As if spelling words like gyrocotylid and pohutukawa wasn't impossible enough, the Scripps National Spelling Bee added definitions to this year's contest, making you feel even more foolish than usual.
Below is the actual test that was given earlier today to all the semifinalists (via ESPN's Darren Rovell). Round Four of the competition consisted of 12 spelling words and 12 vocabulary questions, followed by one more of each in Rounds Five and Six. The top scorers move on to tonight's final round, but judging by the selections below, if you're like most humans you would never make it as far as Scripps's top competitors, all of whom are under 16 years old.
Don't forget you have the advantage of seeing the words. Contestants don't get that luxury, of course, making the contest infinitely harder. (If you want the full experience, get a friend to read them out loud to you.) Even after seeing them, we'd doubt we'd be able to memorize and spell them again 10 minutes from now. And if you get even half of these definitions, we'd consider you impressive.
You can try it yourself below, but we recommend just sitting back and letting the experts handle it. The rest of the semifinal round just got underway on on ESPN2, and the finals are tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on regular ESPN. You can also follow @ScrippsBee for word-by-word coverage of every speller.
Here's the spelling test:
Here's the vocab. Answers are further below to avoid spoilers:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.