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The Seattle Spelling Bee

at Re-bar

Spelling at Re-bar

The Seattle Spelling Bee takes place once a month at Re-bar. Come play for free drinks, nerdly pride, grade school vindication, and qualify to spell in the finals for CASH & PRIZES!



September 4th, 2008



Hello Spellers,

All of the latest information about the Seattle Spelling Bee can now be found at SeattleSpellingBee.com.

April 7th, 2008

Seattle Spelling Bee

After nearly two years of arcane orthographical lore, double entendres, Pokémon trivia, beer consumption, and unabashed geekery, Benjamin Williams and Josh Malamy, organizers and hosts of the Seattle Spelling Bee at Re-bar, are closing up shop. Tonight's the all-time final bout, in which 18 spellers—top placers at each of six preceding semifinal bees—will vie for a pretty lavish prize package of cash and gift certificates, attempting to conquer words like nidifugous, lowestoft, and costumbrista. There'll be audience-participation games, too, between rounds, not to mention the potentially schadenfreuderrific spectacle of this speller either reliving his first-season victory of January 2007 or suffering an ignominious anticlimax. GAVIN BORCHERT $5 Mon., April 7, 8:00pm


April 6th, 2008

Season 3 ends tomorrow and it's our last bee ever. All Season 3 champs (October '07 to March '08) are eligible to compete. Come on down for always more neat words, amazing prizes and a good dose of audience participation. We'd love to see you! Keep the dream alive by starting your own bee!

Seattle Spelling Bee
Season 3 Finals
Monday, April 7 at Re-bar
1114 Howell St. (off Boren)
Doors at 7, Bee at 8
21+, $5

March 11th, 2008

Here are the results from the March bee:

In 3rd place, with 4 words right (+ 2 in the 5-way tiebreaker for 3rd), Sarah M.!
In 2nd place, with 4 words right (+1 in the 6-way tiebreaker for 2nd), Carola!
And in 1st place, with 6 words right, Bill L.!

Here are the words they spelled correctly:

Bill L.: colonel, diaphragm, billionaire, enneasyllabic, chiavetta, lacustrine
Carola: chocolaty, kitsch, iridescent, cyanope (+ polyptoton)
Sarah M.: misogyny, tarmac, pumpernickel, panforte (+ spintherism, reboation)

Here's what happened: There was a 6-way tiebreaker for 2nd among the spellers who got 4 words correct. Carola won it, then we had the tiebreaker for 3rd, and Sarah M. won that. OK, that looks better.

Congratulations to the winners! They are qualified for the Season 3 finals on April 7 to spell for cash and prizes.

Spelling enthusiast Meghan took photos. They are here. Thanks Meghan!

Here's the full list of spellers who have qualified for the finals:

Click for listCollapse )

If your name isn't on this list, you can compete for prizes during our between-round mini-games at the finals. We'll have some great stuff ready to give the winners of the mini-games. Don't forget that we once gave away a Nintendo DS this way!

Hope to see you on April 7 for our final finals! Also, kids' bee on March 30 at Town Hall! We'll be there as spectators.

February 29th, 2008

Here are the results from February's bee:

In 3rd place, with 4 words correct (+ 2 in the tie-breaker to decide 3rd place), Trang T.!
And in a tie for 1st place, with 5 words correct, Randy H. and Richard I.!

Congratulations to the winners. Here are the words they spelled correctly:

Randy H.: guttural, asphodel, facilely, pavonine, capote
Richard I.: presumptuous, chalice, cryptozoa, philogynous, sitzmark
Trang T.: Pharaoh, halcyon, marjoram, monocleid/monocleide (+ Scandihoovian/Scandahoovian, weald)

Randy, Richard, and Trang are qualified for the finals on April 7, where they will compete for cash and prizes and to be crowned Season 3 Champion. There will also be the usual audience participation mini-games at the finals in between rounds, with great prizes of their own to be won. We'll give the full rundown of finals-qualified spellers in an e-mail soon after the March bee.

