Here are the words that won the National Spelling Bee (since 2000)

The greatest unknown at the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee isn't who is going to win the title − there are only 245 competitors, after all − but what the winning word will be.

The possibilities are (almost) endless as this year's event gets underway at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

Which individuals and idioms will be added this year to the indelible incantaion of language lore on the Spelling Bee stage?

Let's delve into a bit of nostalgia − and perhaps peruse the annals of history − to uncover some fun facts about the words that have helped crown previous champions.

Winning Spelling Bee words since 2000

Winner(s) in parentheses

  • 2023: psammophile (Dev Shah, Largo, Florida)

  • 2022: moorhen (Harini Logan, San Antonio, Texas)

  • 2021: Murraya (Zaila Avant-garde, New Orleans, Louisiana)

  • 2020: No competition held

  • 2019: Eight-way tie

    • auslaut (Rishik Gandhasri, San Jose, California)

    • erysipelas (Erin Howard, Huntsville, Alabama)

    • bougainvillea (Saketh Sundar, Clarksville, Maryland)

    • aiguillette (Shruthika Padhy, Cherry Hill, New Jersey)

    • pendeloque (Sohum Sukhatankar, Dallas, Texas)

    • palama (Abhijay Kodali, Flower Mound, Texas)

    • cernuous (Christopher Serrao, Whitehouse Station, New Jersey

    • odylic (Rohan Raja, Irving, Texas)

  • 2018: koinonia (Karthik Nemmani, McKinney, Texas)

  • 2017: marocain (Ananya Vinay, Fresno, California)

  • 2016: Tie

    • Feldenkrais (Jairam Hathwar, Corning, New York)

    • gesellschaft (Nihar Saireddy Janga, Austin, Texas)

  • 2015: Tie

    • scherenschnitte (Vanya Shivashankar, Olathe, Kansas)

    • nunatak (Gokul Venkatachalam, St. Louis, Missouri)

  • 2014: Tie

    • stichomythia (Sriram J. Hathwar, Corning, New York)

    • feuilleton (Ansun Sujoe, Fort Worth, Texas)

  • 2013: knaidel (Arvind Mahankali, New York, New York)

  • 2012: guetapens (Snigdha Nandipati, San Diego, California)

  • 2011: cymotrichous (Sukanya Roy, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania)

  • 2010: stromuhr (Anamika Veeramani, Cleveland, Ohio)

  • 2009: Laodicean (Kavya Shivashankar, Olathe, Kansas)

  • 2008: guerdon (Sameer Mishra, West Lafayette, Indiana)

  • 2007: serrefine (Evan O'Dorney, Walnut Creek, California)

  • 2006: Ursprache (Kerry Close, Spring Lake, New Jersey)

  • 2005: appoggiatura (Anurag Kashya, San Diego, California)

  • 2004: autochthonous (David Tidmarsh, South Bend, Indiana)

  • 2003: pococurante (Sai Gunturi, Dallas, Texas)

  • 2002: prospicience (Pratyush Buddiga, Denver, Colorado)

  • 2001: succedaneum (Sean Conley, Aitkin, Minnesota)

  • 2000: demarche (George Thampy, St. Louis, Missouri

Longest winning Spelling Bee word

The longest winning word in Spelling Bee history is 15 letters.

"Scherenschnitte," which is a German word meaning "scissor-cuts," was spelled correctly by Vanya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kansas, to win the title in 2015.

Shortest winning Spelling Bee word

The shortest winning word in Spelling Bee history is four letters.

Daniel Greenblatt of Leesburg, Virginia, won the title in 1984 by correctly spelling "luge."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: National Spelling Bee title-winning words, 2000-2023