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30 unusual words from the last 25 years of the regional spelling bee

March 15, 2014 at 9:05 p.m.
Updated March 14, 2014 at 10:15 p.m.


Here are some unusual words called out in the regional spelling bee over the years.

Mizzle - To rain in fine drops; drizzle; mist.

Sevruga - 1. A species of sturgeon, Acipenser stellatus, of the Caspian and Black seas; 2. A gray caviar from the roe of this fish.

Contrapuntal -1. Of or pertaining to counterpoint. 2. Composed of two or more relatively independent melodies sounded together.

Pickelhaube - A spiked helmet worn by German soldiers

Recalcitrant - 1. Resisting authority or control; not obedient or compliant; refractory; 2. Hard to deal with, manage or operate.

Hafiz - A title of respect for a Muslim who knows the Quran by heart.

Mahal - A palace or mansion.

Androcentric - Centered on, emphasizing or dominated by males or masculine interests: an androcentric society; an androcentric religion.

Jeremiad - A prolonged lamentation or mournful complaint.

Einkorn- A wheat, Triticum monococcum, having a one-grained spikelet, grown as a forage crop in Europe and Asia.

Waterzooi - A stew of fish or chicken and vegetables in a seasoned stock thickened with cream and egg yolks.

Topeng - A dramatic Indonesian dance performance in which the actors wear grotesque masks and act in pantomime.

Ocarina - A simple musical wind instrument shaped somewhat like an elongated egg with a mouthpiece and finger holes.

Quisling - A person who betrays his or her own country by aiding an invading enemy, often serving later in a puppet government; fifth columnist.

Ersatz - An artificial substance or article used to replace something natural or genuine; a substitute.

Anschluss - A political or economic union, esp the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany

Interregnum - 1. An interval of time between the close of a sovereign's reign and the accession of his or her normal or legitimate successor; 2. Any period during which a state has no ruler or only a temporary executive; 3. Any period of freedom from the usual authority; 4. Any pause or interruption in continuity.

Patois - 1. A regional form of a language, especially of French, differing from the standard, literary form of the language. 2. A rural or provincial form of speech.

3. Jargon; cant; argot.

Quenelle - French cookery. a dumpling of finely chopped fish or meat that is poached in water or stock and usually served with a sauce.

Tremolo - A tremulous or vibrating effect produced on certain instruments and in the human voice, as to express emotion; 2. A mechanical device in an organ by which such an effect is produced.

Embergoose - The loon or great northern diver.

Diadem - 1. A crown; 2. A cloth headband, sometimes adorned with jewels, formerly worn by Oriental kings.

Lutz - A jump in which the skater leaps from the back outer edge of one skate to make one full rotation in the air and lands on the back outer edge of the opposite skate.

Dromedary - The single-humped camel, Camelus dromedarius, of Arabia and Northern Africa.

Grandiloquent - Speaking or expressed in a lofty style, often to the point of being pompous or bombastic.

Redolent - 1. Having a pleasant odor; fragrant; 2. odorous or smelling (usually followed by of ): redolent of garlic; 3. suggestive; reminiscent (usually followed by of ): verse redolent of Shakespeare.

Pettifogger - 1. To bicker or quibble over trifles or unimportant matters; 2. To carry on a petty, shifty, or unethical law business; 3. To practice chicanery of any sort.

Osprey - 1. Also called fish hawk. a large hawk, Pandion haliaetus, that feeds on fish; 2. A plume for trimming hats.

Merganser - Any of several fish-eating diving ducks of the subfamily Merginae, having a narrow bill hooked at the tip and serrated at the edge.

Convivially - 1. friendly; agreeable; 2. Fond of feasting, drinking, and merry company; jovial; 3. Of or befitting a feast; festive.

Source: Words: Region III Education Service Center

Definitions: dictionary.com

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