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Thread: To Kill A Mockingbird - Vocabulary & Idioms

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    To Kill A Mockingbird - Vocabulary & Idioms

    Here is vocabulary and idioms to go along with To Kill A Mockingbird as discussed in this thread

    Chapter 1 - Vocabulary

    ambled: (vb.): to walk at a slow, leisurely pace.
    apothecary (n.): an early form of a pharmacist, apothecaries could also prescribe drugs.
    assuaged (vb.): to assuage is to lessen or to calm. Therefore, if Jem's fears about being able to play football were assuaged, it means that he no longer feared that he wouldn't be able to play the sport.
    beadle (n.): a minor city official, lower in rank than either a sheriff or a policeman, whose main duties revolve around preserving order at various civil functions such as trials and town hall meetings.
    brethren (n.): in this case, members of a particular church or sect
    corsets (n): a corset is a ladies undergarment designed to produce a particular effect on the figure. That effect usually results in a slim (or slimmer) waist and larger busts and hips.
    dictum (n.): in this case, a formal statement of principle
    domiciled (vb.): A domicile is a house or a place where a person lives. If you are domiciled somewhere, that is where you live. The Finch family lived in the northern part of the county.
    eaves (n.): the lower edges of a roof which usually project beyond the side of a building
    foray (n.): When you make a foray, you go somewhere or do something that is unusual or not normal for you. It was certainly not Jem's usual behavior to go near the Radley house; thus, doing so was a foray for him.
    human chattels (n.): slaves
    impotent (adj.): powerless. Simon's fury and anger regarding the Civil War would certainly have been impotent because there would have been nothing he could have done about it.
    impudent (adj.): To be impudent is to be shamelessly bold, as if you don't care what anyone thinks about you. Since the Haverfords did something illegal in front of witnesses, Lee rightfully describes them as impudent.
    malevolent (adj.): evil
    Methodists (n): members of a branch of a Protestant Christian denomination. Find out more about the United Methodist Church.
    picket (n): a pointed or sharpened pole or stake. Many pickets held together can make a picket fence.
    piety (n): devotion to religious duties and practices
    predilection (n.): a predilection is a preference, or a preferred way of doing something. Thus, the Radley's preferred way of spending a Sunday afternoon was to keep the doors closed and not receive visitors
    ramrod (adj.): rigid, severe, straight
    repertoire was vapid: (n. + adj.): a repertoire is all the special skills a person has; vapid, in this case, means boring or uninteresting. So, when Scout says that their repertoire was vapid, she means that the games they had invented to pass the time had become old and had lost their interest.
    scold (n.): A scold is a person who scolds; that is, someone who often finds fault with people or things (and usually lets you know about it under no uncertain terms)
    spittoon (n.): a jarlike container to spit into; usually used to spit tobacco juice into. See a picture of a spittoon.
    strictures (n.): conditions or rules
    taciturn (adj.): almost always silent. Apparently, Aunt Alexandra's husband was a very quiet man.
    unsullied (adj.): something that is unsullied has been basically untouched or unused. The fact that Atticus's edition of the Code of Alabama is unsulliedwould, in this case, indicate that he seldom consults this book.
    veranda (n): a portico or porch with a roof

    Chapter 2 - Vocabulary

    auburn (adj.): reddish-brown
    catawba worms (n.): catawba worms are actually caterpillars that are highly prized by fishermen in the Southern United States.
    condescended (vb.): To condescend is to agree to do something that you believe to be beneath your dignity. Jem condescends to take Scout to school, even though, as a fifth-grader, he feels superior to his first-grade sister.
    covey (n.): a group
    crimson (adj.): blood-red
    cunning (adj.): In this case, cunning means attractive or cute -- almost too cute
    entailment (n.): a legal situation regarding the use of inherited property.
    hookworms (n.): a type of parasite. Hookworms usually enter the body through bare feet and move through the body to the small intestines where they attach themselves with a series of hooks around their mouths. See a picture of a hookworm.
    immune (adj.): In this case, to be immune to something means that it has no effect on you. The story Miss Caroline reads to the class has no effect on them; they don't get it.
    indigenous (adj.): belonging to a particular region or country
    scrip stamps (n.): paper money of small denominations (less than $1.00) issued for temporary emergency use. During the Great Depression, many local and state government gave out scrip stamps, or sometimes tokens, to needy people.
    seceded (vb.): To secede is to break away. During the Civil War, Alabama was one of the states that broke away, or seceded from the Union.
    smilax (n.): a bright green twinning vine, often used for holiday decorations. See a picture of smilax.
    sojourn (n.): a brief visit
    subsequent mortification (adj. + n.): Something that is subsequent will follow closely after something else. Mortification is a feeling of shame or the loss of self respect. If Scout had been able to explain things to Miss Caroline, she could have prevented her teacher from losing self respect of feeling shameful later on.
    vexations (n.): To vex is to annoy, so a vexation is something that causes annoyance or problems.
    wallowing illicitly (vb. + adv.): In this case, to wallow is to indulge in something (usually an activity) with great enjoyment. Illicit, used like this, means unauthorized or improper. After listening to Miss Caroline, Scout feels that, by reading, she has been happily indulging in something which she should not have been doing.

