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VOCABULARY LISTS
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 1,
Comprehensive List
April 2, 2017 By Joseph H. (CA)
This list contains (nearly) all of the words from the novel's rst chapter that are, in my estimation, likely
to be unfamiliar or unknown to any, many, or all of you. Keep this list at hand as you read Chapter 1 to
facilitate comprehension and to avoid those tedious and frequent ights to the dictionary that so often
spoil our time spent reading otherwise captivating texts, such as To Kill a Mockingbird.
When it healed, and Jem's fears of never being able to
play football were assuaged, he was seldom self-
conscious about his injury.
provide physical relief, as from pain
When it healed, and Jem's fears of never being able to
play football were assuaged, he was seldom self-
conscious about his injury.
not often
assuage
seldom
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I maintain that the Ewells started it all, but Jem, who
was four years my senior, said it started long before
that.
state categorically
I maintain that the Ewells started it all, but Jem, who
was four years my senior, said it started long before
that.
older; higher in rank; longer in length of tenure or service
I said if he wanted to take a broad view of the thing, it
really began with Andrew Jackson.
wide in scope or content
All we had was Simon Finch, a fur-trapping
apothecary from Cornwall whose piety was exceeded
only by his stinginess.
a health professional trained in the art of preparing drugs
maintain
senior
broad
apothecary
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All we had was Simon Finch, a fur-trapping
apothecary from Cornwall whose piety was exceeded
only by his stinginess.
righteousness by virtue of being pious
All we had was Simon Finch, a fur-trapping
apothecary from Cornwall whose piety was exceeded
only by his stinginess.
be or do something to a greater degree
In England, Simon was irritated by the persecution of
those who called themselves Methodists at the hands
of their more liberal brethren, and as Simon called
himself a Methodist, he worked his way across the
Atlantic to Philadelphia, thence to Jamaica, thence to
Mobile, and up the Saint Stephens.
aroused to impatience or anger
piety
exceed
irritated
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In England, Simon was irritated by the persecution of
those who called themselves Methodists at the hands
of their more liberal brethren, and as Simon called
himself a Methodist, he worked his way across the
Atlantic to Philadelphia, thence to Jamaica, thence to
Mobile, and up the Saint Stephens.
causing someone to suer
In England, Simon was irritated by the persecution of
those who called themselves Methodists at the hands
of their more liberal brethren, and as Simon called
himself a Methodist, he worked his way across the
Atlantic to Philadelphia, thence to Jamaica, thence to
Mobile, and up the Saint Stephens.
showing or characterized by broad-mindedness
In England, Simon was irritated by the persecution of
those who called themselves Methodists at the hands
of their more liberal brethren, and as Simon called
himself a Methodist, he worked his way across the
Atlantic to Philadelphia, thence to Jamaica, thence to
Mobile, and up the Saint Stephens.
the lay members of a male religious order
persecution
liberal
brethren
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Mindful of John Wesley's strictures on the use of
many words in buying and selling, Simon made a pile
practicing medicine, but in this pursuit he was
unhappy lest he be tempted into doing what he knew
was not for the glory of God, as the putting on of gold
and costly apparel.
severe criticism
Mindful of John Wesley's strictures on the use of many
words in buying and selling, Simon made a pile
practicing medicine, but in this pursuit he was
unhappy lest he be tempted into doing what he knew
was not for the glory of God, as the putting on of gold
and costly apparel.
a diversion that occupies one's time and thoughts
Mindful of John Wesley's strictures on the use of many
words in buying and selling, Simon made a pile
practicing medicine, but in this pursuit he was
unhappy lest he be tempted into doing what he knew
was not for the glory of God, as the putting on of gold
and costly apparel.
clothing in general
stricture
pursuit
apparel
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So Simon, having forgotten his teacher's dictum on
the possession of human chattels, bought three slaves
and with their aid established a homestead on the
banks of the Alabama River some forty miles above
Saint Stephens.
an authoritative declaration
So Simon, having forgotten his teacher's dictum on the
possession of human chattels, bought three slaves
and with their aid established a homestead on the
banks of the Alabama River some forty miles above
Saint Stephens.
a person; a hominid with a large brain and articulate speech
dictum
human
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So Simon, having forgotten his teacher's dictum on the
possession of human chattels, bought three slaves
and with their aid established a homestead on the
banks of the Alabama River some forty miles above
Saint Stephens.
