Seventh-grader Ella Peters of Notre Dame Academy in Carmel Valley won the San Diego Union-Tribune Countywide Spelling Bee, and booked a place in the national finals, with the word “phlegm.”
As local ABC News affiliate 10 News pointed out, it was a timely, if difficult, word for the flu season, still in swing across southern California. And, among adolescents, it is a word with timeless appeal.
— Anne State (@annestate) March 15, 2016
Webster’s online dictionary actually offers two definitions of the term “phlegm”:
- a thick, yellowish liquid that is produced in the nose and throat especially when a person has a cold
- calmness in a difficult or unpleasant situation
Peters certainly showed the latter.