    Chapter 3 - Vocabulary

    amiable (adj.): friendly
    compromise (n.): an agreement where each person agrees to give up something
    contemptuous (adj.): To be contemptuous is to have the feeling that someone or something is beneath you; that it or they are worthless. The Ewell boy obviously feels this way about his teacher, Miss Caroline.
    contentious (adj.): always ready to argue or fight
    cootie (n.): a slang term for a head louse. A louse (plural: lice) is a bloodsucking parasite. See a picture of a head louse. (note: current use of the term cootie is any type of "germs" from a boy or a girl)
    cracklin bread (n.): a type of cornbread mixed with cracklins (bits of fried pork skin). Want to make some? Here's a recipe for cracklin' bread.
    diminutive (adj.): smaller than ordinary
    disapprobation (n.): disapproval
    discernible (adj.): understandable
    dispensation (n.): a release from an obligation or promise. In this case, by offering friendship to Walter and promising that Scout won't fight with him, Jem dispenses her threat to fight with him more.
    dose (of) magnesia (n. + n.): A dose is an exact amount of medicine. Magnesia is a medicine used as a laxative and antacid.
    eddy (n.): a current of water that moves against the main current; a whirlpool
    erratic (adj.): irregular. Calpurnia usually uses good grammar, but when she is angry, her grammar is irregular.
    flinty (adj.): Flint is a very hard rock. Something that is flinty is extremely hard and firm.
    fractious (adj.): mean or cross
    gravely (adv.): seriously
    haint (n.): a ghost or spook; someone or something very scary
    irked (v.): to be irked is to be annoyed. Scout is annoyed when Jem tells Walter that she won't fight with him (Walter) anymore.
    kerosene (n.): a thin oil. Kerosene is sometimes used as a solvent or cleaning agent, although its more common use is for fuel or lighting.
    lye soap (n.): Lye is a very strong alkaline substance used for cleaning. Lye soap is very strong, harsh soap that contains lye.
    monosyllabic (adj.): Mono means "one." A syllable is word or a part of a word which can be pronounced with a single, uninterrupted sound. The name "Atticus," for example, is made up of three syllables: at + ti + cus. Thus, monosyllabic literally means "one sound." Scout's monosyllabic replies to Atticus's questions about her first day at school might have been made up of one-sound words like "yes" and "no."
    mutual concessions (adj. + n.): A concession is an agreement; something that is mutual is done by two or more people. Thus, a mutual concessionoccurs when two or more people agree on something.
    onslaught (n.): a violent attack
    persevere (v.): to carry on in spite of difficulties
    tranquility (n.): peacefulness; serenity
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    Chapter 4 - Vocabulary

    auspicious (adj.): favorable
    melancholy (adj.): sad and gloomy
    quelling (of) nausea: (v. + n.): To quell something is to quiet or pacify it. Nausea is the feeling you get when your stomach is upset and you feel as if you're about to vomit. Scout is trying to quell her nausea, or make her stomach settle down.
    scuppernongs (n.): a sweet table grape, grown chiefly in the Southern United States. See a picture of scuppernongs.

    Chapter 5 - Vocabulary

    asinine (adj.): stupid; silly
    benevolence (n.): in this case, a generous or thoughtful gift
    benign (adj.): kind and gentle
    bridgework (n.): Unlike dentures, which replace the upper or lower sets of teeth, bridgework is made up of sections of replacement teeth that can be inserted and removed from one's mouth.
    chameleon (adj.) In nature, chameleons are tree-dwelling lizards that have the unusual ability to change the color of their skin in order to blend into their surroundings. By calling Miss Maudie a chameleon lady, Scout points out the fact that her neighbor's appearance was as changeable as one of the lizards. Learn more about chameleons, and see some pictures of chameleons.
    cordiality (n.): sincere affection and kindness
    edification (n.): education; instruction
    gaped (vb.): To gape at someone is to stare at that person with your mouth open. See a rather extreme example of gaping.
    inquisitive (adj.): questioning; prying
    mimosa (n): Also called a silk tree, a mimosa can be either a tree or a shrub. Look at a picture of a mimosa flower.
    morbid (adj.): gruesome; horrible
    placidly (adv.): calmly; quietly
    Protestant (adj.): Protestant is the name applied to any number of Christian churches, such as Baptist, Methodist, and Lutheran.
    pulpit Gospel (adj. + n.): A pulpit is the raised platform or lectern from which a preacher speaks in church. The Gospel refers to the teachings of Jesus Christ, specifically the first four books of the New Testament. Scout says that her faith in what she's heard about the teachings of Christ from the pulpit(preacher) in her own church has been shaken a bit.
    quibbling (vb.): a type of arguing where you avoid the main point by bringing up petty details
    tacit (adj.) An agreement, or, in this case, a "treaty" that is tacit is one that has been silently agreed upon. Thus, the children know that they can play on Miss Maudie's front lawn even though she never directly told them that it was all right to do so.

    Chapter 6 - Vocabulary
    collards (n.): a type of cabbage with very coarse leaves. It would be difficult to walk quietly through a patch of collards. See a picture of a collard patch.
    dismemberment (n.): To dismember someone is to tear or cut that person's limbs (arms and legs) off. Although it is unlikely that anyone would have actually pulled off Dill's arms and legs, Lee uses the word to point out how outraged Miss Rachel must have been to discover that the children had been playing strip poker.
    eerily (adv.): weirdly; mysteriously
    ensuing (adj.): Something that ensues is something that comes immediately after something else.
    Franklin stove (n.): a cast iron heating stove, invented by Benjamin Franklin. See a picture of a Franklin stove.
    kudzu (n.): a quick-growing vine with large leaves, often found in the Southern United States. See a picture of kudzu.
    lattice-work (adj.): A lattice is an openwork structure of crossed strips or bars, as in a screen. (See a picture of a lattice screen.) Light that passes through any kind of a lattice -work would produce lattice-work shadows.
    malignant (adj.): dangerous; evil
    prowess (n.): superior ability or skill
    ramshackle (adj.): loose or rickety; about to fall apart
    respiration (n.): breathing
    rigid (adj.): stiff
    waning (adj.): becoming less bright, intense, or strong. The moonlight is waning because it's getting closer to morning, and the moon is changing its position in the sky.