Extended denition: "an item of tangible movable or
immovable property except real estate and things (as
buildings) connected with real property"; "slave,
bondman"
Example sentence: "Slaveholders who were determined
to hold on to their human chattel."
personal as opposed to real property
So Simon, having forgotten his teacher's dictum on the
possession of human chattels, bought three slaves
and with their aid established a homestead on the
banks of the Alabama River some forty miles above
Saint Stephens.
(I include this word to help you remember "chattel.")
a person who is owned by someone
chattel
slave
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So Simon, having forgotten his teacher's dictum on the
possession of human chattels, bought three slaves and
with their aid established a homestead on the banks
of the Alabama River some forty miles above Saint
Stephens.
the home and adjacent grounds occupied by a family
It was customary for the men in the family to remain
on Simon's homestead, Finch's Landing, and make
their living from cotton.
commonly used or practiced
The place was self-sucient: modest in comparison
with the empires around it, the Landing nevertheless
produced everything required to sustain life except ice,
wheat our, and articles of clothing, supplied by river-
boats from Mobile.
marked by simplicity; having a humble opinion of yourself
homestead
customary
modest
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The place was self-sucient: modest in comparison
with the empires around it, the Landing nevertheless
produced everything required to sustain life except ice,
wheat our, and articles of clothing, supplied by river-
boats from Mobile.
despite anything to the contrary
The place was self-sucient: modest in comparison
with the empires around it, the Landing nevertheless
produced everything required to sustain life except
ice, wheat our, and articles of clothing, supplied by
river-boats from Mobile.
supply with necessities and support
Simon would have regarded with impotent fury the
disturbance between the North and the South, as it left
his descendants stripped of everything but their land,
yet the tradition of living on the land remained
unbroken until well into the twentieth century, when
my father, Atticus Finch, went to Montgomery to read
law, and his younger brother went to Boston to study
medicine.
lacking power or ability
nevertheless
sustain
impotent
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Simon would have regarded with impotent fury the
disturbance between the North and the South, as it left
his descendants stripped of everything but their land,
yet the tradition of living on the land remained
unbroken until well into the twentieth century, when
my father, Atticus Finch, went to Montgomery to read
law, and his younger brother went to Boston to study
medicine.
a feeling of intense anger
Simon would have regarded with impotent fury the
disturbance between the North and the South, as it left
his descendants stripped of everything but their land,
yet the tradition of living on the land remained
unbroken until well into the twentieth century, when
my father, Atticus Finch, went to Montgomery to read
law, and his younger brother went to Boston to study
medicine.
remove all contents or possessions from, or empty completely
Their sister Alexandra was the Finch who remained at
the Landing: she married a taciturn man who spent
most of his time lying in a hammock by the river
wondering if his trot-lines were full.
habitually reserved and uncommunicative
fury
strip
taciturn
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Their sister Alexandra was the Finch who remained at
the Landing: she married a taciturn man who spent
most of his time lying in a hammock by the river
wondering if his trot-lines were full.
a hanging bed of canvas or rope netting
When my father was admitted to the bar, he returned
to Maycomb and began his practice.
allow to enter
When my father was admitted to the bar, he returned
to Maycomb and began his practice.
individuals qualied to practice law in a jurisdiction
Atticus's oce in the courthouse contained little more
than a hat rack, a spittoon, a checkerboard and an
unsullied Code of Alabama.
free from blemishes
hammock
admit
bar
unsullied
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Atticus had urged them to accept the state's
generosity in allowing them to plead Guilty to second-
degree murder and escape with their lives, but they
were Haverfords, in Maycomb County a name
synonymous with jackass.
a politically organized body under a single government
Atticus had urged them to accept the state's generosity
in allowing them to plead Guilty to second-degree
murder and escape with their lives, but they were
Haverfords, in Maycomb County a name synonymous
with jackass.
