This Tricky Spelling Quiz Will Put Your Knowledge to the Test

Heather Cahill

Image: Hill Street Studios/Digital Vision/Getty Images

About This Quiz

While most words in the English language are easy to spell, there will always be those few pesky words that can always cause us some trouble. Whether it's the silent letters or unusual spelling, many words can be pretty tricky. Sometimes, there are even multiple ways to spell a word that sounds the same, but it has different meanings. For example, "there," "their," and "they're." And there are often many tricks that can help you to remember the spellings.

If you want to remember how to spell some of these tricky words, you can always try creating an acronym for them. If that isn't too helpful, then try finding smaller words within the larger ones. For example, if you have trouble spelling "mountain," remember that the word "mount" is in it! There are so many ways to help yourself to become a star speller. These are just a few options you can try!

So, you think you've got what it takes to spell any tricky word we throw at you? Could you win it all at the National Spelling Bee? Then you'll have to prove yourself to be a spelling champion by taking this quiz!

It's a word used for the wind. Can you spell it?

A zephyr is a word used to refer to a certain kind of wind. It gets its name from the Greek God Zephyrus, who was also a god of the west wind. Did you know that there were a total of four different gods of the wind?

You can use this word for cases where someone is good or knowledgeable about something. What is the correct spelling?

The two "V"s in this word can be a little tricky to remember. After all, there aren't many words like it! Do you know the term "savez-vous" in French? That's where our English counterpart comes from.

This word goes hand in hand with "theory." What is the correct spelling?

Often used when it comes to science, it's usually used to describe a theory. You have probably heard of a few scientific theories, such as Attribution Theory and Cognitive Dissonance Theory.

Which of the following is the correct spelling of a dinosaur's name?

Pterodactyl is a tricky word to spell, like many names of ancient dinosaurs. Did you know that the pterodactyl was a flying bird-like creature, but did not have feathers like our birds do today?

"Ducks dive deep" is an example of what?

Alliteration is pretty often used in tongue twisters. For example, "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers" is one case where alliteration is used. Almost all of the words begin with the same letter.

If something is for sure going to happen, how do you spell the word?

While it seems like quite a simple word to spell, it can be a little tough, for sure. Did you know that the word was first used in the 1500s? Maybe people then had some trouble spelling the word as well.

You know it as a term of measurement. Can you guess the correct spelling?

Weight is the term of measurement we often use to make sure we are healthy. Of course, there are many other meanings as well, such as weight in emotional terms or to pin something down with a weight.

What is the correct way to spell something used in music?

Rhythm is essential to making music. Just have a listen to Johnny Cash's hit song, "Get Rhythm," where he talks about how great the rhythm can be to make you happy. However, the catchy song may not help you in terms of spelling the word!

This is a household item. Can you guess the correct spelling?

Vacuums are a very common household item that originated in the mid-1800s, although it was nothing like we know it to be today. With the invention of the vacuum came the verb, "vacuuming."

The correct spelling of the word that means suspicion is what?

So many words have that one silent letter that makes it a little trickier to spell. Doubt is one of them. Others include words like receipt, muscle and knuckle. One reason for these silent letters is because of the evolution of pronunciation in the English language.

Which of the following is the correct way to spell the word used for something with which you are OK?

People often mix up these two words. "Accept" takes on the meaning of something that is acquired, while "except" indicates an exception or exclusion of something.

"Present" is the meaning of this word. Can you spell it correctly?

If something or someone is ubiquitous, they are pretty much everywhere. Or at least it seems that way! Sometimes you might even find brands are pretty ubiquitous as well.

How do you spell the word used for observing something or someone?

If there's a camera in the room, then you're under surveillance. It seems like an odd way to spell it, but if you really look at it, you can see where it comes from. Just remember that it doesn't begin with "sir!"

What is the correct spelling of the word used for a fake body part?

Prosthetic is not as old as many other words in this quiz. It comes from the 1700s, although the object itself is much older than that. The first prosthetics were seen before 1500 B.C.

Can you spell the name of this color correctly?

That beautiful blue-green color is known as turquoise. It's also quite the popular gemstone and color when it comes to jewelry. If you're born in December, you probably know that it's also one of your birthstones.