    Chapter 7 - Vocabulary

    cleaved (vb.): stuck
    gnats (n.): small, two-winged insects that can bite or sting. [Pronounced: NAT] See a picture of a gnat.
    meditative (adj.): To meditate is to reflect upon something, or think about it. When Jem give the patch on the tree a meditative pat, he does so in a thoughtful manner.
    palate (n.): the roof of one's mouth
    perpetual embalming (adj. + n.): Something that is perpetual lasts forever. Embalming is the process of preserving a dead body. Think of Egyptian mummies, or unwrap a virtual mummy. As Atticus later says, Jem would do well to get rid of the adjective (perpetual) . The Egyptians invented a type of paper (not toilet paper), as well as embalming (which, by its very nature, is perpetual) .
    rendered (her) speechless: (vb. + n.): made her unable to speak
    vigil (n.): a watch. Jem is waiting and watching for Mr. Nathan to appear.
    whittles (vb.): To whittle is to use a knife to cut away thin shavings of wood. Sometimes, a whittler may actually end up carving a recognizable object.
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    Chapter 8 - Vocabulary

    aberrations (n.): an aberration is a deviation, or a moving away from, something that is normal. The fact that winter comes so quickly in Maycomb is abnormal, thus, an aberration.
    azaleas (n.): a colorful and decorative kind of flower. See some pictures of azaleas.
    cannas (n.): a beautiful tropical flower. See a pictures of cannas.
    caricatures (n.): a representation of a person where certain features of that person are exaggerated or distorted. See a caricature of Elvis Presley
    cordial (adj.): warm and friendly
    flue (n.): a channel in a chimney that allows smoke and flames to pass to the outside
    meteorological (adj.): anything to do with meteorology or weather. Find out about the meteorological conditions in your community.
    morphodite (n.): Scout has misheard Miss Maudie, who would actually have said the word hermaphrodite. Technically, a hermaphrodite is an animal or plant that has both female and male reproductive organs. Of course, the children's snowman is not really a hermaphrodite, but it does have both male and female characteristics.
    near libel (adj. + n.): When you commit libel, you harm someone's reputation. Atticus tells the children that they have committed a near libel; that is, their snowman is almost libelous because it so closely represents one of their neighbors and could harm that neighbor's reputation.
    perpetrated (vb.): carried out; committed
    plaited (vb.): braided
    procured (vb): got
    prophets (n.): A prophet is someone able to predict the future.
    quelled (vb.): To quell is to overwhelm something until it is powerless. The tin roof of Miss Maudie's house quelled the flames because tin cannot burn so the fire was eventually stopped.
    roomers (n.): persons who rent and live in rooms in a house.
    switches (n.): slender twigs or branches
    taffeta (n.): a lustrous, stiff fabric, often used for women's dresses, especially formal wear
    touchous (adj.) touchy; sensitive
    treble (adj.): high
    unfathomable (adj.): Something that is unfathomable is something that can not be understood.

    Chapter 9 - Vocabulary

    ambrosia (n): a desert made up of a mixture of fruits, nuts, and coconut. Get a recipe for ambrosia.
    analogous (adj.): similar; comparable
    attire (n.): clothing
    bawled (vb.) cried out noisily
    bluff (n.): the broad, flat front of a cliff
    catwalk (n.): a narrow, elevated walkway
    changelings (n.): a child secretly put in the place of another
    compensation (n.): To compensate means to pay for something or to make up for something. Aunt Alexandra's good cooking skills, in some ways, make up for the fact that, for Scout, spending the holidays with her and Francis is not a lot of fun.
    constituted (vb.): made up
    crooned (vb.): To croon is to sing in a low, gentle tone.
    deportment (n.): behavior
    dim (adj.): unclear; not strong
    donned (vb): put on
    doused (vb.): to douse someone is to pour liquid, in this case water, all over that person.
    evasion (n.): To evade is to avoid doing or answering something directly. Uncle Jack's evasion occurs when he doesn't directly answer Scout's question.
    fanatical (adj.): A fanatic is a person whose extreme enthusiasm, interest, zeal, etc. goes beyond what is reasonable. Aunt Alexandra is fanatical about Scout's clothes because, according to Scout, her aunt's interest in this subject goes beyond what is reasonable.
    gallantly (adv.): politely; in the manner of a gentleman
    gastric (adj.): of, in, or near the stomach. A stomach ache would be a gastric complaint.
    gravitated (vb.): Gravity is, of course, the force that pulls you to earth and keeps you from floating into outer space. When you gravitate toward something or someone, you find yourself being pulled in the direction of that object or person.
    guilelessness (n.): Guile is craftiness and cunning in dealing with other. To be guileless is to have none of that craftiness. Here, Lee is being ironic since its obvious that Simon Finch didn't trust his daughters at all, and planned his house accordingly.
    harbored (vb.): to hold in the mind
    hookah (n): An oriental tobacco pipe with a flexible tube that draws smoke through a bowl of water. See a picture of a hookah.
    impaired (adj.): damaged; weakened
    indecision (n.): When you're indecisive, you can't decide what to do. Scout's indecision revolves around whether she should obey Uncle Jack or run away from him.
    indicative (adj.): Something that is indicative of something shows or displays something. The manner in which Simon Finch arranged his house showed something about him.
    ingenuous (adj.): simple; innocent
    innate (adj.): Something that is innate is a natural part of something else. To Scout, cuss words have a natural sort of attraction to them; an innateattractiveness. They have value all on their own for her.
    inordinately (adv.): Inordinate means too great or too many. Cousin Ike Finch is too vain about his beard; inordinately vain.
    invective (n.): Invectives are abusive terms, curses, insults, and/or cuss words
    isolate (vb.): set apart from others
    jar (vb.): shake up; disturb
    jetty (n): a type of wall built out into water to protect a coastline or restrain currents
    mishaps (n.): unlucky or unfortunate accidents
    mortify (vb.) humiliate; embarrass
    nocturnal (adj.): nightly
    obsess (vb.): greatly preoccupy
    obstreperous (adj.): noisy and unruly
    pantry (n.): a small room or closet off the kitchen where foodstuffs and cooking ingredients are stored
    porter (n.): a person who carries luggage, etc., in this case, at a railroad station. Read about the history of the Pullman porter.
    provocation (n.): To provoke is to excite some sort of feeling; often anger or irritation. Uncle Jack tells Scout that, as far as cuss words are concerned, he doesn't see the use for them unless they are used when one is very angry or provoked to use them.
    ringworm (n.): a contagious skin disease caused by a fungus. See what ringworm looks like.
    siblings (n.): brothers and/or sisters
    still (n.): an apparatus for making alcoholic liquors. The sort of still to which Scout refers would be an illegal one.
    subdued (vb.): Someone who has been subdued has been soothed or softened and made less intense.
    tarried (vb.): delayed; waited
    tentatively (adv.): To be tentative is to be hesitant or unsure. Francis asks Scout his question tentatively because he is unsure as to her reaction and more than a little afraid to face her.
    tongs (n.): a device used to grab or lift objects. Tongs generally have two long arms that are hinged together. See a picture of medical tongs.
    trousseau (n.): all the new clothes a bride brings to her marriage
    uncompromising lineaments (adj. + n.): Lineaments are distinctive features or characteristics. Uncompromising, in this instance, means unchanging; firm; set. Alexandra's and Francis's uncompromising lineaments are their characteristics that are set and will never change.
    wary (adj.): To be wary means to be cautious on your guard against something. In this instance, the children were never afraid of or cautious about their uncle's appearance.
    widow's walk (n.): a platform with a rail around it, built onto the roof of a house. See a picture of a house with a widow's walk.
    Yankees (n.): Northerners; natives of Northern states. During the Civil War, the Yankees were the enemies of the South.

