Speller's Diary 2
Prep. for Bee
Useful Words I
Useful Words II
Pages 431-450 II
Pages 451-470 II
Ferruginous et al.
Pages 471-492 II
Pages 492-515 II
Winning Words I
Winning Words II
Winning Words III
Winning Words IV
Winning Words V
Winning Words VI
Problem Words I
Problem Words II
710 and Lemniscate
718 and Lierne
710 and Lob
720 and Lummox
820 and Neologism
820 & Neologism II
Pages 900-910 II
915 and Pendentive
Pages 911-920 I
Pages 911-920 II
Pages 911-920 III
Pages 921-930 II
Pages 940-950 II
Pages 940-950 III
Pages 1141-60 II
Pages 1141-60 III
Pages 1201-1220 II
Pages 1261-80 II
Pages 1261-80 III
Pages 1261-80 IV
Pages 1261-80 V
Pages 1361-80 II
Absent Words II
Absent Words III
2007 Word List
2007 Word List II
2007 Word List III
2007 Word List IV
Celebrity Bee I
Celebrity Bee II
Celebrity Bee III
Celebrity Bee IV
2007 Portland Celebrity Spelling Bee
Bill Long 1/26/07
Schoolhouse Supplies, that wonderful organization which serves as a middle-man between corporations and others and which loves to help the public schools by collecting donations, raising money and providing resources to make our kids learning-ready and eager, had its 2007 fundraiser last evening. Columnist Jonathan Nicholas of the Oregonian won the spelling bee, besting Portland State University President Dan Bernstine, who elbowed his way into the final rounds amid a chorus of ooohs and aaahs after effortlessly spelling eleemosynary. The purpose of this and the next few essays is to post the abbreviated word list, with sentences and definitions, that we had available for ourselves last night. You should read these words in connection with this list of 1190 words which we distributed to contestants in November. With the growing interest in spelling bees both locally and nationally, I hope that this list stimulates your interest to master the English language in all of its beauty and complexity.
Let me explain what we have in the next few essays. The first 120 words (with sentences) are derived from the 1190-word list. Thanks go to Michael Morrow for coming up with most of the sentences. A big thanks also goes to Nancy Kellman, mother of the gifted Development Director of Schoolhouse Supplies, Gayle Kellman, for last-minute sentence-construction help. After these 120 words/sentences are six words, without sentences, which were "bought" by the attendees at last night's gala. The next 20 words (and sentences) were selected by me at the last moment, in case some spellers breezed through our prepared and circulated list. Finally, the 26 "killer words" were devised by me in order to make sure that no one got out of the bee "alive." Happy reading and spelling! Feel free to use this list or sentences in your own bee, though attribution to this site would be nice...
The List of "120"
1. abalone (a ba LON e), noun, (American from Spanish), any of a genus (Haliotis) of edible rock-clinging gastropod mollusks that have a flattened shell slightly spiral in form, lined with mother-of-pearl. "The lustrous colors of the abalone make it especially useful for jewelry."
2. aikido (I KEE do), noun, (Japanese), a Japanese art of self-defense employing locks and holds and utilizing the principle of nonresistance to cause an opponent's own momentum to be used against him. "Unlike the aggressive moves of karate, aikido moves are like a smooth dance."
3. alacrity (uh LA kra tee), noun, (Latin alacritas, from alacr-, alacer lively, eager), promptness in response : cheerful readiness. "The GM responded with alacrity to each and every question posed by the media, no matter how uninformed or contentious."
4. allege (ah LEJ), verb, (Middle English alleggen to submit in evidence or as justification, adduce, from Anglo-French aleger, allegger, probably in part modification of Medieval Latin allegare, from Latin--to send as a representative, adduce in support of a plea [from ad- + legare to depute] in part from Anglo-French aleger to lighten, free, exculpate, from Late Latin alleviare to relieve), to assert without proof or before proving; to bring forward as a reason or an excuse. "The newspaper editorials allege that the mayor's office is negotiating with a Chinese conglomerate to sell Forest Park for $24 worth of beads."
