With the Scripps National Spelling Bee one week away, some linguists worked with Merriam-Webster to find out the most difficult words from the competition over the last 10 years. Classic languages caused the most trouble for spelling bee contestants. Words with Greek and Latin roots tripped up students the most. French, German and Italian-based words also were problematic.
Can you spell these words if we give you the pronunciation? Answers below the photo:
- [bohn-dyooz-ree] - banal and often shoddy religious art
- [SCHEF-luh-ra] - any of several shrubby tropical plants that are cultivated for their showy digitately compound foliage
- [chip-oh-LEE-no] - a light-colored Roman marble containing layers of micaceous minerals and abundant silicates