    Chapter 10 - Vocabulary

    alist (adj.): tilted to one side
    articulate (adj.): able to speak and express oneself
    attributes (n.): characteristics; qualities of a person or thing
    bout (n.): fight
    corncribs (n.): A corncrib is a small structure used to store corn. See a picture of a corncrib.
    crook (of his arm) (n.): The crook of your arm is the inside part of your arm where it bends at the elbow.
    erratically (adv.): strangely; differently than normal
    feeble (adj.): weak; frail
    gingerly (adv.): carefully; cautiously
    inconspicuous (adj.) To be conspicuous is to attract attention. To be inconspicuous is to do the opposite; to not attract attention. Scout wishes that Atticus would be more inconspicuous; that is, he would attract less attention to himself.
    Jew's Harp (n): a small musical instrument that is played by plucking a piece of metal while holding the instrument to one's mouth. See a picture of someJew's harps.
    mad dog (adj. + n.): a dog infected with a disease, such as rabies, which makes it act in a crazy, dangerous manner
    mausoleum (n.): Literally, a mausoleum is a large, imposing tomb (a tomb is a place where dead bodies -- those that aren't buried -- are housed). However, Miss Maudie uses the term in its humorous form. She refers to her old house as a mausoleum because, to her, it was too large and too somber. See a picture of a real mausoleum
    peril (n.): danger
    Providence (n.): the care of God
    rudiments (n.): principles; elements; subjects to be learned
    tartly (adv.): sharply
    torso (n.): the trunk of a body; that is, the part of the body that does not include the head, legs, or arms
    vaguely (adv.): to be vague is to be unclear or not precise
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    Chapter 11 - Vocabulary

    apoplectic (adj.): Apoplexy is a condition of sudden paralysis; a stroke. To be apoplectic, in this case, is to behave as if on the verge of having a stroke.
    arbor (n): an outdoor area shaded by trees or, in this case, scuppernong vines on a lattice. See a picture of an arbor from an outdoor café in Greece.
    bedecked (adj.): adorned; covered (with decorations)
    calomel (n.): a laxative; often used as a cure for intestinal worms
    camellia (n.): a shrub with glossy evergreen leaves and waxy, rose-like flowers. Find out more about camellias and see a picture of a camellia.
    camisole (n.) a woman's sleeveless undergarment, usually worn under a sheer blouse
    commence (vb.): begin
    decreed (vb): A decree is an official order. As her older brother, Jem decreed what he and Scout would do.
    degradation (n.): a state of low honor or moral character
    dog-trot hall (adj.): a covered passageway between two parts of a building
    escapade (n.): reckless prank
    essence (n.): fundamental nature; most important quality
    infuriated (vb.): angered greatly
    interdict (n.): prohibition; restraint
    livid (adj.): pale; lead-colored. Livid can also mean red, as in the color someone's face gets when that person becomes angry.
    oppressive (adj.): overbearing; hard to put up with
    palliation (n.): to palliate is to lessen the pain, or, in this case, fear and anxiety, of something without actually making the fear and anxiety go away. Calpurnia is not a great source of palliation; that is, she doesn't make the children feel any less anxious or fearful.
    passé (adj.): old-fashioned
    philippic (n.): a bitter verbal attack
    plate (n.): dentures; dental plate
    propensities (n.): inclinations or tendencies
    reconnaissance (n.): examination
    rectitude (n.): uprightness of character
    relic (n): something of historic interest that has survived from the past. In this case, Scout is referring to a gun that would have been used in the Civil War.
    skulked (vb.): to move or slink about in a sinister manner. The children are skulking in the kitchen because they are fearful of Atticus's reaction when he returns home.
    syringe (n.): a device with a rubber bulb on one end and a narrow tube on the other: used to inject or extract fluids from body cavities. See a picture of a syringe.
    tirade (n.): a long angry speech
    tranquil (adj.): calm
    umbrage (n.): offense
    undulate (vb.): to move in waves or in a wavy manner
    viscous (adj.): sticky

    Chapter 12 - Vocabulary

    alien (adj.): not natural; strange
    appalling (adj.): shocking; horrifying
    asafoetida (n.): a strong-smelling (like garlic) substance made from a parsley-like plant; often used in folk medicine to repel illness
    austere (adj.): stern and severe
    boded (vb.): continued
    church (vb.): To church someone is ban that person (usually temporarily) from church for any variety of misdeeds.
    clad (vb.): dressed
    contemptuously (adv.): To behave or speak contemptuously toward someone is to treat that person as if he or she is unworthy or beneath one's dignity.
    contentious (adj.) always ready to argue
    denunciation (n.): To denounce is to strongly disapprove of or condemn something. The denunciation of sin in the reverend's sermon indicates his strong disapproval of sin.
    diligently (adv.): industriously; in a hard-working manner
    dispelled (vb.): driven away
    ecclesiastical impedimenta (adj. + n.) items used during a church service
    frivolous (adj.): silly; not serious
    garish (adj.) showy, very bright or gaudy
    habiliments (n.): outfits; clothing
    inconsistent (adj.): not in agreement; incompatible
    indignantly (adv.): angrily
    lilac talcum (adj. + n.): Lilacs are a very fragrant flower (See a picture of lilacs). Talcum, often called talcum powder, is a fine talc, or powder, used for the body or face. Lilac talcum is lilac-scented talcum powder.
    rotogravure print (n.): Rotogravure is a process of printing pictures; often photographs of pictures. Since rotogravure prints often appeared in newspapers, it is possible that the print in the church had been taken from a newspaper.
    snuff (n.): a preparation of powdered tobacco, usually sniffed through the nose
    tapeworm (n.): a parasite that can live in a person's intestines. Find out more about tapeworms and see some pictures of tapeworms.
    voile (adj.): a thin, cotton-like fabric