appeal or request earnestly
Atticus had urged them to accept the state's generosity
in allowing them to plead Guilty to second-degree
murder and escape with their lives, but they were
Haverfords, in Maycomb County a name
synonymous with jackass.
meaning the same or nearly the same
state
plead
synonymous
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The Haverfords had dispatched Maycomb's leading
blacksmith in a misunderstanding arising from the
alleged wrongful detention of a mare, were imprudent
enough to do it in the presence of three witnesses, and
insisted that the-son-of-a-bitch-had-it-coming-to-him
was a good enough defense for anybody.
killing a person or animal
The Haverfords had dispatched Maycomb's leading
blacksmith in a misunderstanding arising from the
alleged wrongful detention of a mare, were
imprudent enough to do it in the presence of three
witnesses, and insisted that the-son-of-a-bitch-had-it-
coming-to-him was a good enough defense for
anybody.
doubtful or suspect
The Haverfords had dispatched Maycomb's leading
blacksmith in a misunderstanding arising from the
alleged wrongful detention of a mare, were
imprudent enough to do it in the presence of three
witnesses, and insisted that the-son-of-a-bitch-had-it-
coming-to-him was a good enough defense for
anybody.
a state of being conned (usually for a short time)
dispatch
alleged
detention
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The Haverfords had dispatched Maycomb's leading
blacksmith in a misunderstanding arising from the
alleged wrongful detention of a mare, were imprudent
enough to do it in the presence of three witnesses, and
insisted that the-son-of-a-bitch-had-it-coming-to-him
was a good enough defense for anybody.
an adult female horse
The Haverfords had dispatched Maycomb's leading
blacksmith in a misunderstanding arising from the
alleged wrongful detention of a mare, were
imprudent enough to do it in the presence of three
witnesses, and insisted that the-son-of-a-bitch-had-it-
coming-to-him was a good enough defense for
anybody.
not wise
They persisted in pleading Not Guilty to rst-degree
murder, so there was nothing much Atticus could do
for his clients except be present at their departure, an
occasion that was probably the beginning of my
father's profound distaste for the practice of criminal
law.
situated at or extending to great depth
mare
imprudent
profound
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They persisted in pleading Not Guilty to rst-degree
murder, so there was nothing much Atticus could do
for his clients except be present at their departure, an
occasion that was probably the beginning of my
father's profound distaste for the practice of criminal
law.
a feeling of intense dislike
During his rst ve years in Maycomb, Atticus
practiced economy more than anything; for several
years thereafter he invested his earnings in his
brother's education.
frugality in the expenditure of money or resources
During his rst ve years in Maycomb, Atticus
practiced economy more than anything; for several
years thereafter he invested his earnings in his
brother's education.
lay out money or resources in an enterprise
distaste
economy
invest
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John Hale Finch was ten years younger than my father,
and chose to study medicine at a time when cotton
was not worth growing; but after getting Uncle Jack
started, Atticus derived a reasonable income from the
law.
(Here, a reasonble income is "formed or developed
from" the practice of law. The word "derivative" (from
"derive") is, outside of mathematics and banking [if is
even the same word! I don't care to check right now],
one does not likely want to hear applied to one's work.
Why?
formed or developed from something else; not original
Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suered on
a summer's day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts
icked ies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on
the square.
throw or toss with a quick motion
Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suered on
a summer's day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts
icked ies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on
the square.
excessively hot and humid; marked by sweating and faintness
derived
ick
sweltering
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Men's sti collars wilted by nine in the morning.
become limp
They ambled across the square, shued in and out of
the stores around it, took their time about everything.
walk leisurely
They ambled across the square, shued in and out
of the stores around it, took their time about
everything.
walk by dragging one's feet
But it was a time of vague optimism for some of the
people: Maycomb County had recently been told that
it had nothing to fear but fear itself.
lacking clarity or distinctness
wilt
amble
shue
vague
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Jem and I found our father satisfactory: he played with
us, read to us, and treated us with courteous
detachment.
characterized by courtesy and gracious good manners
Jem and I found our father satisfactory: he played with
us, read to us, and treated us with courteous
detachment.
lack of emotion or interest
She was all angles and bones; she was nearsighted;
she squinted; her hand was wide as a bed slat and
twice as hard.