And now, some sad news: The Seattle Spelling Bee is closing up shop. That means your last chance to qualify for the last season finals is this coming Monday, March 3. We think it's been a good run, with great spellers and some great words, and we're eternally grateful to Re-bar for playing host to our shenanigans since July of 2006. We'd love to see as many of you as possible in March and April, competing or spectating, to give the event a bright send-off. Maybe you will start the new Seattle bee!

See you on March 3!

January 21st, 2008

January results

Re-barCollapse )

In Canada, Re-bar is a food item!

Here are the results from January's bee:

In 2nd place with 4 words correct + 2 more in the five-way tie break for 2nd, Randy H.!
And in a tie for 1st place with 5 words correct each, dark horses Craig M. and Eve S.!

Here are the words spelled correctly by the winners:

Craig M.: liaison, segue, acalculia, agouti/agouty, rouen
Eve S.: daiquiri, hyperkinetic, caduceus, pourboire, celadon
Randy H.: marshmallow, grenadine, debubblizer, diphyodont (2nd place tie-breaker: sonobuoy, passacaglia)

Congratulations to the winners, as well as to our audience mini-game drink tab awardees. Craig, Eve and Randy are now qualified for the April 7 Season 3 finals, where they will compete with other preliminary bee winners from Season 3 for cash and prizes! Audience members will have their chance to win as well during between-round mini-games. Past season finals audience prizes have included a zombie-themed DVD collection, a big honkin' Webster's Third New International Dictionary, and a Nintendo DS.

Looking forward to seeing you at the next preliminary bee on February 4. Only two more chances to qualify for the finals!

December 6th, 2007

December results

Here are the results from the December bee on Monday:

In a tie for 3rd place with 3 words correct: Danina and Katie!
In 2nd place with 4 words correct: Sarah M.!
And in 1st place with a whopping 7 words correct: Gavin!

Here are the words they spelled correctly:

Gavin: hierarchy, laureate, omniphibious, anfractuous, maestoso, pseudandry, bellarmine
Sarah M.: refrigerator, spelunker, vivarium, atelier
Danina: congratulations, persimmon, solicitude
Katie: aberration, connoisseur, nidifugous

Congrats to the winners. Gavin also won the between-rounds mini-game, so it was pretty much a clean sweep. All finalists are now qualified for the finals in April, where cash and prizes await the grand champions.

Twelve bees in 12 months: it's been a blast. See you next year!

November results

Here are the results from the November bee:

In 3rd place with 4 words correct, a six-way tie between Sarah M., Andrew H., Randy H., Carol B., Margo P. and Marti!
And in 1st place with 5 words correct, a two-way tie between Richard I. and Collin!

Here are the words the winners spelled:

Richard I.: pistachio, hooligan, Sardoodledom, noctilucence, terdiurnal
Collin: consensus, rendezvous, niveous, forficiform, phonasthenia
Sarah M.: deterrence, juxtaposition, imponderabilia, schnitz/snits/snitz
Andrew H.: commemorate, vertiginate, granivorous, proem
Randy H.: incidentally, cannelloni, periphrasis, obsidional
Carol B.: guttural, schnauzer, abyssal, ratafia
Margo P.: saccharide, allemande, consuetude, squdge
Marti: glitterati, Jovicentric, cryptanalysis, amadelphous

Congratulations to the eight winners, who are now all qualified to spell for cash and prizes in the finals in April.

Speller Aaron L. has brought to our attention a fantastic website called Free Rice. You learn words while somehow providing rice to hungry people. We can't corroborate the rice part but it is a great vocabulary quiz and if it really helps people get access to food then all the better. Some real tough words in there, a few of which have turned up in Seattle Spelling Bee word lists. Thanks Aaron!

October results

Here are the results from October's bee:

In a tie for 2nd place with four words spelled correctly apiece: Gavin B., Joe M. and Meg V.!
And in 1st place with five words spelled correctly: Randy H.!

Here are the words they spelled right:

Randy H.: leisure, Hawaiian, Moarian, paraph, barathrum
Gavin B.: principle, pharmaceuticals, alnico, Apollyon
Joe M.: colonel, smorgasbord, historiette, quillon
Meg V.: unpersuadable, onomatope, telamon, cluse

Congratulations to the winners. They received free drink tickets and are qualified to spell for cash and prizes at the Season 3 finals on April 7th.