    Chapter 13 - Vocabulary

    caste system (adj. + n.): class distinctions based on birth, wealth, etc.
    curtness (n.): To be curt is to be brief and short to the point of being rude.
    devoid (adj.): completely without
    flighty (adj.): foolish; irresponsible
    incestuous (adj.): Incest is sexual intercourse between persons too closely related to marry legally. Atticus's comment as to the possibility that the Finches might have an Incestuous streak refers to the fact that so many Finches have married their cousins.
    irritable (adj.): easily annoyed
    mandrake roots (n.): The roots of the mandrake plant were often thought to have magical powers because it was thought that their shape resembled the human body. The mandrake root appears in many poems, including this "Song" by John Donne.
    myopic (adj): Myopia is an abnormal eye condition, often called nearsightedness. Someone who is myopic cannot see objects clearly.
    obliquely (adv.): indirectly
    prerogative (n.) exclusive right or privilege
    shinny (n.) a slang term for liquor; usually whiskey or bourbon. Bourbon is a main ingredient in the recipe for a Lane cake.
    sluggish (adj.): lacking energy; lazy
    soberly (adv.): seriously
    spun (v.): To spin a tale is to tell a story in a creative, fanciful way.
    tactful (adj.): To be tactful is to be able to say the right thing to a person without being offensive. Scout realizes that her question about her aunt and uncle was not tactful and may have been offensive or, at least, embarrassing.
    tight (adj.): drunk

    Chapter 14 - Vocabulary

    antagonize (vb.): oppose; make angry
    bushel (n.): a unit of dry measure equal to 32 quarts
    erosion (n.): a gradual wearing away.
    infallible (adj.): never wrong
    manacles (n.): handcuffs
    neat (adj.): unmixed with anything, such as water or soda; straight
    taut (adj.): tightly stretched

    Chapter 15 - Vocabulary

    acquiescence (n.): agreement without protest
    affliction (n.): in this case, a condition
    aggregation (n.): group; gathering
    begrudge (vb.): To begrudge someone something is to feel resentment or disapproval about the fact that they have something. Atticus says that he doesn't think anyone in the town would resent the fact that he has a client.
    ecclesiastical (adj.): church-like
    façade (n.): the front of a building; the part facing the street (pronounced: "fah - sawed")
    futility (n.): feeling of being ineffective; uselessness, hopelessness
    impassive (adj.): showing no emotion
    linotype (n.): a typesetting machine used in publishing. Find out more about Linotype machines.
    ominous (adj.): threatening; sinister
    shinnied up (adj.): drunk
    stifle (vb.): hold back; suppress
    succinct (adj.): clear and brief
    uncouth (adj.): crude, unmannerly
    venerable (adj.): impressive on account of age or historic associations
    venue (n.): the place where a jury is selected and a case is tried

    Chapter 16 - Vocabulary

    affirmed (vb.): firmly declared or stated
    akimbo (adj.): hands on hips and elbows bent outward. See a picture of a man with his arms akimbo.
    circuit solicitor (n.): a lawyer who travels to different locations to prosecute in trials
    dispel (vb.): drive away
    eccentricities (n.): oddities; unconventionalities
    elucidate (vb.): explain
    fey (adj.): strange; eccentric
    formidable (adj.): impressive
    inhabitants (n.): residents
    khaki (adj.): a strong, twilled cloth of a dull yellowish-brown color
    Mennonites (n.): members of an Anabaptist Christian sect. Mennonites favor plain dress and plain living. Find out more about the Mennonite Church.
    profane (adj.): not connected with religion or religious matters
    ruddy (adj.): reddish
    Scripture (n.): The Bible
    subpoena (n.): a written legal order directing a person to appear in court to give testimony
    subtle (adj.): not openly obvious; quiet
    sundry (adj.): various
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    Last set of Vocabulary!!!

