19 Hard-To-Spell Words That St. Louisans Know By Heart

Categories: Community

Doug Wertman on Flickr, cropped
Can you spell Anheuser-Busch without looking it up?
Gokul Venkatachalam, a thirteen-year-old boy from Chesterfield, had an impressive showing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, correctly spelling "bamboche," "abaisse" and "eryngo." (It was "Kierkegaardian" that did him in; he won third place.)

In honor of Venkatachalam's achievement, Daily RFT has been pondering hard-to-spell words right here in our own back yard.

When you live in a place long enough, the spellings of the quirky names of streets, politicians, restaurants and towns become second nature. And that's good, because St. Louis is full of quirky, hard-to-spell names.

We've thrown together some of our favorite hard-to-spell St. Louis names as a little local litmus test: Do you know St. Louis well enough to correctly spell all nineteen? If you can, we think Venkatachalam would be proud.

Here's our list, and if you have more, send them to

1. Anheuser

Chris Yunker on Flickr
Want to see if you're a true St. Louisan or not? Try spelling this name without any help.

2. Laumeier

Micha Usher
St. Louis' beautiful sculpture garden is a little tough on the spelling-challenged.

See also: Laumeier Sculpture Park Named World's 3rd Most Amazing Sculpture Garden

3. Creve Coeur

OK, French speakers can spell this town as well as St. Louisans can. In English, it means a "bursting" or broken heart.

4. Spoede

It's pronounced "spay-dee." The missing German umlaut over the E makes all the difference.

5. Llywelyn's

Llywelyn's Pub: Easier to eat than to spell.
There are six St. Louis locations for this beloved pub -- but only one correct spelling.

6. Pruitt-Igoe

St. Louis' notorious failed housing experiment may be gone, but its name lives on to confuse spellers.

7. Jhonny

As in Jhonny Peralta, the Cardinals' new shortstop.

8. Chouteau

You know you want to spell it S-h-o-w-t-o-e, don't you?

9. DeBaliviere

That French ending is tricky, but any good St. Louisan knows there are two I's in DeBaliviere.

10. Vandeventer

It's not Vandaventer or Vandyventer.

Nine more hard-to-spell words on page two. Are you up for it?

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