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Mr. S' Swiss Bank Account


First Vocabulary Unit for Great Expectations

Mr. Sullivan

English II


1) page 6 reproach; n. strong blame, rebuke.

2) page 7 connubial; adj, pertaining to marriage state. (Pip is in the middle, too, of this marriage.)

3) page 8 larceny; n. act of taking someone's property w/out permission.

4) page 8 trenchant; adj. forceful and effective.

5) page 8 dexterity; n. skill in use of the hands or body.

6) page 9 conscience; n. the faculty of recognizing the distinction between right and wrong in regard to one's conduct.

7) page 9 freemasonry; n. spontaneous fellowship among a group of people. Here fellow suffers of Mrs. Joe. Remember this fraternal order in Poe's short story Cask?

8) page 12 interlocuter; n. participant in a conversation.

9) page 25 indignation; n. anger aroused by something unjust, unfair or mean.

10) page 25 abhorrence; n. extreme disgust, loathing.

11) page 29 fugitive; adj. running or fleeing from the law. Have you heard of a fugue in music? It's literally one note running away from another.

12) page 37 exonerated; v. to free from blame. [Latin: ex = off onus = burden]

13) page 37 dregs; n. the sediment of a liquid.

14) page 40 purblind; adj. having poor vision.

15) page 42 perspicuity; n. state of clarity, lucid. [per = through & spicere = to see]

16) page 43 sagaciously; adv. wisely. A sage is a wise person.

17) page 49 farinaceous; adj. rich in or consisting of starch.

18) page 50 penitential; adj. pertaining to penitence (feeling of remorse for past deed).

19) page 54 sullen; adj. showing a brooding ill humor or remorse. [solus = alone]

20) page 57 capricious (12 lines from bottom; underline); adj. unpredictable, whimsical or fickle.

21) page 59 contemptuously; adv. laughing here with scorn.

22) page 60 ignominious; adj. characterized by great shame or humiliation.

23) page 61 obstinacy; n. state of stubbornness; see also obstinate on page 54.

24) page 64 rumination; n. the process of meditating. To ruminate means to chew cud (something regurgitated, tobacco, for example.) Rumen means throat or first stomach in Latin. Chewing something slowly exhibits the nonverbal characteristics of meditation. Does this explain the strange popularity of cows in our pop culture?

25) page 73 superciliously; adj. characterized by haughty scorn; disdainful. Interesting Latin roots here: cilium = eyelid and super = above. Think of the expression browbeating here.

NB: adamantine on page 61 refers to a legendary stone (adamant, which is a noun and an adj.) believed to be impenetrable.



Second Vocabulary Unit for Great Expectations

English II

1) p. 81/87: melancholy; n. sadness or gloom. Melas = black and chole = bile.

2) p. 81: countenance; n. expression on a face.

3) p. 84: sanguinary; adj. bloody. Sanguine is a more common form of this word. Sanguis is blood in Latin and blood was an important humor in the middle ages.

4) p.86: trepidation; n. apprehension, dread, anxious.

5) p. 87: apprenticed; v. to learn a trade. Think of the word apprehend, which is to seize something; in this case, one is seizing knowledge.

6) p. 89: depreciatory; adj. diminishing in value.

7) p. 89: imbecility; n. great foolishness.

8) p. 92: augur; v. to predict the future.

9) p. 92: ostentatiously; adv. pretentious or showy.

10) p. 96: mollified; v. to placate. Remember an early word, assuage?

11) p. 96: abject ("abject hypocrite"); adj. of the most miserable kind.

12) p. 97: diabolical; adj. wicked, satanic or devilish.

13) p. 98: inscrutably; adv. difficulty in understanding.

14) p. 98: liable; adj. legally obligated.

15) p. 98: vagaries; n. erratic ideas. Vagus = wandering in Latin. Now, think of what you know about Pip and his bond with respect to his papers/indentures. Thus, a vagabond is someone without a home, someone unbonded.

16) p. 99: ungracious; adj. lacking grace; evil; rude.

17) p. 104: cordiality; n. state of warmth or sincerity. Remember (cor = heart) in Cather's Paul's Case?

18) p. 104: swarthy; adj. having a dark color or complexion.

19) p. 104: morose; adj. sullen melancholy. How many ways can Dickens describe sadness and guilt? Let's keep counting.

20) p. 104: maudlin; adj. tearful. This word derives from an alteration of Mary Magdalen's name. Who was this effusively tearful woman? Did she cry because she could not read Dickens with us?

21) p. 113: inference; n. act of making a conclusion from facts.

22) p. 117: spectre (American spelling: specter) spectre; n. phantom or ghost.

23) p. 124: perplexities; n. state of being puzzled.

24) p. 125: imbrued (more details describing eyebrows!): imbrue; v. to stain or saturate.



Third Vocabulary Unit for Great Expectations

English II


1. p. 131: inclination; n. an attitude towards something.

