Champions and Their Winning Words

′20s  |  ′30s  |  ′40s  |  ′50s  |  '60s  |  ′70s  |  ′80s  |  ′90s  |  ′00s  |  '10s

 

YEAR  
WORDCHAMPIONSPONSOR

1925

gladiolus

Frank Neuhauser

Louisville Courier-Journal,
Louisville, Kentucky

1926

cerise

Pauline Bell

Louisville Courier-Journal,
Louisville, Kentucky

1927

luxuriance

Dean Lucas

Akron Beacon Journal,
Akron, Ohio

1928

albumen

Betty Robinson

South Bend News-Tribune,
South Bend, Indiana

1929

asceticism

Virginia Hogan

The Omaha World-Herald,
Omaha, Nebraska

1930

fracas

Helen Jensen

Des Moines Register & Tribune,
Des Moines, Iowa

1931

foulard

Ward Randall

White Hall Register-Republican,
White Hall, Illinois

1932

knack

Dorothy Greenwald

Des Moines Register & Tribune,
Des Moines, Iowa

1933

torsion

Alma Roach

Akron Beacon Journal,
Akron, Ohio 

1934

deteriorating

Sarah Wilson

Portland Evening Express,
Portland, Maine 

1935

intelligible

Clara Mohler

Akron Beacon Journal,
Akron, Ohio 

1936

interning

Jean Trowbridge

Des Moines Register & Tribune,
Des Moines, Iowa

1937

promiscuous

Waneeta Beckley

Louisville Courier-Journal,
Louisville, Kentucky

1938

sanitarium

Marian Richardson

Louisville Times,
Louisville, Kentucky 

1939

canonical

Elizabeth Ann Rice

Worcester Telegram & Gazette,
Worcester, Massachusetts

1940

therapy

Laurel Kuykendall

The Knoxville News-Sentinel,
Knoxville, Tennessee 

1941

initials

Louis Edward Sissman

Detroit News,
Detroit, Michigan 

1942

sacrilegious

Richard Earnhart

El Paso Herald-Post,
El Paso, Texas

1946

semaphore

John McKinney

Des Moines Register & Tribune,
Des Moines, Iowa

1947

chlorophyll

Mattie Lou Pollard

Atlanta Journal,
Atlanta, Georgia 

1948

psychiatry

Jean Chappelear

Akron Beacon Journal,
Akron, Ohio 

1949

dulcimer

Kim Calvin

Canton Repository,
Canton, Ohio

1950

meticulosity

Diana Reynard and Colquitt Dean

Cleveland Press, Cleveland, Ohio, and
Atlanta Journal,
Atlanta, Georgia

1951

insouciant

Irving Belz

Memphis Press Scimitar,
Memphis, Tennessee

1952

vignette

Doris Ann Hall

Winston-Salem Journal,
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 

1953

soubrette

Elizabeth Hess

Arizona Republic,
Phoenix, Arizona

1954

transept

William Cashore

Norristown Times Herald,
Norristown, Pennsylvania

1955

crustaceology

Sandra Sloss

St. Louis Globe-Democrat,
St. Louis, Missouri

1956

condominium

Melody Sachko

The Pittsburgh Press,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1957

schappe

Sandra Owen and

Dana Bennett

Canton Repository, Canton, Ohio, and
Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Colorado

1958

syllepsis

Jolitta Schlehuber

Topeka Daily Capital,
Topeka, Kansas

1959

catamaran

Joel Montgomery

Rocky Mountain News,
Denver, Colorado

1960

eudaemonic

Henry Feldman

The Knoxville News-Sentinel,
Knoxville, Tennessee 

1961

smaragdine

John Capehart

Tulsa Tribune,
Tulsa, Oklahoma  

1962

esquamulose

Nettie Crawford¹ and Michael Day

El Paso Herald-Post, El Paso, Texas, and
St. Louis Globe-Democrat, St. Louis, Missouri

1963

equipage

Glen Van Slyke III

The Knoxville News-Sentinel,
Knoxville, Tennessee 

1964

sycophant

William Kerek

Akron Beacon Journal,
Akron, Ohio  

1965

eczema

Michael Kerpan Jr.

