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Super Speller

A 14-year-old named Harini Logan won the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

A teen girl smiles as she accepts a trophy from a man and gets a hug from a boy as her family surrounds her.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images News

If you don’t know how to spell a word, you could look it up in a dictionary. Or maybe you could ask Harini Logan! The 14-year-old from San Antonio, Texas, correctly spelled a series of seriously hard words in the 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee to capture the top prize.

“This is such a dream,” Harini said after the bee, according to CNN. “This is my fourth bee, and I’m just so overwhelmed.”

In spelling bees, contestants are given words to try to spell. If they spell the word correctly, they stay in the bee. If not, they are out of the contest. As the bee continues, there are fewer and fewer spellers. The last speller left wins! 

This year’s Scripps Spelling Bee was a tough contest. The last two contestants, Harini and Vikram Raju, 12, were tied during the final round, so the judges decided to have a tiebreaker round called a “spell-off.” In a spell-off, each contestant tries to spell as many words as possible in 90 seconds. Vikram spelled 15 words correctly, while Harini spelled 22 words correctly, making her the winner. Harini’s words included “kniphofia” (a kind of plant) and “moorhen” (a kind of bird).

For her prize, Harini received a trophy and $50,000. As for Vikram, he says he’s going to try again next year!

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Fun Fact

The British Library (Public domain)

Before the 1500s, there were no right or wrong ways to spell words in English. Everyone just took a guess. In 1582, a teacher named Richard Mulcaster wrote a spelling book. The title was The first part of the elementarie vvhich entreateth chefelie of the right writing of our English tung, set furth by Richard Mulcaster.

Today, we’d spell it like this:

“The first part of the Elementary, which entreats chiefly of the right writing of our English tongue, set forth by Richard Mulcaster.”

How Do You Spell That?

Animation showing “definitely” being misspelled on a piece of paper twice before being correctly spelled
© denis08131/; Animation Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Many words are hard to spell—even words we use a lot! Here are some examples:

to provide room for (someone) 

in a way that is certain or clear

the act of keeping property or equipment in good condition 

including many things of different kinds

to follow and try to catch or capture (someone or something) 

a friendly relationship

the day after today

Old School Spelling

Black and white photo of Calvin Coolidge and some students with overlay of dictionary pages.
© Denis Dryashkin/, © Ke77kz/, Harris & Ewing Collection/Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (LC-DIG-hec-34893); Photo illustration Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

U.S. President Calvin Coolidge poses with winners of the 1927 National Spelling Bee.

What was the winning word in a 1925 spelling bee?

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Word of the Day


Part of speech:



: a person having an affinity for words: a lover of words

Definitions provided by
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