2. p. 137: sublime; adj. (here) impressive, inspiring awe.

3. p. 138: monotonous; adj. sounds emitted at a single pitch.

4. p. 141: audacity; n. boldness, daring. (Audere not audire)

5. p. 144: lauded; v. to give praise to, glorify.

6. p. 145: amalgamation; n. a consolidation.

7. p. 146: circuitously; adj. lengthy course.

8. p. 159: alleviated; v. to make more bearable, reduce.

9. p. 161: doleful; adj. filled with or expressing grief.

10. p. 163: acquiesced; v. to comply passively or without protest.

11. p. 164: languor; n. lack of physical or mental energy.

12. p. 165: avaricious; adj. extreme desire for wealth.

13. p. 168: inveterate; firmly established by long standing, deep-rooted. (vetus = old: think of the word veteran).

14. p. 171: shod; v. to fit with shoes. In this case Dickens means horse shoes. It's actually the past tense and past participle of the verb shoe.

15. p. 176: plebeian; adj. vulgar or common; characteristic of lower/working class. Do you know what they call first year students (plebeian as a noun in this case) at West Point and the Navel Academy?

16. p. 181: billeted; v. to assign lodging (usually soldiers).

17. p. 182: amiable; adj. cordial, congenial.

18. p. 182: odious; adj. extreme hatred; abhorrent.

19. p. 183: rudiments; n. fundamental elements.

20. p. 183: zealous; adj. fervent, filled with extreme diligence or emotion.

21. p. 184: ludicrous; adj. laughable because of an obvious absurdity.

22. p. 188: rapture; here a n. an expression of ecstatic feeling. rapere is to seize in Latin. Keep that in mind the next time you watch Jurassic Park.

23. p. 189: amphibious; adj. living or operating on both land and water. (amphi = both; bio = life.)

24. p. 194: felonious; adj. criminal or wicked. Ouch: did you know that fel is Latin for bile? Chol, from melancholy, was our last root for bile.

25. p. 199: chaff: n. finely cut straw/wheat; trivial matter.

26. p. 201: surly; adj. gruff or ill-humored.



Fourth Vocabulary Unit for Great Expectations

1. p. 205: provincial; here an adj. pertaining to or characteristic of the provinces. Can also be used as a way of describing a narrow perspective.

2. p. 205: solemnity; n. state of seriousness, grave.

3. p. 207: afflicted; v. cause physical or mental suffering.

4. p. 208: cravat; n. necktie or scarf wrapped around the neck. Ouch, great etymology here: cravat stems from Croatian; the French adapted this word when Croatian mercenaries served in the French Army. The French word then found its way into English Fashion.

5. p. 210: pretense (American spelling is pretense); n. a false appearance.

6. p. 211: bludgeon; n. a short, heavy club, usually of wood.

7. p. 212: pernicious; adj. deadly or dangerous

8. p. 212: acuteness; adj. here. It is means to react sensitively. Note how learning about the origins of his money disgusts Pip.

9. p. 213: lethargic; adj. sluggish, sleepy, apathy. Lethe was the river in Greek Mythology that one crossed and forgot memories of being human. Thus, in a poetic way, a river runs through this word.

10. p. 214: execrated; to curse, to declare to hate. Slow down and separate the roots here. ex for out of and sacere (consecrate) to make holy. Thus, to extract the holy.

11. p. 216: loitered; v. to linger aimlessly.

12. p. 216: sinewy; adj. strong or vigorous.

13. p. 217: retort; n. here. A counter argument.

14. p. 223: ravenous; adj. extremely hungry, voracious, greedy. Dickens describes Miss Havisham grabbing Estella's arm in terms of ravenous. Recall Jaggers doing the same with Molly.

15. p. 223: vehemence; n. A state of passion or strong emotion.

16. p. 232: "mouth of a gift horse"; phrase connected with the old way of checking out a horse's health. One would check the teeth in order to get a quick check of the horse--ouch, horse power--health. Now, we should update it and say: "don't look at a gift computer's harddrive...don't look under a gift car? Get the idea?

17. p. 236: probable; adj. likely to be true.

18. p. 236: derisively; adv. mocking; scoffing. If one were to wear a mock turtleneck or even a mock turtleneck with a zipper instead of a full turtleneck for our dress code standards, one's mock turtleneck could be viewed as a derisive garment because it violates the spirit of the dress code.

19. p. 240: bereft; adj. lacking or deprived of something.

20. p. 245: facetious; adj. jocular or playful.

21. p. 248: insinuation; the act of introducing an idea gradually and insidiously. Here Estella is telling Pip that the people at Satis house are gradually saying bad things about Pip in his absence.

22. p. 250: intercourse; n. here: it is a deep communication between two people.

23. p. 253: sovereign; adj here, modifying remedy: supreme.

24. p. 254: incongruous; adj disagreeing parts, inconsistent.

25. p. 255: despondent; adj. feeling dejection, depressed.