Tulsa Tribune,
Tulsa, Oklahoma 

1966

ratoon

Robert A. Wake

Houston Chronicle,
Houston, Texas

1967

Chihuahua

Jennifer Reinke

The Omaha World-Herald,
Omaha, Nebraska 

1968

abalone

Robert L. Walters

The Topeka Daily Capital,
Topeka, Kansas  

1969

interlocutory

Susan Yoachum

Dallas Morning News,
Dallas, Texas 

1970

croissant

Libby Childress

Winston-Salem Journal & Sentinel,
Winston-Salem, North Carolina 

1971

shalloon

Jonathan Knisely

Philadelphia Bulletin,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1972

macerate

Robin Kral

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal,
Lubbock, Texas 

1973

vouchsafe

Barrie Trinkle

Fort Worth Press,
Fort Worth, Texas 

1974

hydrophyte

Julie Ann Junkin

Birmingham Post-Herald,
Birmingham, Alabama

1975

incisor

Hugh Tosteson

San Juan Star,
San Juan, Puerto Rico

1976

narcolepsy

Tim Kneale

Syracuse Herald Journal-American,
Syracuse, New York 

1977

cambist

John Paola

The Pittsburgh Press,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1978

deification

Peg McCarthy

The Topeka Capital-Journal,
Topeka, Kansas

1979

maculature

Katie Kerwin

Rocky Mountain News,
Denver, Colorado

1980

elucubrate

Jacques Bailly

Rocky Mountain News,
Denver, Colorado

1981

sarcophagus

Paige Pipkin

El Paso Herald-Post,
El Paso, Texas

1982

psoriasis

Molly Dieveney

Rocky Mountain News,
Denver, Colorado 

1983

Purim

Blake Giddens²

El Paso Herald-Post,
El Paso, Texas 

1984

luge

Daniel Greenblatt

Loudoun Times-Mirror,
Leesburg, Virginia 

1985

milieu

Balu Natarajan

Chicago Tribune,
Chicago, Illinois 

1986

odontalgia

Jon Pennington

The Patriot News,
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

1987

staphylococci

Stephanie Petit

The Pittsburgh Press,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

1988

elegiacal

Rageshree Ramachandran

The Sacramento Bee,
Sacramento, California

1989

spoliator

Scott Isaacs

Rocky Mountain News,
Denver, Colorado 

1990

fibranne

Amy Marie Dimak

The Seattle Times,
Seattle, Washington  

1991

antipyretic

Joanne Lagatta

The Wisconsin State Journal,
Madison, Wisconsin 

1992

lyceum

Amanda Goad

The Richmond News Leader,
Richmond, Virginia  

1993

kamikaze

Geoff Hooper

The Commercial Appeal,
Memphis, Tennessee 

1994

antediluvian

Ned G. Andrews

The Knoxville News-Sentinel,
Knoxville, Tennessee

1995

xanthosis

Justin Tyler Carroll³

The Commercial Appeal,
Memphis, Tennessee 

1996

vivisepulture

Wendy Guey

The Palm Beach Post,
West Palm Beach, Florida 

1997

euonym

Rebecca Sealfon

Daily News,
New York, New York 

1998

chiaroscurist

Jody-Anne Maxwell

Phillips & Phillips Stationery Suppliers, Ltd.,
Kingston, Jamaica 

1999

logorrhea

Nupur Lala

The Tampa Tribune,
Tampa, Florida 

2000

demarche

George Abraham Thampy 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
St. Louis, Missouri

2001

succedaneum

Sean Conley

Aitkin Independent Age,
Aitkin, Minnesota

2002

prospicience

Pratyush Buddiga

Rocky Mountain News,
Denver, Colorado  

2003

pococurante

Sai R. Gunturi

The Dallas Morning News,
Dallas, Texas 

2004

autochthonous

David Tidmarsh

South Bend Tribune,
South Bend, Indiana 

2005

appoggiatura

Anurag Kashyap 

San Diego Union-Tribune,
San Diego, California

2006

Ursprache

Kerry Close

Asbury Park Press/Home News Tribune,
Asbury Park, New Jersey 

2007

serrefine

Evan M. O'Dorney

Contra Costa Times,
Walnut Creek, California

2008

guerdon

Sameer Mishra

Journal and Courier,
Lafayette, Indiana

2009LaodiceanKavya Shivashankar

Olathe News,
Olathe, Kansas

2010stromuhrAnamika Veeramani

The Plain Dealer,
Cleveland, Ohio

2011

cymotrichousSukanya Roy

Times Leader,
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

2012guetapensSnigdha Nandipati

U-T San Diego,
San Diego, California

2013knaidelArvind Mahankali

Daily News,
New York, New York

2014

feuilleton

stichomythia

Ansun Sujoe

Sriram Hathwar

Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas

Corning Rotary Club, Corning, New York

¹Nettie Crawford was a resident of New Mexico at the time of her championship.

²Blake Giddens was a resident of New Mexico at the time of his championship.

³Justin Tyler Carroll was a resident of Arkansas at the time of his championship.