September 12th, 2007



September 8th, 2007

Check out an article in this week's (September 5–11) Real Change newspaper about the Bumbershoot Spelling Bee this past weekend. Quotes from Re-bar champs Chloe B., John H. and Gretta C. are scattered throughout. The article doesn't mention that Re-bar champs Gavin B., Chloe B. and John H. emerged as co-champions of the Bumbershoot Spelling Bee. Congrats Gavin, Chloe and John!

See you at Re-bar on October 1st!

August 30th, 2007

Season 1 Champion and 3rd-place finisher in Season 2 Gavin B. has written an article for the Seattle Weekly, for which he is Calendar Editor, in advance of the upcoming Bumbershoot Spelling Bee. The article features a meaty recap of the Season 2 finals earlier this month plus insight into English language skullfuckery and spelling bee protocol in France. Check it out here. Thanks Gavin!

August 12th, 2007

Finals recap, etc.


A foam hand at our humble spelling bee? It's the finals after all. Check out more finals photos (including a higher-resolution version of the image above) taken by Brian M. Westbrook here. While you're at it, check out this just-released gallery from May's bee as well. Thanks Brian!

Monday's finals featured 12 of our season 2 winners battling head to head for clear-cut 3rd, 2nd and 1st place finishes. We spared nothing to make sure we knew exactly who among them would be our Season 2 Grand Champion and Seattle Spelling Bee reigning champion. The results:

In 3rd place with 5 words correct and winning $50 cash and a $50 gift certificate to Quest Bookshop on Capitol Hill: Gavin B.!

In 2nd place with 6 words correct and winning $100 cash and a $75 gift certificate to Open Books: a Poem Emporium in Wallingford: John H.!

And in 1st place with a whopping 9 words correct over the course of the final bee, with 3 of them spelled correctly in four dramatic championship tie-breaker rounds with John H., and winning $200 cash, a $100 gift certificate to Spine and Crown Books in the Pike/Pine corridor and a $75 gift certificate to Bleu Bistro on Capitol Hill, our Season 2 Grand Champion and reigning champion of the Seattle Spelling Bee: Matt M.!

The winners' podium (l–r: Josh, John H., Matt M., Gavin B., Benjamin).

Here are the words these amazing spellers spelled right:

Matt M.: puerile, interchangeably, tangoreceptor, bildungsroman, leveret, cymotrichous, wedeln, longirostrine, louche
John H.: acquit, Pimpernel, cirrostratus, vicuna, Euterpean, quemadero
Gavin B.: millennium, liquefiable, whippoorwill, Turcophil, eruciform

Congratulations Matt M.! Also congrats to John H., Gavin B., and our 4th-place finishers Chloe B. and Gretta C., all of whom you can come see spell at the Bumbershoot Spelling Bee on Sunday, September 2nd! That's right, the Seattle Spelling Bee at Re-bar takes a vacation in September to present the Bumbershoot Spelling Bee featuring our Season 2 winners and special guest word experts from the 2007 Regional Spelling Bee! Here's the details:

Bumbershoot Spelling Bee
Sunday, September 2
7:30–8:45 p.m.
Literary Arts Stage—Leo K. Theatre (aka Seattle Repertory Theatre)
155 Mercer St.
Seattle Center neighborhood
Link to map

We'll be back at Re-bar the first Monday of October (October 1st) to begin Season 3 of the Seattle Spelling Bee. This bee will be open to everyone and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will qualify for the April finals.

And seriously, congrats to all our other finalists—Lauren M., Tessa S., Brian R., Richard I., Jon N., Dave R. and Richard D.—who competed on Monday. Also congrats are in order to Peter B., Amy B. and Johanna W. for winning our audience participation mini-games! In our "Oxford English Dictionary vs. Merriam-Webster"–themed mini-game, Peter B. won a $10 gift certificate to Mix Ice Cream in the U District and Greenlake (also won by his fellow OED vs. M-W competitors), as well as a trilogy of the Superior Person's Book of Words and day passes for two to Bumbershoot. Amy B. and Johanna W., for sharing victory in our zombie-themed mini-game, won zombie-themed board games much like their fellow competitors, but also walked away with a zombie movie DVD library.

