Gwinnett boy spells impossible word, will represent Georgia at national spelling championship

Most grownups, except certain medical specialists, probably can’t spell the word, but a 14-year-old from Gwinnett County pulled it off, and will therefore represent Georgia at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

After a grueling contest with too many back-to-back consonants Friday, Sumedh Garimella emerged the victor, according to the Georgia Association of Educators.

The Hull Middle School student — somehow — nailed the final 13-letter entry, a word that looks to be somewhere around six syllables long.


Say that one six times real fast.

It didn’t appear in the 14-year-old dictionary on a nearby desk at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but an online search revealed that it means “bleeding from the intestine.”

It’s unclear why doctors prefer that word to simply saying, “He’s bleeding from the intestine.” (Or maybe that’s actually what they say.) In any case, the word’s existence proved vital for Sumedh, who used it to consolidate his victory over Sathvika Narasimhan, a 12-year-old Cherokee County boy who tripped over another medical word that, in a sane world, really wouldn’t have a “p” in front: “ptomaine,” as in the kind of poisoning.

Sumedh gets an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. at the end of May, for what will certainly be a fun-filled week of spelling competition. He also gets $1,000 in cash, a $100 savings bond, his choice of a Nook or iPad Mini, a $100 Amazon gift card, a dictionary and a subscription to Encyclopaedia Britannica online. He also won something that he’ll probably still have 20 years from now: a Georgia bee champion lapel pin.