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10 Winning Words From Past Spelling Bees

Image: Arvind Mahankali of New York holds his trophy after winning the National Spelling Bee at National Harbor in Maryland
Arvind Mahankali of New York holds his trophy after winning the National Spelling Bee at National Harbor in Maryland May 30, 2013. Mahankali, a 13-year-old from Bayside Hills, New York, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday by correctly spelling "knaidel," a kind of dumpling. Mahankali, a student at Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School, had finished third in the contest twice before. KEVIN LAMARQUE / Reuters, file

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This week, 281 spellers - 139 boys and 142 girls - are competing for the title of 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion. The players range in age from 8 to 15, but the most common age is 13, with 98 spellers. And 190, almost 68 percent, come from public schools rather than private or home schools.

In honor of the new group of whizzes taking the stage today, we take a look back at winning words from bees past. How many could you spell?

2013: knaidel - a traditional Jewish dumpling

2012: guetapens - ambush, snare or trap

2011: cymotrichous - having wavy hair

2010: stromuhr - a tool that measures the speed of blood flow through an artery

2009: Laodicean - lukewarm or indifferent in religion or politics

2008: guerdon - something that one has earned or gained

2007: serrefine - a small forceps for clamping a blood vessel

2006: Ursprache - a hypothetical parent language

2005: appoggiatura - a melodic tone

2004: autochthonous - indigenous, native, aboriginal; used especially in nature

You can follow along with all 281 competitors here.

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