2007 Celebrity Spelling Bee (Portland) II
Bill Long 1/26/07
This essay provides words 32-75.
32. abeyance (uh BAY ants), noun, ( Anglo-French, from Old French abaer to expect, await, literally, to gape, from a- + baer to gape, yawn), a lapse in succession during which there is no person in whom a title is vested; a temporary inactivity: SUSPENSION. "A final decision was held in abeyance until the full committee could meet again."
33. abscissa (ab SI sa), noun, ( New Latin, from Latin, feminine of abscissus, past participle of abscindere to cut off, from ab- + scindere to cut), the horizontal coordinate of a point in a plane Cartesian coordinate system obtained by measuring parallel to the x-axis. "She always got the abscissa and ordinate confused, but never failed to ace the test."
34. absorbance (ab SOR bents), noun, (Latin), the ability of a layer of a substance to absorb radiation expressed mathematically as the negative common logarithm of transmittance. "Good heavens," exclaimed Hulk Hogan as he cleaned up after his tupperware party, "the absorbance of these new paper towels is fantastic!"
35. acceleration (ak se le RA shon), noun, (Latin), the act or process of accelerating : the state of being accelerated; 2. the rate of change of velocity with respect to time; broadly : change of velocity. "The car's acceleration from 0 to 10 in twenty seconds convinced her that something was amiss."
36. acephalous (a SE fa less, second pronunciation is long "a"), adjective, (Greek akephalos, from a- + kephalee head), lacking a head or having the head reduced. "A tale of an acephalous horseman terrorized the village."
37. affidavit (a fa DA vit), noun, ( Medieval Latin, he has made an oath, from affidare),a sworn statement in writing made especially under oath or on affirmation before an authorized magistrate or officer. "Once the lawyer submitted the affidavit to the court, the case went to trial."
38. ayatollah (I a TO la), noun, ( Persian aayatolaah, literally, sign of God, from Arabic aayatallaah, from aaya sign, miracle + allaah God), a religious leader among Shiite Muslims -- used as a title of respect especially for one who is not an imam.Most Americans had never heard the term Ayatollah before the overthrow of the Shah of Iran and the protracted hostage saga at the U.S. embassy in Tehran."
39. barracuda (ber a KU da), noun, ( American Spanish), any of a genus (Sphyraena of the family Sphyraenidae) of elongate predaceous often large bony fishes of warm seas that includes food and sport fishes as well as some forms frequently causing ciguatera poisoning. "Next to a shark, a barracuda is probably right up there on the list of fish a swimmer would least like to encounter'."
40. biodegradable (bi o di GRA duh bull), adjective, (Latin), capable of being broken down especially into innocuous products by the action of living things (as microorganisms). "Oh my gosh, he thought, I've lived in Portland for most of my life and I'm not sure how to spell biodegradable."
41. caffeinated (KA fi na tid), adjective, (French), stimulated by or as if by caffeine; 2. containing caffeine. "According to the research, measuring coffee shops per person, Portland is the easiest city in America in which to become caffeinated ."
42. cappuccino (ka pa CHEE no), noun, ( Italian, literally, Capuchin; from the likeness of its color to that of a Capuchin's habit), espresso coffee mixed with frothed hot milk or cream and often flavored with cinnamon. "I like the word cappuccino because so many people drink it, but so few know how to spell it."
43 . champignon (sham pe NYON), noun and adjective ( French, from Middle French,alteration of champigneul, ultimately from Late Latin campania), an edible fungus; button mushroom. "While not quite in the class of the truffle, the champignon mushroom is still used extensively in fine cookery."
44. connubial (ke NU bee ul or ke NYU bee ul), adjective, ( Latin conubialis, from conubium, connubium marriage, from com- + nubere to marry), of or relating to the married state; CONJUGAL. "Despite examples of couples who share cunnubial bliss, many young couples refuse to even consider marriage."
45. coxswain (KAK sen, KAK swan), noun, ( Middle English cokswayne, from cok cockboat (a small boat) + swain servant), a sailor who has charge of a ship's boat and its crew and who usually steers; a steersman of a racing shell who usually directs the rowers. "This is a first," thought the rowing crew manager as a smiling William "The Fridge" Perry came through the door clutching the classified ad for a new team coxswain ."
