"Rococo" And 24 More Words To Be A Champion Speller

16 June 2022
By Sarah Angela Almaden
Scripps National Spelling Bee

Scripps National Spelling Bee

Buzz. Buzz. Do you love words? Do you love spelling words? Do you have what it takes to be a Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion? If you’ve answered yes to all or most of the questions, then here’s a quarter of words to help you get started.

Before you start drilling these words, here’s a short index of information about the famous Scripps National Spelling Bee:

  • the National Spelling Bee was founded in 1925 by the Louisville Courier-Journal in Kentucky to encourage kids to become more interested in spelling
  • Pauline Bell was the first female Bee Champion, and she won by correctly spelling the color "cerise"
  • Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary is the official dictionary of the National Spelling Bee
  • the contender is given two minutes to spell the world
  • a secret Spelling Bee Word Committee exists, and the names of the members of it are never disclosed
  • the term “connoisseur” is a frequently used word on the Spelling Bee list
  • the Scripps National Spelling Bee was the most tweeted show of 2015, surpassing "Game of Thrones" and "The Bachelorette"

1. Rococo

Pronunciation: ruh-co-co


  • (adjective) referring to an 18th-century artistic style marked by delicate asymmetrical forms and intricate embellishments
  • (adjective) something very elaborate

2. Pusillanimous

Pronunciation: pyoo-si-la-ni-mus


  • (adjective) something or someone that lacks courage and determination

3. Carapace

Pronunciation: cah-ruh-pays


  • (noun) the hard outer shell of an animal like a turtle or a crab
  • (noun) a protective covering

4. Meringue

Pronunciation: meh-rang


  • (noun) dessert item made by beaten egg whites and sugar
  • (noun) a sweet treat made with beaten egg whites and sugar that is baked until crisp

5. Pulchritude

Pronunciation: puhl-kreh-tood


  • (noun) beauty

6. Argot

Pronunciation: ar-go


  • (noun) specific language or slang used by a particular group of people

7. Bucolic

Pronunciation: byoo-ko-lik


  • (adjective) relating to the aspects of country life or rural life

8. Bobolink

Pronunciation: bah-bah-link


  • (noun) a songbird from the American blackbird family that lives in North America

9. Andouille

Pronunciation: ahn-du-ee


  • (noun) a spicy pork sausage used in Cajun dishes

10. Rathskeller

Pronunciation: rat-skeh-ler


  • (noun) a restaurant or a beer tavern in the basement

11. Heuristic

Pronunciation: hyoo-ris-tik


  • (adjective) a way to learn something that helps people problem-solve efficiently
  • (noun) the study and use of heuristic methods

12. Degauss

Pronunciation: deh-gahs


  • (verb) to remove unwanted magnetic field

13. Degauss

Pronunciation: ee-treeh-feh-russ


  • (adjective) something that has the element yttrium

14. Sinophile

Pronunciation: si-nuh-file


  • (adjective) in support of the Chinese policies
  • (noun) someone with a strong interest in Chinese culture

15. Boudin

Pronunciation: boo-din


  • (noun) a rice sausage with rice meat or seafood
  • (noun) a French type of spicy blood sausage

16. Dengue

Pronunciation: deng-gehy


  • (noun) a viral disease caused by mosquitoes causing sudden fever, rash, and joint pains

17. Jicama

Pronunciation: hi-ca-muh


  • (noun) an edible root that can be eaten raw or cooked, usually used in Mexican dishes

18. Nicoise

Pronunciation: ni-swaz


  • (noun) name of a salad connected with the city of Nice, France
  • (adjective) salad served with tomatoes and olives (Nicoise ingredients)

19. Atlatl

Pronunciation: at-la-tel


  • (noun) a stick for throwing a spear used by some various North American indigenous peoples

20. Ennui

Pronunciation: ahn-wee


  • (noun) a feeling of dissatisfaction and despair

21. Oolite

Pronunciation: oh-uh-lite


  • (noun) a rock made of rounded grains of calcium carbonate

22. Steeplechase

Pronunciation: stee-pel-chase


  • (noun) a horse race with obstacles like hedges and walls
  • (noun) a 300 meters obstacle race with a water jump

23. Incomprehensible

Pronunciation: ihn-com-pre-hen-seh-bel


  • (adjective) hard to understand

24. Unwonted

Pronunciation: un-won-ted


  • (adjective) rare

25. Quidnunc

Pronunciation: kwid-nungk


  • (noun) someone who is always up to date on the latest gossip
Learn English