    Chapter 17 - Vocabulary

    acrimonious (adj.): sarcastic; bitter; nasty
    affirmative nod (adj. + n.): Affirmative means positive. To give an affirmative nod would be to nod or shake one's head up and down to indicate "yes."
    amber (adj.): dark orange yellow
    ambidextrous (adj.): able to use both hands with equal ease
    amiably (adv.): good-naturedly
    audibly (adv.): Anything that is audible is capable of being heard. The judge warns the spectators against making any more comments that can be heard.
    bantam cock (n.): a small, aggressive rooster. See a picture of a bantam cock.
    benignly (adv.): kindly; gently
    boiling (n.): angry or unruly group
    capacity (n.): ability
    cast (n.): To have a cast in one's eye means that a particular eye tends to veer or turn off into another direction.
    complacently (adv.): in a self-satisfied way
    congenital (adj.): a congenital condition is one that is in existence at birth. For example, if a child is born with a weak heart, that weakness in congenital; as opposed to someone who may acquire the condition later in life.
    contempt charges (adj. + n.) Contempt, in this case, is open disrespect of a court or judge. A person who acts in such a manner may face a contempt charge from a judge.
    corroborating evidence (adj. + n.): In legal terms; corroborating evidence is evidence which helps to strengthen a position. For example; eyewitness testimony in regards to a crime would be corroborating evidence that such a crime had been committed.
    corrugated (adj.): formed by a series of alternating ridges and grooves
    counsel (n.): lawyers
    crepey (adj.): Crepe is a thin, crinkled cloth. Mr. Ewell's crepey neck obviously resembles this fabric; that is, the skin is thin and crinkled.
    dictum (n.): official pronouncement
    dogged (adj.): stubborn determination
    economic fluctuations (adj. + n.): Economics, in this case, has to do with the economy; the financial state of the country and its people. To fluctuatemeans to change. As far as the Ewells are concerned, no matter how the economy of the country might change, their situation was always the same. They were always poor.
    edge (n.): sharpness
    gardenia (n.): a large, fragrant flower. See a picture of gardenias.
    genially (adv.): in a friendly manner
    geraniums (n.): flowering plants. See a picture of geraniums.
    gullet (n.): throat; neck
    heaved (vb.): lifted
    import (n.): importance
    infinite (adj.): endless
    irrelevant'n'immaterial (adj.): "irrelevant and immaterial" Irrelevant means not relative; not related (to something). Immaterial means unimportant. The judge is saying that whether or not Mr. Ewell can read and write is not related and unimportant to the case.
    load o'kindlin' (n.): "load of kindling." Kindling is generally made up of dry twigs, branches, etc.; materials useful for starting a fire
    namesake (n.): the person one is named after. In this case, Mr. Ewell's namesake is the leader of the Confederate Army, Robert E. Lee.
    prosperity (n.): good fortune; wealth
    quelling (vb.): quieting; calming
    refuse (n.): garbage
    ruttin' on (vb.): In this instance, the term is used to indicate that, according to Mr. Ewell, Tom Robinson was having sexual intercourse with his daughter. It should be noted that this term is almost exclusively reserved for use in describing the mating habits of animals, not people.
    skewed (adj.): turned
    slop jars (n.): large pails usually used to receive waste water from a wash basin or the contents of a chamber pot
    smugness (n.): To be smug is to be highly self-satisfied; to think a lot of oneself. Mr. Ewell's smugness, or appearance of self-satisfaction, shows on his face.
    speculations (n.): To speculate is to think about or reflect on a subject. Speculations are thoughts or reflections.
    sulky (adj.): moody and quiet
    sullen (adj.): in this case, gloomy and threatening
    supplemented (vb.): added to
    tenet (n.) a principle or belief generally held to be true
    title dispute (n.): a legal fight over the ownership of a particular piece of property
    turbulent (adj.): stormy; unruly
    varmints (n.): in this case, flies and other flying insects that would be found in and around a garbage dump
    warranted (vb.): gave a reason for; indicated the need for

    Chapter 18 - Vocabulary

    arid (adj.): dry; without expression
    chiffarobe (n.): a large cabinet with drawers and a place for hanging clothes. See a picture of a chiffarobe.
    constructionalist (n.): a person who interprets aspects of the law in a specified way
    dusk (n.): the time just before nightfall
    ground-itch (n.): Ground-itch is caused by hookworms. The parasites usually enter the body through bare feet, causing an itchy, allergic reaction.
    grudging (adj.): hostile
    lavations (n.): washings
    mollified (adj.): soothed; calmed
    neutrality (n.): the condition of being neutral; not taking part in either side of a controversy.
    perpetual (adj.): everlasting; continuous
    pilgrimage (n.): in this instance, a long walk
    riled (adj.): angry
    strenuous (adj.): work or labor that is strenuous requires a lot of energy and stamina.
    tedious (adj.): boring; tiresome
    tollable (adj.): Mayella's way of pronouncing the word "tolerable." Someone who is tolerable is a person who is fairly good or passable; someone who can be tolerated or endured.
    wrathfully (adv.): angrily

    Chapter 19 - Vocabulary

    candid (adj.): open and honest
    ex cathdra remarks (adj. + n.): remarks made with the authority that comes from one's official position
    express (adj.): clear; explicit; not just implied
    expunge (vb.): remove completely
    grimly (adv.): sternly; without humor
    impudent (adj.): disrespectful; bold; sassy
    subtlety (n.): delicacy
    thin-hided (adj.): thin-skinned; sensitive
    unimpaired (adj.): unhurt; undamaged
    volition (n.): will. Scout is saying that someone like Tom would never go into somebody's yard on his own or unless he had been invited to do so, and would never do so of his own will or volition.

    Chapter 20 - Vocabulary

    aridity (n.): dryness
    attentive (adj.): paying attention; observant
    caliber (n.): quality
    capital charge (adj. + n.): a charge for a crime that is punishable by death
    corroborative evidence (adj. + n.): To corroborate is to strengthen and support. Corroborative evidence, in a trial, is evidence that makes a case stronger. Atticus is telling the jury that there is no evidence to strengthen the case against Tom.
    corrupting (vb.): To corrupt someone is to bring that person down to a lower moral level. Since it at first appears that Mr. Raymond has given Dill liquor to drink, it would seem that he is corrupting him.
    cynical confidence (adj.): To be cynical, in this case, means to believe that people are only motivated in what they do out of selfishness; that no one truly behaves or does something out of sincerity. Atticus's mention of the witnesses's cynical confidence refers to the fact that they are selfish and self-centered enough to think that everyone will believe their story.
    detachment (n.): the state of being disinterested or unemotional
    discreet (adj.): carefully phrased; cautious
    fraud (n.): a lie; a deception
    indicted (vb.): formally accused; charged
    iota (n.): a very small amount
    minute (adj.): exact; precise (pronounced: my - NEWT)
    pauper (n.): an extremely poor person
    perpetrated (vb.): committed
    temerity (n.): foolish or rash boldness
    unmitigated (adj.): out-and-out absolute
    Chapter 21 - Vocabulary
    acquit (vb.): clear of a charge; find not guilty
    charged the jury (vb. + n.): When Judge Taylor charges the jury, he gives them instructions in law before they go off to deliberate or decide the case
    exhilarated (adj.): cheerful, merry
    indignant (adj.): angry

    Chapter 22 - Vocabulary

    cynical (adj.): a cynic is someone who often belittles or makes fun of someone else. Aunt Alexandra tells Dill that his remarks about his own Aunt's drinking habits are cynical, especially since, as a child, Dill should have more respect for his elders.
    fatalistic (adj.): To be fatalistic about something is to accept the event as though it were inevitable; that is, that nothing could be done to change or alter it.
    feral (adj.): wild; savage
    heathen (adj.): unenlightened; without religion or morals
    ruefully (adv.): regretfully