46. diaphragm (DI a fram), noun, ( Middle English diafragma, from Late Latindiaphragma, from Greek, from diaphrassein to barricade, from dia- + phrassein to enclose), a body partition of muscle and connective tissue; specifically : the partition separating the chest and abdominal cavities in mammals; a dividing membrane or thin partition especially in a tube. "Urk, you were supposed to hit me in the diaphragm ," thought Harry Houdini after the gut-crunching punch that would prove his demise.
47. doctrinaire (dak tre NER), noun, ( French, from doctrine), one who attempts to put into effect an abstract doctrine or theory with little or no regard for practical difficulties. "The faculty dislikes their new principal, considering her too doctrinaire in her dismissal of practical concerns. "
48. effervesce (e fer VES), verb, ( Latin effervescere, from ex- + fervescere to begin to boil, inchoative of ferveere to boil), to bubble, hiss, and foam as gas escapes; to show liveliness or exhilaration. "The child never tired of listening to the shaken bottle of pop effervesce as she slowly unscrewed the top."
49. evanescent (e va NE sent), adjective, ( Latin evanescent-, evanescens, present participle of evanescere), tending to vanish like vapor. "Andy Warhol's phrase "fifteen minutes of fame" highlights how evanescent public esteem can be."
50. facetious (fa SHE shus), adjective, ( Middle French facetieux, from facetie jest, from Latin facetia), meant to be humorous or funny : not serious; joking or jesting often inappropriately. "The best facetious comments are accompanied by a total deadpan expression, often ruined by the twinkle in the eye."
51. fiduciary (feh DU she e ri), noun, (Latin), one that holds a fiduciary relation or acts in a fiduciary capacity. "The caring parents opened several fiduciary accounts to assure their children's future."
52. flaccid (FLA sid, FLAK sid), adjective, (Latin flaccidus, from flaccus flabby), not firm or stiff; also : lacking normal or youthful firmness; deficient in turgor; lacking vigor or force. "How can I possibly create a sentence using ' flaccid ,' without being totally inappropriate?"
53. harassment (huh RAS ment or accent on the first syllable), noun, ( French harasser, from Middle French, from harer to set a dog on, from Old French hare, interjection used to incite dogs, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German hier here), to annoy persistently; to create an unpleasant or hostile situation for especially by uninvited andunwelcome verbal or physical conduct; to worry and impede by repeated raids. "All department heads must know how to handle accusations of sexual harassment among their employees."
54. hypoglycemia (hi po gli SE me a), noun, ( New Latin), abnormal decrease of sugar in the blood. "Wow, time to crack open that orange!" the woman thought, as her hypoglycemia kicked in.
55. impermanence (im PER ma nents) , noun, the quality or state of being impermanent. "Nothing is as constant as change," is simply another way to describe the total impermanence of life."
56. jambalaya (jam buh LI uh), noun, ( Louisiana French, from Occitan jambalaia), rice cooked usually with ham, sausage, chicken, shrimp, or oysters and seasoned with herbs. " Jambalaya was the favorite Soup Nazi concoction of postal employee Newman, as he sped toward the source of the savory smells wafting down the street."
57. judgmental (juj MEN tul), adjective, (Old French), of, relating to, or involvingjudgment; characterized by a tendency to judge harshly. "I am not judgmental!" protested Aunt Betsy. "I just make up my mind faster than everyone else."
58. kibosh (ki BOSH or KI bosh), noun, ( origin unknown), something that serves as acheck or stop. "Most who use "put the kibosh on" to describe canceling a project don't realize that kibosh is actually in the dictionary."
59. lutefisk (LUT fisk or LU te fisk), noun, ( Norwegian, from lute to wash in lye solution + fisk fish), dried codfish that has been soaked in a water and lye solution before cooking. "You're right," exclaimed the diner, his face contorted, as he forced down his first bite of lutefisk . "This is even worse than kimchee."
60. melee (MA lay), noun, (French maelee, from Old French meslee, from mesler to mix), a confused struggle; especially : a hand-to-hand fight among several people. "In spite of a startling decline in decorum, the U.S. Congress is still fairly sedate when compared to the ongoing melee that is the newly-elected Mexican legislature."
61. noisome (NOI sum), adjective, ( Middle English noysome, from noy annoyance, alteration of anoi, from Anglo-French anui, from anuier to harass, annoy), offensive to the senses and especially to the sense of smell; highly obnoxious or objectionable; MALODOROUS. "The noisome aroma experienced by New Yorkers earlier this month had many wondering whether they'd actually left New Jersey that morning."
