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What Does the “Bee” in “Spelling Bee” Mean Exactly?
As spellers from across the country and around the globe gather to take part in the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee, let’s try to settle a basic question: Where does the bee in “spelling bee” come from? Bee is derived from the Old English bēn meaning “a prayer, a favor.” By the late eighteenth century, bee had become commonly associated with the British dialect form, been or …
Read more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012