The word for "right now" is spelled correctly in which way?

Immediately is a pretty straightforward word which has been used for quite a long time. It can also be used when referring roughly to distance. For example, you could say, "The car was immediately behind me on the highway."

Used in language, what is the correct spelling of this word?

Rhetorical does not come from the Latin or French languages but rather, from Greek. You may recognize it better from the phrase, "rhetorical question," which is more of a statement than a true question.

"Innocent" is one meaning of this word. How do you spell it?

Naive comes from the Latin word, "nativus". The word is most often used when referring to people, especially when one is thought to be pretty gullible. Maybe being naive isn't always a bad thing, however.

What word can be used as another way of saying avoidance?

Deterrence is used in a few ways. For example, here it is used in a sentence: "The robber was deterred from committing a crime because of the security cameras around the facility."

You might have played this musical instrument. Can you spell its name?

Xylophones were invented thousands of years ago in Asia. The shorter the bar on the xylophone,, the higher the sounds that are produced. Don't forget the mallet when you're getting ready to play!

This word can mean "horrible." How do you spell it?

Obscene is the correct spelling of this word. This is another fairly old word from the English language which had the same meaning as it does today as when it was first used. It would be obscene not to use this word!

How do you spell the word used for a business-minded person?

Entrepreneurs are always working on building businesses and making them into the best that they can be. This difficult word comes from the French language rather than Latin. The word in French is "entreprende."

The word used for fighting is spelled how?

This word comes from the 1600s, where it was used quite a bit. It still holds a similar meaning as it did back then. It usually refers to a fight that lasts quite a long time, rather than just a short squabble.

Which of the following is the correct way to spell this animal's name?

Hippos are incredible creatures. Did you know that they are able to come up for air while they're asleep underwater? They also enjoy a very long lifespan of around 40 years!

"Achoo" is an example of what?

There are many examples of onomatopoeia in the English language, which are words that represent a sound. For example, words like "bang" or "clap" are all examples of onomatopoeia.

"Inquiry" is one of the meanings of this word. What is the correct spelling?

Query is a fancy way of saying "question." There are also a few other meanings for the word. For example, when speaking in printing terms, it is used to refer to a question mark in the text.

What is the correct spelling of this common condiment?

It's thought that the word mayonnaise comes from the French language. In the United States, French fries are usually enjoyed with some ketchup. But did you know that in other areas of the world, mayonnaise is the condiment of choice?

This is usually a word used in jail sentences. How is it spelled?

Don't say it wrong! It may sound like it's pronounced "in-dict" but it's really pronounced "in-dite." The sound just makes it that much harder to remember how to spell it correctly.

What is the correct spelling of the word used to describe a pleasant place?

It is a good thing to be in an idyllic place. Who wouldn't want to be somewhere that is so serene! Everyone may have a different definition of the word. You may describe nature as being idyllic, while another person may use the word to describe a city.

Which of the following is spelled correctly for the word which means to take something away?

Deductible can be a word you want to hear in some cases. For example, something that is tax deductible is good news for you! But a deduction off your paycheck isn't such a nice thing.

How do you spell the word used for a high-ranking officer?

Colonel is definitely a tricky word to spell. Coming from the French language, its spelling changed by one letter, replacing the "R" in "coronel" to the "L" used in the English language.

The correct spelling of a word for judging is what?

The judiciary is an important part of society. George Washington helped to implement Judicial Courts into the United States in 1789 when he signed the Judiciary Act of 1789."

An electrician might wire this. How do you spell it?

Circuit takes on a variety of different meanings. The first meaning came from a Latin word that meant to "go around," which it still can mean today. Just look at a racing circuit, for example!

What is the proper way to spell something you do when you are tired?

Yawning is pretty common when it comes from someone who is tired. The reason we yawn is because we need to take in a little more oxygen that we're missing when we're tired.

This word means to listen in on something. How is it spelled?

Eavesdropping is definitely not considered to be very polite. If you're caught, whoever you were listening in on will definitely not be happy about it. It's probably best to avoid eavesdropping on anyone at all!

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes