America’s Most Misspelled Words

Fans of the popular American sitcom, Frasier, will remember War of the Words, an episode in which Frasier’s son, Freddie, competes in a national spelling championship with disastrous results. In June each year, life imitates art in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

More than 11 million students participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee each year. Held at a hotel or convention center in Washington, D.C., the event first took place in 1925. It was won by Frank Neuhauser, an 11 year-old who grew up to become a patent lawyer. He won the competition by successfully spelling “gladiolus”. This year’s competition was won on June 2 by 12 year-old, Ananya Vinay spelling “marocain”.

In honor of the spelling bee, Google Trends compiled a list of the most commonly misspelled words by state. Let’s take a look at which words are shared by five states (there are two), which ones top the lists of two states, and one that should surprise you. The article will end with a complete list of all 50 words from each state (in alphabetical order, naturally).

Most commonly misspelled words

Two words stand out as being particularly difficult to spell. Each one tops the list in five states. The first is pneumonia, which trips up competitors in Alabama, Illinois, Maine, Michigan and Washington. Few among us can throw stones at these states; almost nobody can spell pneumonia correctly the first time. But, really, beautiful? There are five beautiful states that have trouble with this word – California, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio and New York.

At the next level of difficulty are three words that cause spelling warriors to stumble in two
states. These are chihuahua, which causes pain for people in Arkansas and South Carolina.
Wanna hint? Try saying it in your head like this: chee-hooah-hooah.

Kids in Delaware and Indiana have trouble spelling hallelujah. Don’t feel bad, guys, we all have trouble with this one. We can fix this together, folks. Let’s practice writing the sentence, “Hallelujah, our pneumonia is cured,” once a day until it becomes second nature.

But, what’s with the kids in Mississippi? They can spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, but
they can’t spell nanny?

Tomorrow, I take my test for a drivers license

Is it license or licence? The British say, “I have a driving licence, so I am now licensed to drive.” The noun has a “c” and the verb has an “s”. How are you expected to remember this? Well, noun comes before verb in the dictionary, and “c” comes before “s” in the alphabet. Spellers in Massachusetts, please take note.

Tomorrow, we will discuss those tricky words that contain double letters, like “bookkeeper”,
“exaggerate” and “tomorrow”. This one is aimed at spellers in Arizona and Colorado.

America’s Top Misspelling Champions

It is the misspellers in Wisconsin who take the prize for irony. The Number One most misspelled word in the Dairy State? W-I-S-C-O-N-S-I-N!!!

We hope these hints will help the competitors in the next Scripps National Spelling Bee and all the local, state and regional spelling contests along the way. Always remember the wise words of Niles Crane, “Spelling well is its own reward.” Now go, adopt the correct stance and spell your a** off!

Complete list of common misspelled words by state

  • Alabama: pneumonia
  • Alaska: schedule
  • Arizona: tomorrow
  • Arkansas: chihuahua
  • California: beautiful
  • Colorado: tomorrow
  • Connecticut: supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
  • Delaware: hallelujah
  • Washington, D.C. : ninety
  • Florida: receipt
  • Georgia: gray
  • Hawaii: people
  • Idaho: quote
  • Illinois: pneumonia
  • Indiana: hallelujah
  • Iowa: vacuum
  • Kansas: diamond
  • Kentucky: beautiful
  • Louisiana: giraffe
  • Maine: pneumonia
  • Maryland: special
  • Massachusetts: license
  • Michigan: pneumonia
  • Minnesota: beautiful
  • Mississippi: nanny
  • Missouri: maintenance
  • Montana: surprise
  • Nebraska: suspicious
  • Nevada: available
  • New Hampshire: difficult
  • New Jersey: twelve
  • New Mexico: bananas
  • New York: beautiful
  • North Carolina: angel
  • North Dakota: dilemma
  • Ohio: beautiful
  • Oklahoma: patient
  • Oregon: sense
  • Pennsylvania: sauerkraut
  • Rhode Island: liar
  • South Carolina: chihuahua
  • South Dakota: college
  • Tennessee: chaos
  • Texas: maintenance
  • Utah: disease
  • Vermont: Europe
  • Virginia: delicious
  • Washington: pneumonia
  • West Virginia: supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
  • Wisconsin: Wisconsin
  • Wyoming: priorityPic credit americas misspelled words

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