During the latter part of the nineteenth century, Spelling Bee competitions became popular in England. Punch magazine had several prose and illustrations which referenced this fad. One of them is the following nonsense verse titled “Dream of a Spelling-Bee” which the magazine published on January 22, 1876, is worth noting:
Menageries where sleuth-hounds caracole.
Where jaguar phalanx and phlegmatic gnu
Fright ptarmigan and kestrels cheek by jowl.
With peewit and precocious cockatoo.
Gaunt seneschals, in crotchety cockades.
With seine net trawl for porpoise in lagoons;
While scullions gauge erratic escapades
Of madrepores in water-logged galloons.
Flamboyant triptychs groined with gherkins green.
In reckless fracas with coquettish bream.
Ecstatic gargoyles, with grotesque chagrin,
Garnish the gruesome nightmare of my dream!