Spelling bees aren't just for little learners. There are plenty of adults out there who also enjoy beefing up their spelling skills and learning new words. If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, you may be surprised to find there are quite a few resources for adult spelling bees. Let's kick things off with a list of 50 words for adult spelling bees to start practicing with. Then, we'll advance to additional resources that'll help you complete your spelling bee words for adults.
50 Spelling Bee Words
Bookmark or print out this page and use it to test your spelling skills in the quiet of the night or your next lunch break at work. See how many you know right from the start and how many will require you to keep trying your hand:
How'd it go? Did any of those words trip you up? If so, you can find some tips and tricks in Learning Hard to Spell Words, including vocalization and repetition, to help you commit some of the tougher ones to memory.
Benefits of Adult Spelling Bees
Many adults participate in spelling bees as a means of keeping the brain alert. It can be a fun, rewarding, and challenging experience. Spelling bees also help strengthen memory.
For more on that, read How to Improve Your Memory. These exercises, in conjunction with your spelling bee preparations, will keep your mental acuity in tip-top shape!
Preparation is a necessity. Some competitors love to sit down and (literally) read the dictionary. Others prefer to be quizzed by their peers. No matter your preferred style, you can always study words from previous spelling bees.
How to Start Competing
Did you know there's a National Adult Spelling Bee? Run by Justin Rudd, it takes place every year in Long Beach, CA and offers a grand prize of $1,000. The competition is announced every January but you can also follow it on Facebook.
If you're not ready for the nationals, why not start your own? Similar to how people start book clubs in their community, you could start a competitive spelling bee in your community. You can also complete the New York Times (NYT) spelling bee daily, and check your answers with the WordFinder by YourDictionary NYT spelling bee tool.
With word lists like this, you can invite your fellow wordsmiths over for an evening full of competition. Here are three great lists loaded with tricky words:
For a long time, the AARP sponsored a National Spelling Bee for adults over 50. Each year, a group of volunteers would select a set of words and create sentences. Spellers even used to go so far as to travel from coast-to-coast to participate in the spelling bee. It doesn't seem to be a regular occurrence anymore, but you should certainly check the events calendar in your local chapter.
Scripps National Spelling Bee
Although it's actually aimed at students, the Scripps National Spelling Bee is not for the faint of heart. You might enjoy reviewing their former consolidated word list that boasts some mighty difficult words. The practice will be invaluable.
Start Studying Today
Studying for this type of event looks different for everyone. There's no true philosophy on how to develop a word list. Start with some lists used in past competitions. Here's a former word list from the AARP.
Whatever you do, don't let any of these commonly confused words be the reason you lose next month's spelling bee in your local community! This list of unusual English spellings can also help you armor up before the big day. Good luck out there and have fun!