See you at Bumbershoot in September, or at Re-bar in October, or both!

July 30th, 2007

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July 10th, 2007

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Dear spellers and enthusiasts,

Here are the results from July's bee:

In 2nd place, a 5-way tie! With 3 words correct each, Matt M., Aaron L., Gavin B., Chloe B. (no relation) and Tessa S.!
And in 1st place with a victorious and then some 5 words correct, John H.!

Congrats to dark horse John H. and all the runners up who if they haven't already qualified are now qualified to compete in the August Season 2 finals for cash and prizes. Special shout-outs to John H. again and Francis from Boston for their combination of wits and luck that snagged them victory in the audience mini-games.

Here's who spelled what correctly:

John H.:: cemetery, paladin, viduity, trouvaille, springhaas
Matt M.:: exhilarate, beelzebub, feuilletonist
Aaron L.:: sacrilegious, Katmandu, kohlrabi
Gavin B.:: pharaoh, mien, hudibrastic
Chloe B.:: septuagenarian, taipan, cantabank
Tessa S.:: mischievous, coercion, macilency

Drum roll please. ... Here is the complete list of 19 spellers who have qualified for the finals on August 6th: Rachel, Chloe B., Gavin B., Gretta C., Richard D., John H., Randy H., Richard I., Tim K., Yoko K., Aaron L., Lauren M., Matt M., Jon N., Brian R., Dave R., Tessa S., Bro W., Susan W. If your name appears on this list why not give a shout this way at seattlespellingbee 'at' gmail 'dot' com to let us know if you'll be participating in the finals even if you've already given us some indication. It's not mandatory but it'd be nice to have an idea of what to expect. Remember that the finals is an interactive event and there will be mini-games similar to last year's Pokémon Spelling Bee and Definition Bee for the audience to win fabulous prizes in as well. We gave away a frickin' Nintendo DS Lite in these games last year.

Hope to see you in August!

June 11th, 2007

(no subject)

Here are the results from last Monday's bee:

In 2nd place with 3 words right: Richard I.!
And in a tie for 1st with 4 words right apiece: Chloe B. and Gavin B. (no relation)!

We'd announced at the end of the evening that Chloe had taken 1st and Gavin 2nd with 5 and 4 words right respectively but we were wrong. Sorry for the confusion.

Here are the words our winners spelled correctly:

Chloe B. - Dalmatian, Malthusian, Graustark, pecksniffian
Gavin B. - medieval/mediaeval, rhea, pilpulist, zax
Richard I. - deterrence, squibbery, tachytely

Congrats to the winners who have qualified for the finals on August 6. Also special shout-outs to Carrie and to Mark S. for winning bar tab in the National Spelling Bee-themed (but with a Canadian twist) mini-games we had between rounds. After a few late-running bees we've been ending at 10:00 on the dot the last couple of times so don't be afraid to come out if it's a late-night-on-a-Monday thing that's keeping you away. Only one more preliminary bee in July before the finals. Just as in Season 1, the finals will feature cash and prizes for the winners as well as for lucky audience members who participate in interactive mini-games in-between rounds.

As for announcements they are trifold:

1. Bumbershoot
2. National Senior Spelling Bee
3. H.O.M.E. Spelling Bee

1. Seattle Spelling Bee does Bumbershoot Sunday September 2, 7 p.m.

We're there. Come on down to Bumbershoot on Sunday, September 2 at 7:30 p.m. to see a special program we've curated with assistance from Town Hall Seattle and the King County Regional Spelling Bee. Volunteers will be chosen from the audience to compete for prizes as yet undetermined but likely very awesome. Precise venue information will be coming soon.

2. National Senior Spelling Bee Saturday June 16—Cheer on Randy H.!

Randy H., the 2nd place winner in last season's Seattle Spelling Bee finals, is competing in the 2007 National Senior Spelling Bee in Cheyenne, Wyoming this weekend, Saturday, June 16. Go Randy! We're pulling for you.