partly close one's eyes, as when hit by direct light
Our battles were epic and one-sided. (I generally
loathe similar uses of the word " epic": "The game was
epic"; "The commercial was epic"; and worst of all, "
epic fail." Here, however, and decades before the word
became near meaningless slang for most speakers, Lee
give us an " epic win." Why the dierence?
suggestive of a narrative poem telling of a hero's deeds
courteous
detachment
squint
epic
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She had been with us ever since Jem was born, and I
had felt her tyrannical presence as long as I could
remember.
marked by unjust severity or arbitrary behavior
The Radley Place was inhabited by an unknown
entity the mere description of whom was enough to
make us behave for days on end; Mrs. Dubose was
plain hell.
live in; be a resident of
The Radley Place was inhabited by an unknown entity
the mere description of whom was enough to make us
behave for days on end; Mrs. Dubose was plain hell.
that which is perceived to have its own distinct existence
The Radley Place was inhabited by an unknown entity
the mere description of whom was enough to make
us behave for days on end; Mrs. Dubose was plain
hell.
being nothing more than specied
tyrannical
inhabit
entity
mere
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Early one morning as we were beginning our day's
play in the back yard, Jem and I heard something next
door in Miss Rachel Haverford's collard patch.
The collard patch is the part of the garden where
collard greens (rather than mustard greens and
turnips [for their greens]) are cultivated. Collard,
turnip, and mustard greens -- when you have these,
why on earth would you ever eat spinach? Yankees!
a small area of ground covered by specic vegetation
"Scout yonder's been readin' ever since she was born,
and she ain't even started to school yet. You look right
puny for goin' on seven."
distant but within sight
"Scout yonder's been readin' ever since she was born,
and she ain't even started to school yet. You look right
puny for goin' on seven."
of inferior size
patch
yonder
puny
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Jem scowled.
frown with displeasure
As he told us the old tale his blue eyes would lighten
and darken; his laugh was sudden and happy; he
habitually pulled at a cowlick in the center of his
forehead.
commonly used or practiced
As he told us the old tale his blue eyes would lighten
and darken; his laugh was sudden and happy; he
habitually pulled at a cowlick in the center of his
forehead.
a tuft of hair in a dierent direction from the rest
Thereafter the summer passed in routine
contentment.
happiness with one's situation in life
scowl
habitual
cowlick
contentment
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Routine contentment was: improving our treehouse
that rested between giant twin chinaberry trees in the
back yard, fussing, running through our list of
dramas based on the works of Oliver Optic, Victor
Appleton, and Edgar Rice Burroughs.
an excited state of agitation
He played the character parts formerly thrust upon
me- the ape in ®Tarzan,¯ Mr. Crabtree in ®The Rover
Boys,¯ Mr. Damon in ®Tom Swift.¯
at a previous time
He played the character parts formerly thrust upon
me- the ape in ®Tarzan,¯ Mr. Crabtree in ®The Rover
Boys,¯ Mr. Damon in ®Tom Swift.¯
push forcefully
Thus we came to know Dill as a pocket Merlin, whose
head teemed with eccentric plans, strange longings,
and quaint fancies.
from that fact or reason or as a result
fuss
formerly
thrust
thus
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Thus we came to know Dill as a pocket Merlin, whose
head teemed with eccentric plans, strange longings,
and quaint fancies.
be abuzz
Thus we came to know Dill as a pocket Merlin, whose
head teemed with eccentric plans, strange longings,
and quaint fancies.
conspicuously or grossly unconventional or unusual
Thus we came to know Dill as a pocket Merlin, whose
head teemed with eccentric plans, strange longings,
and quaint fancies.
attractively old-fashioned
Thus we came to know Dill as a pocket Merlin, whose
head teemed with eccentric plans, strange longings,
and quaint fancies.
not plain; decorative or ornamented
teem
eccentric
quaint
fancy
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But by the end of August our repertoire was vapid
from countless reproductions, and it was then that Dill
gave us the idea of making Boo Radley come out.
