Can you bee-lieve it?
Sorry for that offense to both puns and spelling, but the National Spelling Bee was a whole week ago. While I wasn’t a super-speller as a kid, I loved reading and words and was always thrilled to add a fresh $2 word to my vocabulary. The kids in the Scripps National Spelling Bee take it to the next level, though: they are whizzes not just in spelling, but also in etymology, languages, culture and history. Today we’re going to take a look at some of the choice words of the 2017 finals. Yes, these are actual words, and all definitions are courtesy of Merriam-Webster dictionary.
Definition: a ribbed crepe fabric used in women’s clothing
But it sounds like it means: a type of ointment you use for bone injuries
Can you use it in a sentence? Beulah changed from a black crepe mourning gown to a lavender marocain one – and so SOON!
Definition: the long pointed toe of a crakow (which I thought was the nerdy guy in My So-Called Life, but which is apparently “a shoe, boot, or slipper made with an extremely long pointed toe and worn in Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries”)
But it sounds like it means: chicken gravy
Can you use it in a sentence? Hildegarde tapped her poulaine to the rhythm of whatever kind of music they listened to in Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries.
Definition: a feast celebrated by the Eastern Orthodox Church on February 2 commemorating primarily the presentation of Jesus and his meeting Simeon and Anna in the temple and secondarily the purification of the Virgin Mary
But it sounds like it means: those color-changing pants that were popular for 5 seconds in the 80s
Can you use it in a sentence: If the groundhog sees his shadow on Hypapante we have six more weeks of winter.
Definition: any of several beach grasses (genus Ammophila and especially A. arenaria)
But it sounds like it means: the way someone on The Beverly Hillbillies would say what a bride is going to do on her wedding day
Can you use it in a sentence: Bob walked barefoot in the marram and now he needs a tetanus shot and a rabies shot.
Definition: a perennial shrub (Dichapetalum cymosum) of southern Africa that is deadly poisonous to stock
But it sounds like it means: a person drunk-texting about Gibraltar; a tertiary character in Game of Thrones
Can you use it in a sentence: This beach visit pales in comparison to our African safari, when Bob picked a bouquet of gifblaar.
Definition: a skin disease characterized by itching vesicles or blebs occurring in groups on the hands or feet
But it sounds like it means: Actually, this pretty much sounds like a gross skin disease
Can you use it in a sentence: While being carted to the leper colony, Fran protested that she merely suffered from cheiropompholyx.
Definition: a printers’ annual outing or entertainment
But it sounds like it means: a goose’s rap name
Can you use it in a sentence: We’ve been calling it a “company picnic,” but I work in publishing so I guess my wayzgoose is next Thursday.
Definition: a member of one of the Ophite group of Gnostic sects noted for its worship of the serpent as the principle of generation
Definition: the art or process of imitating painted porcelain ware
But it sounds like it means: a 1930s scare-tactic documentary about marijuana
Can you use it in a sentence: Potichomania is a hobby, not a job, Karen.