3. H.O.M.E. Spelling Bee in Bothell—Call for Judges

Here is an email we received recently regarding an opportunity to be a judge at a youth spelling bee in January 2008. If you are interested please reply directly to us and we'll pass your name and email address along.

Read more...Collapse )

See you on July 2!

May 11th, 2007

(no subject)

Here are the results from Monday's exciting bee:

In a three-way tie for 2nd place with 4 words spelled correctly: Bro W., Rachel and Yoko K.!
And in 1st place with 5 words spelled correctly: Chloe B.! Chloe has been making her bid for the finals since Season 1 and we're glad it's paid off in a 1st place victory.

Here are the words spelled by the winners:

Chloe B.: threshold, metempsychosis, cockatoo, limitrophe, bathochrome/bathychrome
Bro W.: coliseum, langostino, shandrydan, costumbrista
Rachel: handkerchief, joculator, neoteric, plyometrics
Yoko K.: onomatopoeia, annunciate, pasquinade, oidioid

Congrats to the winners. They are now qualified for the August finals and will compete for cash and prizes against at least 12 other qualified spellers from Season 2. The June 4th and July 2nd bees are the last chances to qualify to compete in the finals. Also congrats to all the spellers in the bee. You're fantastic. Special shout-outs to Richard D. and Sarah B. for snagging the audience participation prizes with their English language knowledge and a little luck.

Some special news about an upcoming bee: The 1st bee of Season 3 will take place at Bumbershoot. That's Labor Day Weekend, September 1-3 in Seattle Center. More details will follow as soon as we know more about it ourselves. Expect a few twists in the bee's structure in celebration of the occasion. Season 3 will continue at Re-bar in October.

See you at Re-bar on June 4th.

April 5th, 2007

(no subject)

Results from Monday night's bee:

In 3rd, 2nd, 1st ALL-AROUND place: the 5-way 4-words-spelled-correctly tie including Richard D., Richard I., Gavin B., Aaron L. and Tim K.! Winning words:

Richard D. - threshold, psychopomp, ananke, revanche
Richard I. - onomatopoeia, aguardiente, primogeniture, psychrophyte
Gavin B. - accumulate, varietist, lowestoft, virga
Aaron L. - pronunciation, tsetse, melismatics, surimi
Tim K. - exhilarate, pyrethrum, sejant, pokal

That makes 12 finalists qualified for the August finals. We hear Tim K. is from out of town but we hope he'll see fit to come back for the competition. Special shout-outs to:

- Chloe B., Peter B. and Dave R. for proposing epenthesis as an opposite for bee word ecthlipsis, which was tackled dutifully by Chris H.

- Anna M. for her noble attempt in spelling the evening's most beautiful word ischiocerite (that's the "iskey" from "whiskey" + "ocer" from "rhinoceros" + "ight" from "light"—"iskeyoceright?" Though Anna was much closer than that. An ischiocerite is a joint of the antenna of a crustacean)

- Carolyn G. who owns a (bee word) keeshond and defined bee word surimi for us (it's fake crab)

- all spellers and spelling enthusiasts who came for putting up with the night's theme of crab (surimi, tourlourou, ocypode ...)

See you on May 7th!

April 1st, 2007

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March 21st, 2007

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Season 1 champ Gavin B. is making a media appearance related to the Seattle Spelling Bee tomorrow, Thursday March 22nd. Between 10 and 11 a.m. the program Weekday on KUOW 94.9 FM Puget Sound Public Radio will have Gavin in the studio to discuss his spelling bee experience along with the champ of last year's Regional Spelling Bee. The 2007 Regional Spelling Bee, which sends a representative to the National Spelling Bee each year, takes place at Town Hall Seattle on Sunday March 25th. March bee champ Brian R. was invited to participate in the Weekday broadcast as well but is unfortunately unable to due to a prior commitment. It's rumored that there will be a spell-off between Gavin and the 2006 Regional Spelling Bee champ. For more details or to listen to the broadcast on the web live or after the fact, please visit the Weekday site here. Good luck Gavin.

Post-Broadcast Update: The archived program may be heard here on RealAudio or here (high) or here (low) on mp3.
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