the range of skills in a particular eld or occupation
But by the end of August our repertoire was vapid
from countless reproductions, and it was then that Dill
gave us the idea of making Boo Radley come out.
lacking signicance or liveliness or spirit or zest
The Radley Place jutted into a sharp curve beyond
our house.
extend out or project in space
Rain-rotted shingles drooped over the eaves of the
veranda; oak trees kept the sun away.
a porch along the outside of a building
repertoire
vapid
jut
veranda
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The remains of a picket drunkenly guarded the front
yard- a "swept" yard that was never swept-where
johnson grass and rabbit-tobacco grew in
abundance.
the property of a more than adequate quantity or supply
Inside the house lived a malevolent phantom.
wishing or appearing to wish evil to others
Inside the house lived a malevolent phantom.
something existing in perception only
Any stealthy small crimes committed in Maycomb
were his work.
marked by quiet and caution and secrecy
abundance
malevolent
phantom
stealthy
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Once the town was terrorized by a series of morbid
nocturnal events: people's chickens and household
pets were found mutilated; although the culprit was
Crazy Addie, who eventually drowned himself in
Barker's Eddy, people still looked at the Radley Place,
unwilling to discard their initial suspicions.
suggesting the horror of death and decay
Once the town was terrorized by a series of morbid
nocturnal events: people's chickens and household
pets were found mutilated; although the culprit was
Crazy Addie, who eventually drowned himself in
Barker's Eddy, people still looked at the Radley Place,
unwilling to discard their initial suspicions.
belonging to or active during the night
Once the town was terrorized by a series of morbid
nocturnal events: people's chickens and household
pets were found mutilated; although the culprit was
Crazy Addie, who eventually drowned himself in
Barker's Eddy, people still looked at the Radley Place,
unwilling to discard their initial suspicions.
having a part of the body crippled or disabled
morbid
nocturnal
mutilated
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Once the town was terrorized by a series of morbid
nocturnal events: people's chickens and household
pets were found mutilated; although the culprit was
Crazy Addie, who eventually drowned himself in
Barker's Eddy, people still looked at the Radley Place,
unwilling to discard their initial suspicions.
someone or something responsible for harm or wrongdoing
The Maycomb school grounds adjoined the back of
the Radley lot; from the Radley chickenyard tall pecan
trees shook their fruit into the schoolyard, but the nuts
lay untouched by the children: Radley pecans would
kill you.
lie adjacent to another or share a boundary
The Radleys, welcome anywhere in town, kept to
themselves, a predilection unforgivable in Maycomb.
a predisposition in favor of something
culprit
adjoin
predilection
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They did not go to church, Maycomb's principal
recreation, but worshiped at home; Mrs. Radley
seldom if ever crossed the street for a mid-morning
coee break with her neighbors, and certainly never
joined a missionary circle.
someone sent on an assignment to a foreign country
Of all days Sunday was the day for formal afternoon
visiting: ladies wore corsets, men wore coats, children
wore shoes.
in accord with established conventions and requirements
According to neighborhood legend, when the younger
Radley boy was in his teens he became acquainted
with some of the Cunninghams from Old Sarum, an
enormous and confusing tribe domiciled in the
northern part of the county, and they formed the
nearest thing to a gang ever seen in Maycomb.
having fair knowledge of
missionary
formal
acquainted
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According to neighborhood legend, when the younger
Radley boy was in his teens he became acquainted
with some of the Cunninghams from Old Sarum, an
enormous and confusing tribe domiciled in the
northern part of the county, and they formed the
nearest thing to a gang ever seen in Maycomb.
housing that someone is living in
They did little, but enough to be discussed by the town
and publicly warned from three pulpits: they hung
around the barbershop; they rode the bus to
Abbottsville on Sundays and went to the picture show;
they attended dances at the county's riverside
gambling hell, the Dew-Drop Inn & Fishing Camp; they
experimented with stumphole whiskey.
a platform raised to give prominence to the person on it
The town decided something had to be done; Mr.
Conner said he knew who each and every one of them
was, and he was bound and determined they wouldn't
get away with it, so the boys came before the probate
judge on charges of disorderly conduct, disturbing the
peace, assault and battery, and using abusive and
profane language in the presence and hearing of a
female.
proof that a will was properly signed and executed
domicile
pulpit
probate
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The town decided something had to be done; Mr.
