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Dust off those spelling skills.

There are plenty of Southerners out there obsessed with grammar, still more who get anxious when semi-colons are deployed inappropriately, and even more who appreciate words spelled correctly. (For the latter, don’t we all?) That’s to say some of us can’t help but offer up a correction when someone mixes up their “I”s and “E”s when they arrive after “C”s. Some words require study; others are deeply ingrained. But there’s one place that’s sure to offer up words that will stump even the most seasoned spellers among us. That’s The Scripps National Spelling Bee. Take a spin through the last 12 years of winning spelling bee words and test your knowledge. (We’ve also included definitions for these tricky terms, because these are not words we hear every day.)

2006 Ursprache

(noun) Ur·spra·che a parent language, one hypothetically reconstructed from later languages, such as Proto-Germanic
From German: "ur," meaning "original," and "sprache," meaning "speech"

2007 serrefine

(noun) serre·fine a small forceps (medical clamp) for clamping a blood vessel during surgery

2008 guerdon

(noun) guer·don reward, recompense
Dates to 14th century Chaucer ("The Romaunt of the Rose"), and later used by Shakespeare

2009 Laodicean

(adjective) La·od·i·ce·an — lukewarm, indifferent, or halfhearted in regards to religion or politics
Dates to "The Book of Revelation" (3:15-16), in which the Church of Laodicea is described as being "lukewarm" or irresolute in devotion

2010 stromuhr

(noun) strom·uhr — a rheometer (an instrument for the measuring flow of viscous substances) that measures the amount and speed of blood flow through an artery

2011 cymotrichous

(adjective) cy·mot·ri·chous — characterized by having wavy hair
From Ancient Greek: "kuma," meaning "wave," and "trikh," meaning "hair"

2012 guetapens

(noun) guet·a·pens — ambush, snare, trap
From Middle French "de guet apens," meaning "with premeditation"

2013 knaidel

(noun) knai·del — matzo ball
From Yiddish "kneydel," and from Middle High German "knödel"

2014 feuilleton, stichomythia

(noun) feuil·le·ton — a section of a European newspaper presenting material designed to entertain the general reader
Originated in French newspapers as a supplement including information on popular themes in the arts, literature, or fashion

(noun) sticho·myth·ia — actors’ dialogue delivered in alternating lines that simulates dispute or conflict (as in Greek drama), which often uses and twists the words of the lines that came before
From Greek: "stichos," meaning "row," "line," or "verse," and "mythos," meaning "speech" or "myth"

2015 scherenschnitte, nunatak

(noun) sche·ren·schnit·te — the art of cutting paper into decorative designs
From German: "scherenschnitt," meaning "scissors cut"

(noun) nun·a·tak — a hill or mountain completely surrounded by glacial ice
From Inuit: "nunataq"

2016 Feldenkrais, gesellschaft

(medical trademark) Fel·den·krais — used to indicate a system or method of aided bodily movements, the exercises of which attempt to lessen tension and increase mind-body awareness

(noun) ge·sell·schaft — a social relationship characterized by impersonal ties, contracted associations, or duty to a person or group

2017 marocain

(noun) mar·o·cain — a ribbed crepe fabric used in women's clothing
From French: "crepe marocain," meaning "Moroccan crepe"

WATCH: Southern Places You're Probably Mispronouncing

Would these words have stumped you? Memorize them and bust them out at your next get-together…spelling skills are the ultimate party trick, after all.