Can You Spell Or Even Pronounce 'Cymotrichous'?


Word Count

313 words

Reading Level

Listen to Article

If you have never heard of 'Cymotrichous', you are not the only one. The word, which means having wavy hair, is not even listed in most dictionaries. However, it seemed to roll off Pennsylvania eight-grader Sukanya Roy's tongue like she uses it every single day, helping her win the coveted National Spelling Bee Championship title, a large trophy and $40,000 USD in scholarship funds.

However, it was by no means an easy win - After passing through a grueling seven rounds, Sukanya had to contend with a super smart group of the final five contestants that went through 21 consecutive spelling rounds, before one succumbed - Then, after what seemed like an eternity Sukanya's final opponent, 12-year old Laura Newcombe, who was aspiring to be the first Canadian to win the Bee, finally stumbled on the spelling of 'Sorities' (heaped up).

Sukanya's victory marks the fourth consecutive year of Indian American Spelling Bee domination. In 2010, the title was snagged by Anamika Veernami whose winning word was Stromuhr (instrument to measure velocity of blood flow) while Kavia Shivshanker conquered it in 2009 with Laodicean (person with an atitude) and for 2008 champion Sameer Mishra, it was Guerdon (give a reward). Though these youngsters make it look easy, they have been working hard for many years and all four of them have been defeated at previous National Spelling Bee contests. So remember, if you don't succeed the first time, try and try again.

Now in its 84th year, the National Spelling Bee is organized by E.W. Scripps, a media company that owns national newspapers and television stations. This year, the contest had a record 274 contestants that ranged from 8-15 years of age and came from countries as far as Japan and Ghana. To read more about this fun competition and see how you can participate, go to


Cite Article
  • egonuilerover 6 years
    very easy
    • smartfox
      smartfoxover 6 years
      Uh....I can't do it!
      • diamondkid
        diamondkidalmost 7 years
        • nikukyu
          nikukyuabout 7 years
          I think I can spell it if I tried hard enough, but I cant pernouce it
          • ray_j
            ray_jover 7 years
            • plustgraaf153
              plustgraaf153almost 8 years
              why do they call it spelling BEE I know why there's spelling in it but not BEE???
              • otter
                otterabout 8 years
                OUr school spelling bee is coming up... I don't think the words will be that hard.
                • bibliophile
                  bibliophileabout 7 years
                  Our school spelling bee is coming up too!!!
                • rozeb
                  rozebabout 8 years
                  I'm going to be in my school spelling bee, but I wouldn't know how to spell a word like that.
                  • dabombdiggityabout 8 years
                    my mom said i wouldn't get a trophie like that
                    • dabombdiggity
                      dabombdiggityalmost 10 years
                      lucky her i just got accepted into a middle school spelling bee but not like that! WOW! big words...>.<