5. bacillus (ba SI lus), noun, (New Latin, from Medieval Latin, small staff, rod, diminutive of Latin baculus staff, alteration of baculum), any of a genus of rod-shaped gram-positive usually aerobic bacteria producing endospores and including many saprophytes and some parasites; broadly:a straight rod-shaped bacterium. "Butch the Bacillus" turned out to be a less than successful title for the new Sesame Street science show."
6. barista (ba REE sta), noun , (Italian, person working behind a bar, from bar bar [from English] + - ista), a person who makes and serves coffee (as espresso) to the public. "In Eugene, the educational qualification to become a barista is a PhD. In Portland, it is only a Master's degree."
7. bifurcate (BI fer kate), verb , (Medieval Latin bifurcatus, past participle of bifurcare, from Latin bifurcus two-pronged, from bi- + furca fork), to cause to divide into two branches or parts; to divide into two branches or parts. "Since ' bifurcate and conquer' seemed to lack a certain something, the political operative decided to return to the traditional "divide..."
8. bowline (BO lin, BO line), noun, (Middle English), a rope used to keep the weather edge of a square sail taut forward; a knot used to form a loop that neither slips nor jams. "As with most knots, the secret to the bowline is remembering what the rabbit does."
9. callous (KA lus), adjective, (Middle English, from Latin callosus, from callum, callus callous skin), being hardened and thickened; feeling no emotion; feeling or showing no symapthy for others; hard-hearted. "Only the most callous grinch would fail to be delighted as an alpine tram floats majestically above I-5."
10. carafe (ka RAF), noun, (French, from Italian caraffa, from Arabic gharrafa), a bottle with a flaring lip used to hold beverages and especially wine; a glass container used to hold and serve coffee. "Melanie wondered to herself, 'would the Waterford carafe be suitable for the Boones Farm'?"
11. dadaism (da da I zem), noun, (French dadaisme), a movement in art and literature based on deliberate irrationality and negation of traditional artistic values. "I don't know nuthin' about art, but I know what I like," intoned Clyde, appreciating the dadaism of Dali.
12. doyenne (doi YEN, dwa YEN), (French, feminine of DOYen), the senior female member of a body or group; a woman considered to be knowledgeable or uniquely skilled as a result of long experience in some field of endeavor. "The younger members of the Arts Council turned to their admired doyenne for guidance."
13. ebullient (ee BUL yent), adjective, (Latin ebullient-, ebulliens, present participle of ebullire to bubble out, from e- + bullire to bubble, boil), characterized by ebullience : having or showing liveliness and enthusiasm. "The CEO was less than ebullient to see the decline in corporate earnings."
14. ennui (an WE), noun, (French, from Old French enui annoyance, from enuier to vex, from Late Latin inodiare to make loathsome), a feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction : BOREDOM. "After he retired, the former workaholic lost all motivation and slipped into a state of ennui ."
15. epee (eh PAY, a PAY) , noun, (French, from Old French espee, Latin spatha), fencing or dueling sword with a bowl-shaped guard and a rigid blade of triangular section with no cutting edge that tapers to a sharp point blunted for fencing. "The swashbuckling Cyrano de Bergerac was quick to cut down his enemies either with epee or wit."
16. epicurean (e pi kyu RE an), adjective, (Greek), of, relating to an epicure; devoted to sensual pleasure, with sensitive & discriminating tastes, esp in food or wine. "While no one ever accused British cuisine of being an epicurean delight, Ireland has made great strides of late in upgrading its fine dining."
17. erudition (er e DI shin), er you DI shin), noun, (Latin), extensive knowledge acquired chiefly from books : profound, recondite, or bookish learning. "The newspaper columnist, seeking to climb out of the pit of mediocrity he had recently fallen into, re-read much of Shaw's work, seeking the erudition that of late eluded him."
