SOMERS, Conn. (WTNH) — Ready? Set? Spell!

Nathan Settevendemie (aka speller no. 28), an 11-year-old student at Mabelle B. Avery Middle School in Somers, took on contestants from across the nation on Wednesday in the Scripps National Spelling Bee semifinals.

He did not advance to the finals after giving the wrong definition of “obtrude” in the fifth round of competition. The correct answer is “thrust it out,” but he answered that it means to “prevent the escape of it.”

Previously in the competition, he correctly took on the words “avgolemono,” “cantankerous,” “stringency” and “aculeate.”

Nathan won the state competition after 19 rounds, spelling words like “hipsterism,” “immie,” “vicissitudes,” “contumelious,” “diastema” and “europium.” His winning word was “incisiform,” which means “having the form of or resembling a typical incisor tooth,” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

What’s his favorite word?


“It’s German,” he said. “German is my least favorite language to spell, but it’s my favorite word.”

According to his bio from Scripps, he loves running, and has a goal to break a five-minute mile. He also enjoys reading, science, puzzles and burritos. His favorite book is Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.

When he’s not studying or running, Nathan volunteers at a food pantry.

Nathan won a $1,000 scholarship for tuition at the University of St. Joseph for taking the state title in March. His trip to the national competition is sponsored by the Noah Webster House and West Hartford Historical Society.

Spelling must run in the family — his sister, Julia, represented the state at the national level last year.