spelling bee

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sat Apr 13 14:56:42 UTC 2013

At 4/12/2013 10:49 PM, Ben Zimmer wrote:
>1831 _Jamestown (N.Y.) Journal_ 26 Jan. 4/4 (GenealogyBank) A big
>spelling match is announced in Covington, Ohio, at the High School,
>when the lad that stands longest on the floor and spells the biggest
>words without scratching his head is to receive a fine present.

I believe the rule about not scratching one's head was later
rescinded.  And spelling bees are no longer like dance endurance
contests -- contestants are now allowed to sit while waiting out the
performances of their competitors.

But a rumored new rule -- in addition to spelling the word,
contestants will have to know how to define it.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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