'What is it?'

Ed Horan (Speller 148) made sure to pronounce his Ns as he correctly spelled "fantoccini."But first, he had a few questions.

"What is it?"

"Puppets moved by strings or mechanical devices," Dr. Bailly said.

"OK, language of origin?" Ed asked.

Italian, which formed it from a Latin word

And "can I hear it in a sentence?"

So many spectators stopped to watch the fantoccini that the puppet shows had to be moved to one of the park's larger amphitheaters.


Nathaniel Britton (Speller 121) was happy with his sentence.

"Bravo," he told Dr. Bailly upon hearing him read the sentence for "gnathonic:"

"Perhaps others would accuse Joel of being gnathonic, but he wanted to wear a comfortable shirt to work and, if the most comfortable shirt happened to say 'I heart the Boss,' then so be it."

Nathaniel, a seventh grader from Shelby Township, Michigan, spelled the word correctly.

A deep breath

Neha Seshadri (Speller 115) walked up to the microphone with a request.

"Can I take a deep breath, please?" she asked.

Neha received an affirmative answer. She breathed in deep.

"OK, back to business," she said.

Upon hearing her word -- "taiga" -- Neha asked for the language of origin and the definition. She spelled the word correctly.


She just spelled a hairball

The definition for "bezoar" -- the word Megan Rabe (Speller 103) received -- is a little complex.

"Any of various concretions found in the alimentary organs (especially of certain ruminants) formerly believed to possess magical properties and used in Asian medicine as a medicine or pigment," Dr. Bailly read.

But then he simplified it for Megan:

"It's essentially a hairball," he said.

Megan spelled it correctly.

We've lost a few

Two spellers were eliminated in a row: Audrey Melton (Speller 71) misspelled "philately" and Tristan Hankins (Speller 72) misspelled "Weimaraner." Both were eliminated.

Audrey is an eighth grader from Rock Falls, Illinois. Tristan is a sixth grader from Anderson, Indiana.

Our representative of Ghana, Khushi Jeswani (Speller 50) was also eliminated, on "commissar."

First one out

We have our first eliminated speller.

Amy Maldonado (Speller 42) misspelled keeshond and was the first eliminated from the Bee.

Amy is an eighth grader from Naples, Florida. She left the stage to a round of applause from the audience and her fellow spellers.

Some are just sentences

Keshav Ramesh (Speller 32) -- who was here last year -- typed the letters of his word, "debacle," as he spelled it.

Before that, he asked if the word was from Latin. On hearing its history -- Latin to Old Provençal to French -- he commented, "long history."

"Can you use the word in a funny sentence, please?" Keshav asked.

Unfortunately for the South Windsor, Connecticut fifth grader, it couldn't be done.

"They're not always funny," Dr. Bailly responded.

Jacob Williamson (Speller 38) wanted a good one, too.