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NYC Teen Wins National Spelling Bee with Word for Small Mass of Leavened Dough: VIDEO


In our second winning moment of the day, Arvind Mahankali, an eighth grader at Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School in Bayside, Queens became the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion yesterday.

Mahankali will receive $30,000 cash and a $2,500 savings bond.


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  1. Heard this while I was out last night and it made me laugh...."Liberal States give you intellects, Conservative States give you Honey Boo Boo."

    Posted by: CB | May 31, 2013 9:32:54 AM

  2. "The word is 'Toclafane'."
    "What is the language of origin?"
    "Oh, we have no idea. We just saw it on Doctor Who and it sounded like a brilliant word."
    "Um, can you use it in a sentence?"
    "Yeah. 'The Toclafane are decimating the human population! Run!'"

    Posted by: Book | May 31, 2013 9:35:43 AM

  3. That's ridiculous. It's an EXTREMELY ethnocentric word the vast majority of people in the U.S and elsewhere would be unfamiliar with.

    Good grief. If I was one of the 'losers' I'd get myself a lawyer,pronto.

    Posted by: ratbastard | May 31, 2013 9:42:21 AM

  4. ratbastard, the word is widely used because it's originally German: "Knödel"

    Posted by: Chris | May 31, 2013 9:58:57 AM

  5. @Chris,

    BS. It's not widely used.

    Posted by: ratbastard | May 31, 2013 10:05:15 AM

  6. That kid is great. He didn't even react when he won; he knew he had it wrapped up.

    Posted by: Jack M | May 31, 2013 10:08:57 AM

  7. The entire bible belt is going to erupt with shingles that they used a Yiddish word.

    Ratbastard: isn't that in the nature of the beast that the 'winning' word may be rather uncommon in daily use? Otherwise, Honey BooBoo and her cousins would win this thing? I don't know which words were used in previous years, but I'd guess they're rarely part of the vernacular.

    Posted by: hugo | May 31, 2013 10:12:41 AM

  8. "Good grief. If I was one of the 'losers'"

    But you are, Blanche, ya are.

    Posted by: ripper | May 31, 2013 10:13:07 AM

  9. Cries, stomps feet, vows to scream on street corners and throw knaidels (did I spell that right?) at passersby!

    You forget, rat, that he spelled a bunch of other words correctly, too.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 31, 2013 10:24:24 AM

  10. He also forgets (or more likely, isn't aware because he seems ignorant of nearly everything) that words of German origin are used often in the Scripps spelling bee. In fact, this same kid was eliminated the two previous years for misspelling German words. So he studied them, and it paid off.

    Posted by: ripper | May 31, 2013 10:37:45 AM

  11. I know what some people are thinking when I criticized the use of this word, and NO, I am not antisemitic. And I don't need any lessons on how German influences the English language, thanks anyway. I still think this is an ethnocentric word and unfair.

    And BTW, I know what a Knaidel is. I grew up next to a neighborhood 40% Jewish and lived for years in a predominately Jewish neighborhood, shopped at a grocery store which had all the traditional and observant kinds of food and a lot of food from Israel. I

    Posted by: ratbastard | May 31, 2013 11:01:41 AM

  12. he doesn't look excited at all

    Posted by: reality | May 31, 2013 11:31:45 AM

  13. @RatTroll

    Stop kvetching you half-mensch. You are getting Verklempt about nothing. Now, piss off while I go have a Strudel encrusted Bagel.

    You see, idiot, yiddish words are used in America every freaking day.

    Troll, you truly are of the highest moronarchy.

    Posted by: mic | May 31, 2013 12:02:57 PM

  14. F.U., mic. I'd use the full Anglo Saxon word, but it's censored.

    Posted by: ratbastard | May 31, 2013 12:42:10 PM

  15. See, Rat? I told you none of us like you and wish you'd just go elsewhere. You're a blatant troll, and a blight on this site.

    Posted by: MateoM | May 31, 2013 1:25:31 PM

  16. Is ratbastard seriously bitching about the winning word in a Spelling Bee not being widely used? Do you not know how spelling bees work?

    Posted by: sugarrhill | May 31, 2013 1:52:12 PM

  17. He should have been asked to spell 'kitteh', I like that word

    Posted by: dumbnhung | May 31, 2013 6:08:06 PM

  18. It's not an English word of German origin, it's a Yiddish word of German origin.

    I grew up in Montgomery County Maryland surrounded by Jews from Philadelphia and New York. My best friend in college described himself with the k-word and sprinkled his speech with Yiddish. I have never heard the word 'knaidel" used.

    Posted by: David Hearne | May 31, 2013 8:16:06 PM

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