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                               "Famous" Semantics Words
                                  2012- 2013
penultimate       (pen-UL-tuh-muht)    adj.    [<Latin]
                              of the next to the last in any series
                             The main action occurrs in the penultimate chapter of the book.
                            (First appeared in PAIDEIA in 1995 - Orientation.  On the 2001 
                             City Written Spelling Test.)
antepenultimate        (an-tee-pen-UL-tuh-muht)    adj.    [<Latin]
                                  of the third from the end in any series;
                                  the one before the next to the last
                                          Since November is the penultimate month, October must
                                          be the antepenultimate month.
subcontinental        (sub-kawn-tuh-NEN-tuhl)    adj.    [<Latin]
                                  of a large land mass that is somewhat smaller
                                  than one of the recognized continents
                                          The Indian peninsula is a subcontinental land area
                                          that stretches northward into the Himalayas.
                                          (One of the words that contain all five of the vowels in reverse
                                            order.  Others are uncomplimentary and unnoticeably.)
therein        (ther-IN)    adv.    [<English]
                         in that particular place
                           The burglar stole the box and the jewels found therein.
                           (Therein contains ten different words without rearranging any of the
                             letters:  the, there, he, in, rein, her, here, ere, therein, herein.)
valetudinarian        (val-uh-tood-uh-NER-ee-uhn)    n.    [<Latin]
                                   a person of weak or sickly constitution, especially
                                   one whose chief concern is his invalidism
                                          Grandpa is a valetudinarian who believes that
                                          no physician can keep him in good health.
                                   (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1963 and in PAIDEIA
                                    in 1998 - Emma.  On the 2012 NSB grade-specific word study list.)
tergiversate        (tuhr-JIV-uhr-sayt)    v.    [<Latin]
                         to evade straightforward action or clear-cut statement
                        of position; to use ambiguous language in order to deceive
                                      While political leaders tergiversate, petty tyrants
                                       are taking over the country.
                                (Designated the "word of the year" for 2011 by Dictionary.com. 
                                  First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1953 and in PAIDEIA
                                  in 2003 - Cognates.)
oscitation        (aws-uh-TAY-shuhn)    n.    [<Latin]
                            drowsiness usually demonstrated by yawns
                   After the lecture passed an hour in length, oscitation swept the classroom.
                    (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1980.  On the City Written
                      Spelling Test in 2013.)
centauromachia        (sen-tawr-oh-MAK-ee-uh)    n.    [<Greek]
                                 a battle in which creatures with the head, trunk,
                                 and arms of a man and the body and legs of a horse
                                 take part   
                                      A famous centauromachia is depicted in sculptured relief
                                       on the south side of the parthenon in Athens.
                                        (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1980. On the
                                         City Written Spelling Test in 2013.)
xeriscape        (ZIR-uh-skayp)    n.    [<Greek + <English]
                          a landscaping method developed especially for arid and
                          semiarid climates that utilizes water-saving techniques
                          such as the use of drought-tolerant plants, mulch,
                          and efficient irrigation
                                During the drought years, many home owners took out their
                                 their lawns and put in xeriscapes.
                                 (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1980.  Only word
                                  pronounced [ZIR-uh-] from the Greek letter xi spelled xeri-. 
                                  Numerous others are spelled xero-.  On the City Written
                                  Spelling Test in 2013.)
ballyhooed        (bal-ee-HOOD)    v.    [<unknown]
                             drummed up interest in by means of exaggerated,
                               flamboyant publicity
                                   Every mile or two along the highway there were large signs
                                   that ballyhooed the popular amusement park.
                      (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1994.  The word misspelled
                       by Jacob West-Roberts of Morey Middle School at the 2007 Colorado State
                       Spelling Bee.  It came up again in the orals rounds at the 2011 state bee.)
tautonym        (TAWT-uh-nim)    n.    [<Latin<Greek]
                 a taxonomic binomial in zoology in which the generic name
                 and the specific epithet are the same (example:  the tautonym
                 for the common North American skunk is Mephitis mephitis);
                 a word with two identical parts (examples:  tomtom, beriberi, 
                 froufrou, tsetse, wiliwili) 
                     Little Bobby hates it when his mother calls him by the tautonym Booboo.