    Chapter 23 - Vocabulary

    commutes (vb.): changes; makes less severe
    dry (adj.): clever but subtle
    furtive (adj.): sneaky
    infantile (adj.): childish
    statute (n.): law
    vehement (adj.): full of emotion and strong feeling
    wary (adj.): cautious
    wryly (adv.): humorously; slightly sarcastic

    Chapter 24 - Vocabulary

    apprehension (n.): In this case, fear
    bellows (n.): a machine that allows air to be pumped through a system; in this case, an organ
    bovine (adj.): cow-like
    brevity (n.): shortness
    charlotte (n.): a desert made with fruit in a mold that is lined with pieces of bread or cake. Read a recipe for charlotte.
    devout (adj.): devoted to religion
    earworms (n.): See a picture of an earworm.
    hypocrites (n.): people who pretend to be something they are not
    impertinence (n.): disrespect
    largo (adj.): Largo is a direction used in music which means "at a very slow tempo." Mrs. Merriweather is apparently speaking to Scout very slowly.
    squalid (adj.): miserable; wretched
    squalor (n): filth
    sulky (adj.): moody
    vague (adj.): not clearly felt; somewhat subconscious
    yaws (n.): an infectious contagious tropical disease. Find out more about yaws.

    Chapter 25 - Vocabulary

    roly-poly (n.): a small bug that can roll itself into a ball. Also known as a pillbug, sowbug or wood louse. See a picture of a roly-poly.
    scowling (vb.): A scowl is a facial expression caused by scrunching up one's forehead and brow; a look of displeasure. See a young man scowling.
    veneer (n.): attractive outer surface

    Chapter 26 - Vocabulary

    remorse (n.): a feeling of regret and guilt
    recluse (n.): someone who stays away from society and the company of others
    spurious (adj.): Something that is spurious outwardly resembles something but does not have the genuine qualities of that thing. Miss Gates thinks thatThe Grit Paper is spurious because, although it resembles a newspaper, to her mind, it is far inferior to a publication like The Mobile Register or other newspapers.

    Chapter 27 - Vocabulary

    industry (n.): work, especially on a steady basis
    notoriety (n.): fame
    florid (adj.): very flowery in style; elegant
    nondescript (adj.): dull; with no special or interesting qualities
    carcass (n.): body
    eccentricities (n.): odd behavior
    maiden ladies (adj. + n.): women who have never married

    Chapter 28 - Vocabulary

    boil-prone (adj.): A boil is an inflamed, pus-filled swelling on the skin, like a pimple only usually bigger. To be prone to something is to be inclined to it. If the children had been boil-prone, they would have been inclined to have a lot of boils. Find out more about boils and see a picture of one.
    climbers (n.): social climbers; people trying to move into a different social class
    crap games (n.): a gambling game played with two dice
    divinity (n.): a white fudge made from whipped egg whites, sugar, and nuts. Read a recipe for divinity.
    forest primeval (n. + adj.): in this instance, a forest that had been primarily untouched or unchanged by man
    furtive (adj.): secret
    gait (n.): pace, walk
    hock (n.): the joint bending backward in the hind leg of an animal like a pig. Scout is dressed as a ham, and a ham is the upper part of a hog's hind leg, Scout's hock would be the part of her costume that resembles the joint of a pig's leg. Take a look at a bunch of hams hanging by their hocks.
    irascible (adj.): angry
    mocker (n.): mockingbird
    pinioned (adj.): confined; held down
    repertoire (n.): accomplishments; skills. The repertoire of the mockingbird is all the songs it can sing and sounds it can make.
    rout (vb.): defeat
    smockin' (n.): Smocking, decorative stitching used to gather cloth. See a picture of a dress with smocking.
    staccato (adj.): distinct; sharp and crisp

    Chapter 29 - Vocabulary
    reprimand (vb.): scold

    Chapter 30 - Vocabulary

    blandly (adv.): smoothly; without excitement
    connived (vb.): secretly cooperated or agreed to
    wisteria (n.): twinning woody vines with large clusters of flowers. See a picture of wisteria.

    Chapter 31
    railing (adj.): painful
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    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
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    Idioms are word combinations that are idiotic! In other words, idioms have meanings that can't be figured out by looking up the words in the dictionary. They have meanings that are understood by people who speak that language, but are very hard to understand for people who don't speak that language.

    TKAM Idioms

    Chapter 5 - Idioms
    acid tongue in her head: Acid is very bitter in taste. Someone with an acid tongue is someone who tends to speak bitterly or sharply.
    get Miss Maudie's goat: To get one's goat is to make a person disgusted or angry.

    Chapter 7 - Idioms

    walked on eggs: To walk on eggs is to walk very carefully.

    Chapter 9 - Idioms
    as sure as eggs: Something that is as sure as eggs is a sure thing; it's bound to happen; just as chickens are sure to lay eggs.
    bowed to the inevitable: An event or occurrence that is inevitable is one that cannot be stopped from occurring. To bow to the inevitable is to realize this fact and resist fighting it. Atticus realizes that, sooner or later, Scout and Jem would be given guns and be taught how to shoot, so he doesn't try to fight it.
    drew a bead on him: To draw a bead on someone is to aim at or focus on that person.
    on tenterhooks: To be on tenterhooks is to be filed with suspense or anxiety.
    set my teeth permanently on edge: To set one's teeth on edge is to annoy someone or make them feel nervous the way in which Aunt Alexandra tends to annoy Scout

    Chapter 10 - Idioms
    break camp: pack up; move on. In Scout's case, Atticus is telling her to put her gun away and quit her game.
    tooth and nail: To fight someone tooth and nail is to fight that person as fiercely as possible (literally with teeth and fingernails if necessary).
    tribal curse: a family curse or, more aptly, an affliction shared by members of a family. Apparently, many members of the Finch family have had problems with their left eyes.

    Chapter 11 - Idioms
    'druthers: a contraction of the phrase "I'd rather." Your 'druthers is your choice or preference; it's what you'd rather do or have.
    slow fuse: A person with a slow fuse is someone who is not easily upset or angered.
    stood as much guff: Guff is foolish or brash talk. Jem has had enough of all the foolish, rude talk about Atticus.
    when the chips are down: at the most important time. [In gambling games, a person puts chips or money down in front of him to show that he is willing to risk an amount in a bet.]