18. excise (ek SIZE), noun, (probably modification of Old French assise session, assessment), an internal tax levied on the manufacture, sale, or consumption of a commodity; any of various taxes on privileges often assessed in the form of a license or fee. "Being a form of sales tax, an excise tax naturally finds favor with a great majority of Oregonians."
19. farcical (FAR si kul), adjective, (Latin through Middle French), of, relating to, or resembling farce; laughably inept; absurd. "While it seems a stretch to consider a sporting event farcical , the play of a certain major Oregon university's football team, over the last half of the season, may make the term appropriate."
20. fascism (FA shi zem, FA si zem), noun, ( Italian fascismo, from fascio bundle, fasces, group, from Latin fascis bundle & fasces fasces), a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition. "To escape fascism in Spain, his grandparents emigrated to El Salvador."
21. femur (FE mer), noun, ( New Latin femor-, femur, from Latin, thigh), the proximal bone of the hind or lower limb that extends from the hip to the knee -- called also thighbone. "'Kneebone connected to the femur ....' No, the songwriter thought to himself, that just doesn't work..."
22. imam (I MAM), noun, ( Arabic imaam), the prayer leader of a mosque; any of various rulers that claim descent from Muhammad and exercise spiritual and temporal leadership over a Muslim region. "The imam of the mosque was kind enough to provide a visitor with a copy of the Koran during a visit to the feast ending the Ramadan celebration."
23. imbue (im BYU), verb, ( Latin imbuere), to permeate or influence as if by dyeing; SYN infuse. "The spirit that imbues the new City Council is exciting to behold."
24. jalapeno (ha la PA nyo), noun, (Mexican Spanish, from jalapeño, adjective, of Jalapa), a small plump dark green chili pepper of Mexico and the southern U.S. -- called also jalapeno pepper. "'Are you sure you want this many jalapenos ?' the Subway sandwich jockey asked the salivating customer."
25. nexus (NEK sis) , noun, ( Latin, from nectere to bind), CONNECTION, LINK: a causal link; a connected group or series; center, focus. "The rapidly growing number of busses flooding downtown made 5th street a transportation nexus for the Portland area."
26. kahuna (ka HU na), noun, ( Hawaiian), a Hawaiian shaman; a preeminent person or thing. "The coconut exporter was treated like the big kahuna when he closed a
multimillion dollar deal."
27. ogle (O gel), verb, ( probably from Low German oegeln, from oog eye; akin to Old High German ouga eye), to eye amorously or provocatively; to look at especially with greedy or interested attention. "It used to be that men would ogle pretty women on the street; nowadays, women do the same to good-looking men."
28. opine (o PINE), verb, (Middle English, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French opiner, from Latin opinari to have an opinion), i.v.: to express opinions; t.v.: to state as an opinion. "Why do you opine about everything I say. Do you think you are Dear Abby? "
29 . palliate (PA lee ate), verb, ( Middle English, from Late Latin palliatus, past participle of palliare to cloak, conceal, from Latin pallium cloak), to reduce the violence of (a disease); to ease (symptoms) without curing the underlying disease. "Do pediatricians still give out lollipops to palliate children's discomfort after they get their immunizations? "
30. parfait (par FAY), noun, (French, literally, something perfect, from parfait perfect, from Latin perfectus), a flavored custard containing whipped cream and syrup frozen without stirring; cold dessert made of layers of fruit, syrup, ice cream, and whipped cream. "The layers of brightly colored creams made the parfait a visual wonder to behold."
31. tilde (TIL da), noun, (Spanish, from Medieval Latin titulus tittle), a mark placed especially over the letter n (as in Spanish señor or sir) to denote the sound ñ; the mark ~ used to indicate negation in logic and the geometric relation is similar to ~ in mathematics. "Like the ampersand, the tilde is a punctuation mark that few can actually remember the name of."
Copyright © 2004-2007 William R. Long