A SCOTS word ultimately decided the victor at the US national spelling bee on Thursday.
Dev Shah, a 14-year-old boy from Florida, won the 2023 Scripps National Spelling Bee – held in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington DC – after edging out fellow eighth-grader Charlotte Walsh.
Walsh finished in second place after she misspelled ‘daviely’ – a Scots word for listlessly or languidly – in the 14th round of the contest’s finals.
While Shah did swiftly and correctly spell ‘bathypitotmeter’ in the 14th round, he needed to land one more word to be declared winner under spelling bee rules.
He did so expertly, dispatching the word ‘psammophile’ – meaning an organism that thrives in sandy soils.
Shah was crowned champion in a hail of confetti and took home $50,000 (£39,900) from EW Scripps Co, the spelling bee’s sponsor, as well as prizes and works from Encyclopedia Britannica and Merriam-Webster.
Shah was one of 11 contestants, aged 11 to 14, who advanced to the finals of 2023’s event after beating 220 other competitors participating in the three-day contest.