A sporting try at the spelling bee

Originally Published: June 2, 2011
By DJ Gallo | Page 2

The National Spelling Bee is broadcast on ESPN. By definition, that means it's a sport. Right? Right. Glad we have that established.

But in case kids spelling words isn't enough for you, realize that you can use many of the words used in the competition in your sports-related water cooler talk.

All of the following words are from the 2011 competition.

devoir -- n -- an act of civility or respect.

Moments after Game 7 capped two weeks of trying to kill each other, the hockey teams engaged in the devoir of shaking hands at center ice.

limacine -- adj -- pertaining to or resembling a slug; sluglike.

Shaq decided to retire upon realizing that his game had taken on many limacine qualities.

capilliculture -- noun -- treatment to cure or prevent baldness.

LeBron James told the Heat he would take a pay cut if they hired someone skilled in capilliculture.

theopneustic -- adj -- given by the inspiration of the Spirit of God.

After calling a play at the line of scrimmage that led to a touchdown, Tim Tebow told his teammates that the audible was theopneustic.

spadiceous -- adj -- of a bright brown color.

As LeBron came down the lane full speed right at him, the basketball player suddenly had a spadiceous substance appear in his shorts.

graphorrhea -- n -- a symptom of motor excitement exhibited as continual and incoherent writing.

The doctors determined that Chad Ochocinco's constant tweeting was a modern form of graphorrhea.

pallium -- n -- a woolen vestment worn by the pope and conferred by him on archbishops, consisting, in its present form, of a narrow ringlike band that rests on the shoulders, with two dependent bands or lappets, one in front and one behind.

Although his teammates said he looked ridiculous, Tom Brady decided to wear a pallium for his postgame press conference.

panegyric -- n -- a lofty oration or writing in praise of a person or thing.

The college football media was humiliated by its many years of panegyrics for Jim Tressel.

cicerone -- n -- a person who conducts sightseers; guide.

The tourists were led around Yankee Stadium by a cicerone who showed them historic monuments of the past, including statues, plaques and Derek Jeter.

lithotrity -- n -- the operation of crushing stone in the urinary bladder into particles small enough to be voided.

When the news came out of his positive steroids test, the athlete insisted he took performance enhancers only to help with lithotrity and not to give himself any sort of athletic advantage.

turophile -- n -- a connoisseur or lover of cheese.

Before drafting the prospect, the Packers made sure he was a turophile so as not to anger their fans.

rhinorrhagia -- n -- nosebleed.

After just one round with Manny Pacquiao, the boxer's cut man could not stem his rhinorrhagia.

euryphagous -- adj -- able to subsist on a wide variety of foods.

Although he is a vegetarian, Prince Fielder appears to be someone who is quite euryphagous.

nuque -- n -- the back of the neck.

DeShawn Stevenson couldn't remember if there was any space on his nuque for a new tattoo.

sciamachy -- n -- an act or instance of fighting a shadow or an imaginary enemy.

By saying that no one believed in them, the team was engaging in a form of sciamachy.

canaille -- n -- riffraff; rabble.

The team owner never went near the upper deck, because it he felt that it reeked of canaille.

duchesse -- n -- a French dressing table or chest of drawers with a mirror.

After messing up his long routine, the figure skater destroyed his duchesse.

deuteragonist -- n -- the actor next in importance to the protagonist.

Although happy with his Sixth Man of they Year Award, Lamar Odom dreamed of replacing Pau Gasol as the Lakers' deuteragonist.

brisance -- n -- the shattering effect of a great explosive.

Brendan Haywood apologized when his free throw hit the backboard with great brisance.

ramate -- adj -- having branches; branching out or off.

While Coach Krzyzewski's coaching tree was ramate, most of those branches had long ago rotted off.

hebetude -- n -- one who has mental dullness or lethargy.

He was a hebetude, but his coaches didn't care as long as he knew the plays and stayed academically eilgible.

whirlicote -- n -- an open car or chariot.

Terrelle Pryor insisted he was riding around in an expensive whirlicote as part of a project for his history class.

DJ Gallo is the founder of His first book, "The View from the Upper Deck," is available from only the finest bargain-book retailers. His next book project will be released soon. You can follow him on Twitter at @DJGalloESPN.

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