46th Scripps National Spelling Bee

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46th Scripps National Spelling Bee
The Mayflower Hotel, site of the 46th National Spelling Bee
DateJune 13–14, 1973
LocationThe Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.
WinnerBarrie Trinkle
ResidenceFort Worth, Texas
SponsorFort Worth Press
Sponsor locationFort Worth, Texas
Winning wordvouchsafe
No. of contestants78[1]
PronouncerRichard R. Baker
Preceded by45th Scripps National Spelling Bee
Followed by47th Scripps National Spelling Bee

The 46th Scripps National Spelling Bee was held in Washington, D.C. at the Mayflower Hotel on June 13–14, 1973, sponsored by the E.W. Scripps Company.

The winner was 13-year-old Barrie Trinkle, a seventh-grader at McLean Middle School in Fort Worth, Texas, spelling "vouchsafe". It was her third time in the national bee; she had finished fifth the prior year (and 28th in 1971), and wore the same blue jumper (her "lucky" dress) that she had worn in her prior bees.[1][2][3] Second place went to 14-year old Stephen Hayes of Oxon Hill, Maryland, who fell on "onomastics".[1][4][5]

There were 78 entrants this year, from ages 10–14 and grades 5–8.[2] There were 40 girls and 38 boys.[6]

The competition lasted 17 rounds and used 518 words.[4] At the noon break on the first day, 283 words had been used, and the field was reduced to 56. By the end of the first day, seven rounds were completed, 414 words had been used, and the field was reduced to 25.[3][6] Trinkle won $1,000 for placing first.[3]

Trinkle later became a word panelist for the spelling bee and co-wrote the book How to Spell Like a Champ: Roots, Lists, Rules, Games, Tricks, & Bee-Winning Tips from the Pros (2006).[7]


  1. ^ a b c Ritt, Carl (14 June 1973). 13-year-old Texas girls wins national spelling bee, Evansville Press
  2. ^ a b Ritt, Carl (13 June 1973). Mike Kelley passes first test, Evansville Press
  3. ^ a b c (14 June 1973). Texas girl wins prize for spelling, Eugene Register Guard (Associated Press)
  4. ^ a b (14 June 1973). 'Onomastics' Decides Spelling Bee, Milwaukee Journal (Associated Press)
  5. ^ Maguire, James. American Bee: The National Spelling Bee and the Culture of Word Nerds, 14 Champion's Profile (2006)
  6. ^ a b What Do You Want to Know about the National Spelling Bee (National Spelling Bee 1974)
  7. ^ Barrie Trinkle, Gannett Online, Retrieved 7 July 2015