A Spelling Bee word for our times!

Laodicean - Spelling Bee

And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. (Revelation 3:14-16)

JP: See my comments below:

In the news: ‘Laodicean’ launches Kansas teen to spelling bee victory


Thirteen-year-old Kavya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kansas, spelled “laodicean,” Thursday night to take top honors in the 82nd annual Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The eighth-grader won $40,000 in cash and prizes for nailing the final word. Pronounced lay-odd-uh-see-an, the word means lukewarm or indifferent, particularly in matters of politics or religion.

This year’s bee — an event that has skyrocketed in popularity, thanks to exposure on television and in movies — started on Tuesday in Washington with a record 293 spellers.

The competition went 15 rounds. Spellers ranged from 9 to 15 years old. According to the contest’s Web site, 117 of the spellers speak languages other than English, and English was not the first language of 33 of the spellers.

The first National Spelling Bee was in 1925 and featured nine contestants.

In an event that has seen contestants visibly crack under the strain of the national spotlight in past years, Shivashankar — competing in her fourth national finals — appeared composed throughout.

As she spelled words that included “phoresy,” “hydrargyrum” and “huisache,” she calmly went through the routine of asking each word’s pronunciations, origin and roots before ticking them off for the judges.

Dictionary: Laodicean


  • I neither know what these words mean, nor could I spell them: “phoresy,” “hydrargyrum”, “huisache”, and “Maecenas”
  • I know “Laodicean” and know I could spell it. I’ve never heard it used outside of Christian circles. Examples: “He’s Laodicean about health care reform”. If I tried this at work – “He’s Laodicean about Linux” – I would get laughed out of the office!
  • Each of us should be able to use ‘Laodicean’ in a sentence. Example: “I will not be Laodicean about faithfulness to my local church!”
  • I’m not sure about the process about how words are chosen for the National Spelling Bee, but “Laodicean” seems to be a word that is appropriate for our times! As in “Don’t be Laodicean about living for Christ!”
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