That is, how would I go about converting the word "spelling" (as in the spelling of a word) to an adverb that actually sounds right in the blank of "_____-inept"?

I'm pretty sure "spellingly" isn't a word, and likewise "spellatically" doesn't sound remotely close to any actual word (I suspect in both cases that it's something to do with the fact "spelling" is a gerund, not an actual noun), and I'm not what actually does work.

As always, all help, constructive criticism, and other constructive input is welcome.

  • Why are you 'pretty sure "spellingly" isn't a word'? Have you looked on the internet? // The sources I've found flag the usage as 'rare'; a phrase (eg 'poor at spelling') would be used by people not wishing to sound outlandish. Apr 16, 2015 at 8:38

2 Answers 2


You're right that "spellatically" does not work; it's a twisted mess of a non-word. I don't know of any way to derive a fitting word from the word "spelling" for this particular context; I think you'd have to either rephrase to simply "bad at spelling" ("bad at" is the same number of syllables as "inept", so this is really the most concise way I can think of saying this) or use an actual Latinate/Greek-derived term like "orthographically inept", or if you're feeling really fancy or pretentious, the noun "cacographer" (bad speller).


orthographically-inept (or challenged) comes to mind

An orthography is the methodology of writing a language. It includes rules of spelling, hyphenation, capitalization, word breaks, emphasis, and punctuation.Wikipedia

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