    Chapter 12 - Idioms
    to scrape a few barnacles off the ship of state: Barnacles are a form of shellfish that attach themselves to stationery items such as ships that have been standing still in the water for a long time(see a picture of barnacles). In order to maintain a boat or a ship, the barnacles must be scraped off. The ship of state, in this case, refers to the state government. The governor is saying that it is necessary to maintain and update (scrape a few barnacles off) the workings of the government (the ship of state).

    Chapter 13 - Idioms
    traveled in state: To travel in state is to do so in the position of a person of great wealth and rank.

    Chapter 15 - Idioms
    he had seen the light: In this case to have seen the light means to have become religious.

    Chapter 16 - Idioms
    blind spots: a prejudice or area of ignorance that someone has but is unaware of. Mr. Cunningham's blind spot is his prejudice against Tom Robinson.

    Chapter 17 - Idioms
    counting his chickens: Scout is referring to the first half of the proverb: "Don't count your chickens before they're hatched, " which means "don't be too sure that something will happen before it does." Although Jem seems to be certain that Atticus has won his case, Scout thinks he is counting his chickens, that is, he is too sure of something that may not happen.
    guests of the county: on public assistance or welfare

    Chapter 18 - Idioms
    took advantage of me: In this instance, the phrase to take advantage of means to have sexual intercourse with.

    Chapter 19 - Idioms
    looked daggers: A dagger is a type of knife. To look daggers at someone is to look sharply at that person.

    Chapter 22 - Idioms
    give the lie: To give the lie to something is to prove that thing to be false or untrue. Scout is saying that the way in which Miss Stephanie and Miss Rachel are acting proves that Dill's statements about them are not untrue.
    runner: chicken leg

    Chapter 24 - Idioms
    blue in the face: angry and upset; excited and emotional
    fighting the good fight: In the case of the ladies of the missionary circle, the good fight would be their work to aid missionaries around the world in their cause of converting people to Christianity.
    their time came: Although this could be a reference to childbirth, it is more likely a reference to a woman's menstrual cycle.
    wool: Mrs. Merriweather is referring to her maid's head or, more specifically, her hair. "It's never entered that wool of hers" is Mrs. Merriweather's way of saying, "It's never entered that head of hers."

    Chapter 30 - Idioms
    into the limelight: In the theater, the limelight is an intense light thrown on stage in order to highlight an actor, etc. To be in the limelight is to be put in a prominent position before the public.
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    After reading some of the posts on the forum lately about the news in the world, we really could use a few more men like Atticus around these days....

    Greetings from your American Film Institute!

    Today we share with you news of a proud moment.

    AFI was founded in the White House Rose Garden and this week will return to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a landmark American film – TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

    Tomorrow, April 5, AFI will screen the movie in the White House Family Theater to an audience of school children and other special guests. And on Saturday, April 7, the President will introduce a national telecast of the film at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on USA Network – a gift from NBCUniversal to America. It will be a moment for movie-lovers across the country to come together to experience and re-experience a story that is as powerful today as when it premiered in 1962.

    The film stars Gregory Peck, who also served as AFI's Founding Chairman. His portrayal of Atticus Finch embodies the film's themes of family and fatherhood - justice and equality. In 2003, AFI named Atticus the greatest hero in the history of American film, and he stands tall there today, challenging us to stand for what's right…no matter the cost.
    As an AFI Insider, we hope you share our pride in this national event – one that underscores our shared belief that movies matter.

    AFI Brings Special Screening to the White House
    Followed by National Television Broadcast
    President Obama to Introduce Both Events

    LOS ANGELES, CA, April 4, 2012 – The American Film Institute (AFI), in conjunction with USA Network and Universal Pictures, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD at the White House on Thursday, April 5 and with the nation on Saturday, April 7. AFI was created in the White House Rose Garden in 1965, when President Lyndon B. Johnson set a national mandate to “bring together leading artists of the film industry, outstanding educators and young men and women who wish to pursue the art form as
    their life’s work.”

    President Obama will introduce the film at a special screening in the White House Family Theater with an audience that includes children from DC area schools as well as Mary Badham, who portrayed Scout in the film; Gregory Peck’s family, including wife Veronique; and AFI Trustees Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman of Sony Corporation, Ron Meyer, President and COO of Universal Studios and Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. President Obama will then celebrate the film with the nation through a special primetime broadcast on USA Network at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on April 7.

    "I'm deeply honored that President Obama will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by introducing it to a national audience," said Harper Lee, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel on which the movie is based. "I believe it remains the best translation of a book to film ever made, and I'm proud to know that Gregory Peck's portrayal of Atticus Finch lives on – in a world that needs him now more than ever."

    “TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is an American treasure – a film of family and fatherhood, justice and equality – all so richly embodied in the character of Atticus Finch," said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO. “We are honored to screen the film in the White House, where AFI was born, and to partner with USA Network and Universal Pictures to inspire generations of movie lovers to discover and rediscover this classic American film.”

    AFI proposed the anniversary celebration to the White House in early January and learned last month that President Obama would be available to participate on April 5 – a timely date as it marks the late Gregory Peck's 96th birthday. Peck had a long association with the American Film Institute, serving as Founding Chair of the AFI Board of Trustees from 1967 to 1969, and receiving the AFI Life Achievement Award – the highest honor for a career in film – in 1989.

    TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD ranks 25th on AFI’s 100 Years...100 Movies list of greatest American films, and AFI named Atticus Finch the greatest hero in this history of American film when it announced its AFI’s 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains list in 2003. AFI also recognized the film for its #1 ranking of Best Courtroom Dramas in AFI’s 10 Top 10 list and its #2 ranking on AFI’s 100 Years...100 Cheers America’s Most Inspiring Films list, just behind IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. The film, which premiered in Los Angeles on Christmas day in 1962 and opened wide in 1963, was directed by Robert Mulligan and produced by Alan J. Pakula.
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