                                (2013 Spell It! contain 5 tautonyms:  tutu, barabara, mahimahi,
                                  muumuu, and wikiwiki.)
Weissnichtwo        (VYS-nikt-voh)    n.    [<fictional place name]
                                  an indefinite, unknown, or imaginary place
                                   In his dreams Hans traveled to some Weissnichtwo where
                                   where all of his troubles could be forgotten.
                           (Weissnichtwo [German for "I know not where"], was an imaginary city
                            in the satirical work Sartor Resartus, published 1833-1834, by Thomas
                            Carlyle, Scottish essayist and historian.  First appeared in Spell It! in
                            2008 - Words from German.  Voted "favorite word" by the spellers at
                            the 2011 National Spelling Bee.)
nimbed        (nimd)    n.    [<Latin]
                       having a halo or nimbus around the head
                            Nimbed comic strip characters are usually pretending to be innocent.
                            (The word misspelled by four-time Colorado State Spelling Bee finalist
                             Josh Spielman of Denver School of the Arts at the 2012 Colorado State
                             Spelling Bee.  On the City Written spelling test in 2019.)
incipient        (in-SIP-ee-uhnt)    adj.    [<Latin]
                        in an early stage; just beginning to exist; initial
                                 The rookie made a flagrant error that spelled doom
                                       for his incipient baseball career.
                              (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1953.)
nonpareil        (nawn-puh-REL)    adj.    [<French<Latin]
                           having no equal; peerless
             Hank has a lack of common sense that overshadows his nonpareil intellect.
                              (One the Colorado State Written Test in 1961 and the National
                                Spelling Bee Written Test in 2008.  On the DPS City Written
                                spelling test in 2013.)
weird        (wird)    adj.    [<Latin]
                      eerie; mysterious; strange; bizarre
                         Most episodes of The X-Files begin with a weird or puzzling event.
                        (First appeared in PAIDEIA in 2003 - Cognates.  On the Colorado State
                         Spelling Bee written test in 1976 and 1983.  On the list of "Commonly
                         Misspelled Words" in How to Spell Like a Champ, p. 119.)
cwm        (koom)    n.    [<Welsh]
             a deep, steep-walled basin high on a mountain usually shaped
             like half a bowl and often containing a small lake, caused especially
             by glacier erosion and usually forming the blunt head of a valley
                       The climbers had to traverse the face of the cwm before they could
                       camp for the night and attempt the summit the next morning.
       (Voted a "favorite word" by the spellers at the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee.)
porwigle         (POHR-wig-uhl)    n.    [<English]
                           a tadpole; the larva of a frog or toad,
                           having gills and a tail and living in water
                                 Sarah and the other children went down to the pond
                                  to try and catch a porwigle or two.
                      (The word misspelled by Frank Cahill of Parker, Colorado, the 2012
                       Colorado State Spelling Bee champion when he finished in 7th place
                       at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.)
interim         (IN-tuhr-uhm)   n., adj.    [<Latin]
                           n.  the period of time between; meantime; interval
                                           Forest will be working on a farm during
                                           the interim between semesters.
                         adj.  temporary; provisional; acting
                                       Mrs. Caxton will serve as interim principal until
                                       Mr. Johnson is fully recovered from his illness.
                    (First appeared in Words of the Champions in 1953 and PAIDEIA in
                     2004 - It’s About Time.  On the DPS City Written spelling test in 2013.)
mbaqanga        (uhm-baw-KAWNG-guh)    n.    [<Zulu]
                            a South African dance music that combines traditional
                            elements, as chanting and drumming, with elements of
                            modern music, such as jazz
                                 It was among the urban working-class population that mbaqanga
                                 gained its popularity during the 1960s.
                  (Appears in How to Spell Like a Champ, page 89, Neologisms where it is spelled
                   correctly.  The word is misspelled in Webster’s 3rd New International Dictionary,
                   2002 edition, on page 106a of the Addenda as ‘mbaganda.’)


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