Words Of Champions (1953-1994)

Words Of Champions was the first Scripps-provided study list ever. After it was first released in 1953, it served as the official study booklet for the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee for 42 straight years, finally being replaced by Paideia in 1995. This list is not to be confused with the new Words of the Champions, the fourth in the line of Scripps-provided pre-national bee study lists, which was introduced for the 2020 Bee Season.

A new edition of Words of Champions released yearly, each of which contained little over 3,000 words.  Every year, about 550 words were rotated in and out of the list. I consolidated every word used in all 42 editions and put them in the files below. The hardest words from this list (Final and Intermediate) would probably show up as Regional Additional Words or in the earlier rounds at the national bee.

Words: 5,729

Words of Champions

Words Of Champions – Third Grade

Words Of Champions – Fourth Grade

Words Of Champions – Fifth Grade

Words Of Champions – Sixth Grade

Words Of Champions – Seventh Grade

Words Of Champions – Eighth Grade

Words Of Champions – First Round

Words Of Champions – Intermediate

Words Of Champions – Final


Words Of Champions Errata

So far, I’ve only found one error. Let me know if you find another!

Section Misspelling Correct Spelling
Final lackadaiscal lackadaisical

Thanks to the user Schola, who gave helpful information pertaining to this list in the comments!

5 thoughts on “Words Of Champions (1953-1994)

  1. Pingback: What Happens to Spelling Bee Champions When They Grow Old? | MEL Magazine

  2. Keep up the good work here!

    “Words of *the* Champions” was a study booklet issued by Scripps Howard each year and contained a little over 3000 words categorized in three sections: Beginning Words (examples: bamboozle, chalice, porridge), Intermediate Words (examples: asthmatic, flannelette, pyrite), and Advanced Words (examples: anchusa, leucocholy, yaxche). Each year about 550 words were rotated in and out of the list.

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