A Saskatoon student who made it to the finals of a world-renowned spelling bee will probably never forget the word "nepenthe" — a potion used by the ancient Greeks to induce forgetfulness.

On Thursday, Anqi Dong was eliminated in the fifth round of the Scripps national spelling bee in Washington, D.C.

He had sailed through the early rounds of the prestigious annual bee, correctly spelling "pareiasaur" — an extintinct turtle-like reptile, "decadence" — moral or cultural deterioration" — and "habile" — generally handy or able.

"I'm somewhat surprised that I got this far," Anqi told reporters after he successfully spelled his word in Round 4.

But on the final day of the bee, Dong stumbled on nepenthe. Kate Blechinger of Regina was eliminated in the second round after she missed on "catoptromancy" — divination through mirrors.

One Canadian remains in the competition: Finola Hackett, of Tofield, Alta.