There was a time when we all misspelled “Dessert” as “Desert”. Or when we didn’t know the definition for words like aloof, and thought it sounded like “a loaf." In honor or City Year's second annual CY Spelling Bee, we asked a few students from William D. Kelley K-8 to guess the definitions of winning words from past national spelling bee competitions that they have never seen before. Join in on the fun and try to guess the definition. Also, join us on Friday for your chance to spell words like these and win two round trips from American Airlines. Sign up for City Year Philadelphia’s CY Spelling Bee event today!

Nanatak (\ˈnə-nə-ˌtak\)
Student definition: Half-man, half-goat
Merriam Webster: A hill or mountain completely surrounded by glacial ice.
2015 winning word -Gokul Venkatachalam
Knaidel (\kəˈnādəl, ˈknā-\)
Student definition: When you sneek on the bus.
Merriam Webster: A type of dumpling eaten especially in Jewish household during Passover.
2013 winning word – Arvind Mahankali
Elucubrate (\ē, ə̇+\)
Student definition: When I ring your door bell.
Merriam Webster:To work out or express by studious effort.
1980 winning word – Jacques Bailly
Demarche (\dā-ˈmärsh, di-ˈ, ˈdā-ˌ\)
Student definition – Have fun
Merriam Webster: A course of action: maneuver
2000 winning word – George Abraham Thampy
Cambist (\-bə̇st\)
Student definition – A tent
Merriam Webster: One who deals in bills of exchange or who is skilled in the science and practice of exchange
1977 winning word- John Paola
Fracas (\ˈfrā-kəs\)
Student definition- To act funny
Merriam Webster: A noisy argument or fight
1930 winning word- Helen Jensen
Cerise (\sə-ˈrēs\)
Student definition: To exercise
Merriam Webster: A moderate red
1926 winning word – Pauline Bell
Guerdon (\ˈgər-dən\)
Student definition: French garden
Merriam Webster: Reward, Recompense
2008 winning word – Sameer Mishra
Shalloon (\shə-ˈlün, sha-\)
Student definition: Old western-type money
Merriam Webster: A lightweight twilled fabric of wool or worsted
1971 winning word – Jonathan Knisely

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