bee champion. They gave us all this packet. It has a list of the championship words from every year since 1925.
I noticed some of the words are a little different than others. Like in 1932 — knack, 1935 — intelligible, 1956 — condominium, that was the winning word. Fast-forward to today, and the winning words — I can't even pronounce them. I'm going to try to just so you can get a sense, but we've got scherenschnitte, I'm guessing, nunatak, before that, stichomythia, feuilleton.
So, to me, I'm looking at these, it looks like these words have gotten a lot harder to spell. So we're going to actually ask the national director of the Scripps Spelling Bee. Her name is Paige Kimble. She actually won in 1981; she was the national champion, which means she won with the word sarcophagus. So we're going to ask her, is it in my head? Or have these words gotten a lot harder?