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Are You Smarter Than a National Spelling Bee Winner?

The World Cup is child’s play. For a real nail-chewer of a competition, your best bet is the 83rd Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee, which kicked off earlier this week in Washington, DC. In honor, Flavorpill brings you each of the winning words from the last 20 years in its complete spelling bee package, including definition, language of origin, and a sentence to help you incorporate each famed entry into your most important conversations.

Which word will join these immortal few in 2010? Tune into the finals, tonight at 8pm on ABC to find out. Meanwhile, we kick off the nineties in fitting fashion: with a synthetic fiber.

1990
Champion: Amy Marie Dimak, (Seattle, WA)
Word: Fibranne (noun)
Definition: A trademark for a fabric of spun rayon, often woven to resemble linen; yarn
Language of Origin: French
Sentence: Carrie White’s prom dress was made of fibranne, making it easier to clean after she got covered in pig’s blood.

1991
Champion: Joanne Lagatta (Madison, Wisconsin)
Word: Antipyretic (noun)
Definition: an agent that reduces fever
Language of Origin: Greek
Sentence: Bruce Dickinson has a fever, and the only cure is more antipyretic.

1992
Champion: Amanda Goad (Richmond, Virginia)
Word: Lyceum (noun)
Definition: 1. A hall for public lectures or concerts; 2. An association providing public lectures, concerts and entertainments
Language of Origin: Latin from Greek
Sentence: Lots of bands played at the Peach Pit After Dark, but we wouldn’t exactly call it a lyceum.

1993
Champion: Geoff Hopper (Arlington, Tennessee)
Word: Kamikaze (noun or adjective)
Definition: 1. A member of a Japanese air attack corps in World War II assigned to make a suicidal crash on a target; 2. an airplane containing explosives to be flown in a suicide crash on a target; 3. having or showing reckless disregard for safety or personal welfare
Language of Origin: Japanese
Sentence: Yoshi’s grandfather, a failed kamikaze pilot in WWII, finally fulfilled his destiny by smashing into Larry David with his wheelchair.

1994
Champion: Ned G. Andrews (Knoxville, Tennessee)
Word: Antediluvian (adjective)
Definition: 1. Of or relating to the period before the flood described on the Bible; 2. Made, evolved, or developed a long time ago
Language of Origin: Latin
Sentence: Despite its antediluvian appearance, Doc Brown’s Delorean is technologically superior to most modern-day cars.

1995
Champion: Justin Tyler Carroll (Wynne, Arkansas)
Word: Xanthosis (noun)
Definition: Yellow skin discoloration caused by excess blood carotene, as may follow overeating of carotenoid-rich foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, or oranges
Language of Origin: Greek
Sentence: Coldplay’s first big hit, “Yellow,” is not about xanthosis, but rumor is that the band was eating a lot of carrots when they wrote it.

1996
Champion: Wendy Guey (West Palm Beach, Florida)
Word: Vivisepulture (noun)
Definition: The act or instance of burying someone alive
Language of Origin: Latin
Sentence: The accidental burial of Nikki and Paulo, the most pointless characters ever on LOST, was arguably the greatest incident of vivisepulture in television history.

1997
Champion: Rebecca Sealfon (New York, New York)
Word: Euonym (noun)
Definition: An apropos name for a person, place, or thing
Language of Origin: Greek
Sentence: When Charlotte York dated “Mr. Pussy” — a euonym — and tried to make a real relationship out of it, we knew that it was going nowhere.

1998
Champion: Jody-Anne Maxwell (Kingston, Jamaica)
Word: Chiaroscurist (noun)
Definition: an artist who specializes in chiaroscuro, creating visual representation in terms of drastic contrast of light and shade
Language of Origin: Italian
Sentence: Martin Scorsese is the chiaroscurist‘s favorite film director thanks to his artful use of light.

1999
Champion: Nupur Lala (Tampa, Florida)
Word: Logorrhea (noun)
Definition: Excessive and often incoherent talkativeness
Language of Origin: New Latin
Sentence: Doug Funny suffered an acute case of logorrhea every time he spoke to Patti Mayonnaise.

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