dimanche 28 novembre 2010

On the Road Vocabulary

This is a list of new words that I found in Jack Kerouac's On the Road, in order of apparition:

1. Jalopy
Meaning: an old car in dilapidated condition.
Context: "Dean is the perfect guy for the road because he actually was born on the road, when his parents were passing through Salt Lake City in 1926, in a jalopy, on they way to Los Angeles.

2. Stultified
Meaning: bored or enervated, foolish or absurd.
Context: ...because my life hanging around the campus had reached the completion of its cycle and was stultified...

3. Haze
Meaning: i) a slight obscuration of the lower atmosphere, typically caused by fine suspended particles. ii) a state of obscurity or confusion: through an alcoholic haze.
Context: And here for the first time in my life, I saw my beloved Mississippi River, dry in the summer haze, low water, with its big rank smell that smells like the body of America itself because it washes up.

4. Hotrod
Meaning: a motor vehicle that has been specially modified to give it extra power and speed.
Context: A hotrod kid came by with his scarf flying.

5. Dismal
Meaning: i) causing or showing gloom or depression; dreary. ii) pitifully or disgracefully bad.
Context: ...it was only cute suburban cottages of one damn kind and another, all laid out in the dismal gray dawn.

6. Rawhide
Context: ...here came this rawhide oldtimer Nebraska farmer...

7. Forlornly
Meaning: i) pitifully sad and lonely. ii) unlikely to succeed or be fulfilled.
Context: Here Eddie stood forlornly in the road in front of a staring bunch of short, squat Omaha Indians who had nowhere to go and nothing to do.

8. Rickety
Meaning: Poorly made and likely to collapse.
Context: I bought cough drops in a rickety Indian store of some kind.

9. Howl
Meaning: i) a long doleful cry uttered by an animal such as a dog. a loud cry of pain, amusement, etc. ii) verb; make a howling sound.
Context: The train howled off across the plains in the direction of our desires.

10. Burlap
Meaning: coarse canvas woven from jute or hemp, used for sacking.
Context: ...and sleeping on some gilt wagon on a bed of burlap.

11. Contraption
Meaning: a machine or device that appears strange or unnecessarily complicated.
Context: A funny old contraption rolled by, driven by an old man...

12. Bumpkin
Definition: an unsophisticated country person.
Context: ...the most smiling, cheerful couple of handsome bumpkins you could ever wish to see, both wearing cotton shirts and overalls, nothing else...

13. Sardonic
Definition: grimly mocking or cynical.
Context: Montana Slim spoke to them occasionally with a sardonic and insinuating smile.

14. Disconsolate
Definition: very unhappy and unable to be comforted.
Context: when we all got back, they were still sitting in the truck, forlorn and disconsolate.

15. Somersault
Definition: i) an acrobatic movement in which a person turns head over heels in the air or on the ground and finishes on their feet. ii) a dramatic upset or reversal of policy or opinion.
Context: ...the truck bounced and teetered from one side of the road to the other [...] and I thought we'd all take a somersault.

16. Squander
Definition: waste in a reckless or foolish manner.
Context: They had no cigarettes. I squandered my pack on them, I loved them so.

17. Lanky
Definition: ungracefully thin and tall.
Context: ...tall lanky men in jeans clustered in the dim light like moths on the desert...

18. Lull
Definition: a temporary period of quiet or inactivity.
Context: There was a lull when we came in.

19. Tarpaulin
Definition: heavy-duty waterproof cloth, originally of tarred canvas.
Context: ...the best thing to do now was for all of us to bundle up under the big tarpaulin or we'd freeze.

20. Glorying
Definition: take great pride or pleasure in.
Context: Flat on my back, I stared straight up at the magnificent firmament, glorying in the time I was making, in how far I had come...

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