Conner said he knew who each and every one of them
was, and he was bound and determined they wouldn't
get away with it, so the boys came before the probate
judge on charges of disorderly conduct, disturbing the
peace, assault and battery, and using abusive and
profane language in the presence and hearing of a
female.
grossly irreverent toward what is held to be sacred
So Jem received most of his information from Miss
Stephanie Crawford, a neighborhood scold, who said
she knew the whole thing.
censure severely or angrily
As Mr. Radley passed by, Boo drove the scissors into
his parent's leg, pulled them out, wiped them on his
pants, and resumed his activities.
breathe noisily, as when one is exhausted
profane
scold
pant
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Miss Stephanie said old Mr. Radley said no Radley was
going to any asylum, when it was suggested that a
season in Tuscaloosa might be helpful to Boo.
a shelter from danger or hardship
It was all right to shut him up, Mr. Radley conceded,
but insisted that Boo not be charged with anything: he
was not a criminal.
give over
Boo's transition from the basement to back home was
nebulous in Jem's memory.
lacking denite form or limits
Miss Stephanie Crawford said some of the town
council told Mr. Radley that if he didn't take Boo
back, Boo would die of mold from the damp.
a body serving in an administrative capacity
asylum
concede
nebulous
council
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Nobody knew what form of intimidation Mr. Radley
employed to keep Boo out of sight, but Jem gured
that Mr. Radley kept him chained to the bed most of
the time.
the act of scaring a weaker person to make them do something
Mr. Radley's elder son lived in Pensacola; he came
home at Christmas, and he was one of the few persons
we ever saw enter or leave the place.
a person of more advanced age
But there came a day when Atticus told us he'd wear
us out if we made any noise in the yard and
commissioned Calpurnia to serve in his absence if
she heard a sound out of us.
the act of granting authority to undertake certain functions
Wooden sawhorses blocked the road at each end of
the Radley lot, straw was put down on the sidewalk,
trac was diverted to the back street.
turn aside; turn away from
intimidation
elder
commission
divert
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Jem and I crept around the yard for days.
move slowly
"There goes the meanest man ever God blew breath
into," murmured Calpurnia, and she spat meditatively
into the yard.
a quarrel about petty points
"There goes the meanest man ever God blew breath
into," murmured Calpurnia, and she spat meditatively
into the yard.
deeply or seriously thoughtful
In all his life, Jem had never declined a dare.
grow worse
creep
spat
meditative
decline
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I suppose he loved honor more than his head, for Dill
wore him down easily: "You're scared," Dill said, the
rst day.
made afraid
Jem said he reckoned he wasn't, he'd passed the
Radley Place every school day of his life.
expect, believe, or suppose
"Don't blame me when he gouges your eyes out. You
started it, remember."
an impression in a surface, as made by a blow
landed unhurt, and his sense of responsibility left him
until confronted by the Radley Place.
oppose, as in hostility or a competition
scared
reckon
gouge
confront
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Jem stood in thought so long that Dill made a mild
concession: "I won't say you ran out on a dare an' I'll
swap you The Gray Ghost-
if you just go up and touch the house."
the act of yielding
"He'll probably come out after you when he sees you
in the yard, then Scout'n' me'll jump on him and hold
him down till we can tell him we ain't gonna hurt
him."
work land as by ploughing to make it ready for cultivation
He walked to the corner of the lot, then back again,
studying the simple terrain as if deciding how best to
eect an entry, frowning and scratching his head.
a piece of ground having specic characteristics
He walked to the corner of the lot, then back again,
studying the simple terrain as if deciding how best to
eect an entry, frowning and scratching his head.
a phenomenon that is caused by some previous phenomenon
concession
till
terrain
eect
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He walked to the corner of the lot, then back again,
studying the simple terrain as if deciding how best to
eect an entry, frowning and scratching his head.
the act of going in
Jem threw open the gate and sped to the side of the
house, slapped it with his palm and ran back past us,
not waiting to see if his foray was successful.
a sudden short attack
entry
foray