Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #61: Spelling Bee

The Scripps National Spelling Bee begins today in Washington DC. In honor of all those young spellers vying to be the best, here are thirteen words I’ve encountered this month--some of them familiar, some new and interesting.

1. attitudinize \at-uh-TOO-duh-nyze\ verb: to assume an affected mental attitude; pose.

2. bluebeard \BLOO-beerd\ noun: A man who marries and kills one wife after another.

3. garboil \GAHR-boil\ noun: Confusion; turmoil.

4.harpy \HAR-pee\ noun: A predatory person or bad-tempered woman.

5. jeremiah (jer-uh-MY-uh) noun: A person who complains continually, has a gloomy attitude, or one who warns about a disastrous future.

6. listless \LIST-lis\, adjective: Having no desire or inclination; indifferent; heedless; spiritless.

7. lucullan \loo-KUHL-uhn\ adjective: Lavish, luxurious. [After a Roman general Lucius Licinius Lucullus, known for his sumptuous banquets.]

8. parsimonious \par-suh-MOH-nee-uhs\, adjective: Sparing in expenditure; frugal to excess.

9. subfusc \sub-FUHSK\, adjective: Dark or dull in color; drab, dusky.

10. subreption \sub-REP-shun\ noun: A deliberate misrepresentation; also: an inference drawn from it.

11. tartuffe \tahr-TOOF\ noun: A hypocrite who feigns virtue, especially in religious matters. [After the protagonist of Tartuffe, a play by Molière.]

12. tirade \TY-raid; tih-RAID\, noun: A long angry speech; a violent denunciation; a prolonged outburst full of censure or abuse.

13. titivate \TIH-tuh-vayt\ verb: to make or become smart or spruce.

Live coverag of The Scripps National Spelling Bee can be seen at:

Quarterfinals: Thursday, 2-5:30pm ET on
Semifinals: Friday, 11am-2pm ET on ESPN
Finals: Friday, 8-10pm ET on ABC

Good luck to Wisconsin state champion, Kara Walla!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens:

Ms Menozzi * Loribelle Hunt * Nina Pierce
Jennifer McKenzie * Nina * December * Darla
Stella Price * Deb Logan * Adelle Laudan
Alice Audrey * Paige Tyler * Shelley Munro
Sabrina Brayden * Dana Belfry * Ivette
Gina Ardito * Leigh Ellwood * Morgan St John
Tempest Knight * A. Catherine Noon * Janice

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Ms Menozzi said...

Is it geeky to say that I really enjoyed this topic? 'Cause I did!


I love word lists, and this is the sort of thing I can throw at my know-it-all advanced students this week! Thanks for posting it.

Happy TT!


Nina Pierce said...

Huh? I knew may two of those words! LOL! With my terrible spelling and even worse grammar, my family laughs hysterically every time I tell someone I'm an author. Let's just say ... my publisher gives my editor a paid vacation every time the final edits are done on my books. ;)

Jennifer McKenzie said...

I love these, Heather. Your posts are always so awesome.
I didn't know garboil, lucullen, subreption, tartuffe and titivate.
I ran into subfusc in a romance book once and had to look it up. LOL.
This was great.

Nina said...

You're like our very own live version of Merriam-Webster. :)

Ah being a grammar geek I truly enjoyed these. Tirade is the same in Swe too except we don't have the e in the end.

Now I have more words to impress class mates (whom some are already calling me Miss Dictionary...)

Thanks Heather!


December said...

Ug - I have THE WORST spelling.
Thank goodness for spell check.

Watching a spelling bee makes me sweaty and nervous!

Stella Price said...

WOW. my head hurts from reading that. Thanks for the vocabulary lesson!

Happy TT!


Deb Logan said...

Sigh. I love words. The weirder, the better *LOL*

Adelle said...

Clever list. I think I'd be failing this spelling test lol Happy T13!

Darla said...

These are some cool words. Have you played with Free Rice? That's a great place for vocabulary geeks. :-)

Alice Audrey said...

Several of these I recognize, but some look made-up to me.

Paige Tyler said...

Great list! Love learning new words!


My TT is at

Heather said...

Ms Menozzi ~ I don't think it's geeky at all! But then, I'm the one who posted it. LOL

Nina P ~ Thank heavens for spell check, huh?

Jennifer M ~ Thank you! Funny about subfusc...I don't remember seeing it in any book before, but was thinking it'd be great in a steamier romance. GMTA, I guess!

Nina ~ Why, thank you! Interesting that "tirade" is the same in both languages (minus the e). Hope classmates are impressed with your new words!

December and Stella ~ Sorry to give you both headaches - I love watching the spelling bee and trying to match wits with these young spellers (who know way more about language roots than I ever will).

Heather said...

Deb L ~ Weird words are awesome, aren't they? *g*

Adelle ~ Aw, I bet you'd do better than you think you would! *g*

Darla ~ Yes, I have heard of Freerice. In fact, it was features in TT32:

Alice ~ ROFL... all words are made up, some just look more natural than others. Look at how many words Shakespeare and Carroll gave to the English language!

Paige ~ Thank you! I love coming across cool new words as well.

Gina Ardito said...

Very cool--a few I hadn't seen in a while and one or two I've never come across! Thanks for this.

Shelley Munro said...

I knew a few of the words, but I love spellcheck! I liked the meanings for a couple of them. I'm going to have to think up sentences now to use my favorite words.

Heather said...

Thanks Gina and Shelley ~ always happy to fuel the minds of other writers. *G*

Bethanne said...

Ooo, I love tartuffe!

Ivette said...

Happy TT! I love your list because I don't think I knew half of the words on it. Hope to see you at my 3rd edition about J.R. Ward at Talk About My Favorite Authors blog.

Dana Belfry said...

Okay I don't know most of those words. Clearly I need to spend some quality time with Mr. Dictionary!

Janice said...

I know about have the word on you TT13, the other half are completely new to me.