the word explorer - 25k milestone!

Hi! My name is Tara and I’m currently a freshman at Duke University. I started this blog to not only share my love of words with others, but also to teach people about the fascinating origins of words in the English language.

My love of words led me all the way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee (NSB) in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. At eight years old, I was the youngest competitor at the 2013 NSB and I placed in the top ten in 2018. These experiences inspired me to discover and learn more words.

English borrows words from Latin, Ancient Greek, French, German and many other languages. Over half of the words in the English language come from Latin and Greek so knowledge of these two languages is particularly helpful. I studied Latin for 7 years and Ancient Greek for 2 years. I also studied Spanish for 4 years and I am currently learning Hindi.

As a way to give back to my community, I founded the Bluegrass Literacy Project (BLP) in 2018. BLP is an award winning 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving English language literacy among the youth of Kentucky. For more information, visit bluegrassliteracyproject.org.

In 2020, I founded Girls Driving Change, an international online platform dedicated to helping girls and young women create social change.

Three words that best describe me are: bibliophile (love to read), linguaphile (lover of languages and words) and chocaholic (addicted to dark chocolate).

Thank you for visiting my blog – I hope you enjoy your time here!


  1. Pingback: Recently Updated About Page | the word explorer

    • Meena,

      I have competed in the Scripps National Spelling Bee twice, in 2013 and 2015. I wrote a series of posts about my bee experience last year called the “Insider’s Guide to the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee.” Search my blog using the key words “Insider’s Guide” to read my posts. It’ll make more sense if you scroll to the bottom for the very first post in the series. Enjoy!

  2. We are so glad to come to know your ‘Never Quit’ attitude. You have showed it to us by striving to go to the Scripps Bee and doing better each and every time, from 2013 and counting. Keep it up, and we know you will. We are so proud of your word explorer blog initiative as an 11 year old. You have a very bright future ahead. Good Luck!
    -The Dayapremas

  3. Hi Tara
    I am also a 12 year old 7th grader. I’m looking to create my own spelling blog inspired by yours. I’d love to have a catchy name like “The Word Explorer”. Could you please help me in finding one like this?


  4. Tara,
    I LOVE this blog. I am in 6th grade, and this is my first year participating in any spelling bee other than my school competition. All of the root word games you post have been helpful and fun. Thank you so much!

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