Weird Wednesday Pt.1- Narragansett

Sooo this is basically just going to be a bunch of weird languages in general. The only real criteria is that is has to be from a random place and has to have less than 50 entries in the dictionary. Sometimes, the language might have a bit more words but, anyways, I’m rambling a bit.


There’s literally only 5 entries and 1 of them is the name of the language itself, so I guess it should technically be 4. Narragansett is a member of the Algonquian family branch and is spoken, quite obviously, by the Narragansett people.


coween- basically a duck “quack quack”

seapoose- shallow inlet/tidal stream

squash- the FRUIT, though it’s used as a vegetable in cooking

squaw- figure target representing kneeling

French Food

There are over 17000 French entries in the entire dictionary, however food words form a large portion of these words are related to food. Perhaps the most famous words are indeed French words.

bouillon (\ˈbü(l)-ˌyän, ˈb(l)-;ˈbl-yən; ˈbü-ˌyōⁿ\)- A bouillon is a broth made by slow boiling meat in a soup. This word is relation to the English word “boil” as is evident in the spelling.

Neufchatel (\¦n(y)üshə¦tel, ¦nə(r)sh-, ¦nə̄sh-\) – Neufchatel comes from a region in France where this specific cheese was  created.

bourguignonne- Bourguignonne is an adjective meaning “made in the style of Burgundy.”

abaisse (\ə-ˈbās\)- An abaisse is the lower crust of a pastry. Abaisse is also related to the word ‘abase’ since it means to lower something.

Aligote (\älēgōˈtā\ )- An Aligote is a kind of white wine also from Burgundy.


School Words

Hello Everybody! I haven’t been quite that active for a while mostly due the reason mentioned above :). So to get into the spirit of school reopening for everyone around the USA, here are some school-related words.

lycee- A lycee is a state maintained secondary school especially in France. This word does come from the Lyceum. Interestingly, the original lyceum was taught by Aristotle.

turnhalle- This word comes from German and means a school for gymnastics. Quite literally it means a hall for turning (gymastics).

archididascalos- Archididascalos is flaunting its Greek heritage with many traditionally Greek letter combinations present. “Archi”, a root meaning the highest, shows up in the word’s definition of “the chief teacher.”

calmecac- Going almost halfway around the world from the previous word, calmecac comes from Nahuatl and is a school for the sons of Aztec nobles preparing them to be chiefs and priests.

manege- A manege is a school for teaching horsemanship and comes from French.


Solar Eclipse Words

August 21st marked the date of the Great American Solar Eclipse. The eclipse passed through a line from Wyoming to North Carolina. In Florida, there was 85% percent totality.

Solarium- a solarium is a sundial

Gegenschein- gegenschein is the corona that can be seen around a moon during  a solar eclipse.

Aigrette- a plume or tuft, esp. resembling a sun’s corona

Actinometer- An actinometer measures the Sun’s rays


NASCC 2017

Today was the NASCC spelling in Riverside, California. Students from China and the US came together to spell words. The nighttime finals went on for 18 rounds with words like sassolin (a mineral), ephelis (freckles), and kantele (Finnish harp).

After 6 rounds of going back and forth, Shourav Dasari spelled “anisakiasis” to become the champion of the NASCC spelling bee. Anisakiasis, a parasitic infection, comes from a couple Greek roots. “Anis-” means unequal and akis, a Greek ending used as and ending for numerical adverbs. “-iasis” is suffix used to signify a medical condition or disease.

Once again, I congratulate all of the spellers who participated in the finals:

Shourav Dasari

Rutvik Gandhasri

Rishik Gandhasri

Zoe Keith

Alex Iyer

Cameron Keith

Rohan Rajeev

Shruthika Padhy

Marlene Schaff




Many of the words that we use in our daily life have prehistoric origins coming from times beyond writing. Spoken language has become something so common and representative of human existence. As people spread throughout the world, languages changed and developed. As a result, there are over 7,000 languages being used in the world today.

English, one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, is an interesting language. It is more of a conglomeration of various words that were brought over from other languages. Despite having Germanic origins linguistically, the English language has over 60% of words originating from Latin or Greek.

I will be going through various languages and language families in these types of posts. I will be focusing a bit more on Indo-European languages since they are some of the most prevalent languages.

Languages#1- Latin



Roots are a huge part of spelling bee and words in general. Many Latin and Greek words contain roots. But roots aren’t exclusive to those languages. For the next few days I will be investigating over roots and various words containing that root.

Roots are like the building blocks words. Each root has its own tale, as it came from its original language. Sometimes the root can have a literal meaning that is evident in the definition or a more subtle influence on the word.



Summertime Fun

There are so many great movies buzzing around now. However, spelling bee movies will never bee old. Are there swarms of people at the theaters? I’ll stop with the puns. Here is a list of great spelling bee movies.

Spellbound- This is a great documentary. It follows the 8 finalists of the 1999 Scripps National Spelling Bee. The movie was made in 2002.

Akeelah and the Bee-  This is a great movie that I would recommend for anybody. I’ve watched it so many times, I could recite half of the lines. I won’t spoil the story too much however.

Which spelling bees can you compete in?

I highly suggest participating in these because participating in as many bees is a great way to get used to spelling on stage.



How does the spelling bee work?

Most people begin with a classroom spelling bee where the words come from the school list that Scripps provides. The words will generally come from the grade level that you are in.

The next round will be the school spelling bee. Once again, Scripps provides the school list for fourth through eighth graders. It will be very beneficial to know all of these.

The next level can either be a county-wide spelling bee, or a regional spelling bee*. The first few rounds may contain words from the school list, so make sure you remember them. After that, bees may move on to words from “Spell it!” You can go to the website:, or download the PDF. Many bees at this level may go offlist, so be ready for words you may not have seen before.

The regional spelling bees tend to begin with the Spellit list. This may go on for a couple rounds. Then, the words may go offlist. However, just stay calm, and you’ll do great!

The Scripps National Spelling is held in Washington D.C. The week that it occurs in is called “Bee Week.”

*Some county bees act as the qualifying bee for nationals, so check which bee is your qualifying bee.