62, occurrence (ah KER ants), noun, (Latin), something that occurs; the action or instance of occurring. "Just how often is the occurrence of something that happens 'once in a blue moon,' she wondered."
63. oedipal (E di pal), adjective, (Greek) , of, relating to, or resulting from the Oedipus complex. "The therapist suspected that the boy had an oedipal complex after hearing him talk so fondly of his mother yet never mention his father."
64. queue (KYU), noun, ( French, literally, tail, from Old French cue, coe, Latin cauda, coda), a waiting line especially of persons or vehicles; a braid of hair usually worn hanging at the back of the head; a sequence of messages or jobs held in temporary storage awaiting transmission or processing. "The queue to buy playoff tickets began to form before dawn."
65. adventitious (ad ven TI shus), adjective, ( Latin adventicius), 1. coming from another source and not inherent or innate; 2. arising or occurring sporadically or in other than the usual location. "The celebrated banyan tree is remarkable for the enormous extension of its crown by means of adventitious roots.'
66. bacchanalia (ba ka NAL ya), noun, ( Latin, from Bacchus), a Roman festival of Bacchus celebrated with dancing, song, and revelry; orgy. "The dignified wedding ceremony was followed by a real bacchanalia of a reception."
67. booboisie ( bub wa ZEE), noun, (American--blend of boob and bourgeoisie), the general public regarded as consisting of boobs. "Gee, I knew some people are bourgeoisie, and I know some people are boobs, but I've never heard of booboisie ," thought the sentence writer as he considered defining the interesting word."
68. braggadocio (bra ga DO se o, or bra ga DO she o), noun, ( Braggadochio, personification of boasting in Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser; 1594), a : empty boasting b : arrogant pretension: BRAGGART; COCKINESS. "The braggadocio of Terrel Owens. seemed more and more humorous as his drops began to outnumber his actual catches."
69. cannelloni (ka ne LO ne), noun, ( Italian, plural of cannellone, augmentative of cannello segment of cane stalk, from canna), boiled tube-shaped or rolled pasta filled with a meat, fish, cheese, or vegetable mixture and baked in a sauce. "My favorite restaurant at Fisherman's Wharf serves a divine seafood cannelloni ."
70. catechumen (kat e KYU men), noun, ( Middle English cathecumyn, from Late Latin catechumenus, from Greek kateechoumenos, present passive participle of kateechein), 1. a convert to Christianity receiving training in doctrine and discipline before baptism; 2. one receiving instruction in the basic doctrines of Christianity before admission to communicant membership in a church. "Before becoming a member of All Saints, she needed to become a catechumen ."
71. chlorophyll (KLOR a fil), noun, ( French chlorophylle, from chlor- + Greek phyllon leaf), 1. the green photosynthetic pigment found chiefly in the chloroplasts of plants; 2. a waxy green chlorophyll-containing substance extracted from green plants and used as a coloring agent or deodorant. "A long spell of cloudy days compromises a plant's ability to produce chlorophyll . "
72. chrysalis (KRI se las), noun, ( Latin chrysallid-, chrysallis gold-colored pupa of butterflies, from Greek, from chrysos gold, of Semitic origin; akin to Hebrew haarus gold), a pupa of a butterfly; broadly : an insect pupa b : the enclosing case or covering of a pupa. "Moviegoers have long wondered whether the casing that held the pod people in the Invasion of the Body Snatchers was technically a chrysalis ."
73. cytophilic (si ta FI lic), adjective, (Greek), having an affinity for cells. "The biology professor is truly cytophilic; she is in heaven when she is looking at cells in her microscope."
74. defeasance (di FE zents), noun, ( Middle English defesance, from Anglo-French, from defesaunt, present participle of defaire), the termination of a property interest in accordance with stipulated conditions (as in a deed) (2) : an instrument stating such conditions of limitation b : a rendering null or void. "Is it necessary to involve a lawyer to accomplishment the defeasance of our contract if we both agree that it is no longer appropriate?"
75. desuetude (DE swi tude, DI swey tude), noun, ( Middle English dissuetude, from Latin desuetudo, from desuescere to become unaccustomed, from de- + suescere to become accustomed; akin to Latin sodalis comrade), discontinuance from use or exercise : DISUSE. "They stored mountains of electronic equiment in the attic which had fallen into desuetude ."
Copyright © 2004-2007 William R. Long