WORD LISTS

"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," Vocabulary from Chapters 1-6

October 22, 2013
As you read Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,"
learn these word lists for the autobiography: Chapters 1-6, Chapters 7-14, Chapters 15-20, Chapters 21-24, Chapters 25-30, Chapters 31-36
musty
When I was three and Bailey four, we had arrived in the musty little town, wearing tags on our wrists which instructed—“To Whom It May Concern”—that we were Marguerite and Bailey Johnson Jr., from Long Beach, California, en route to Stamps, Arkansas, c/o Mrs. Annie Henderson.
porter
A porter had been charged with our welfare—he got off the train the next day in Arizona—and our tickets were pinned to my brother’s inside coat pocket.
segregated
I don’t remember much of the trip, but after we reached the segregated southern part of the journey, things must have looked up.
ply
Negro passengers, who always traveled with loaded lunch boxes, felt sorry for “the poor little motherless darlings” and plied us with cold fried chicken and potato salad.
affluent
Years later I discovered that the United States had been crossed thousands of times by frightened Black children traveling alone to their newly affluent parents in Northern cities, or back to grandmothers in Southern towns when the urban North reneged on its economic promises.
renege
Years later I discovered that the United States had been crossed thousands of times by frightened Black children traveling alone to their newly affluent parents in Northern cities, or back to grandmothers in Southern towns when the urban North reneged on its economic promises.
troubadour
On Saturdays, barbers sat their customers in the shade on the porch of the Store, and troubadours on their ceaseless crawlings through the South leaned across its benches and sang their sad songs of The Brazos while they played juice harps and cigar-box guitars.
lye
Before she had quite arisen, she called our names and issued orders, and pushed her large feet into homemade slippers and across the bare lye-washed wooden floor to light the coal-oil lamp.
inordinate
In later years I was to confront the stereotyped picture of gay song-singing cotton pickers with such inordinate rage that I was told even by fellow Blacks that my paranoia was embarrassing.
wince
I winced to picture them sewing the coarse material under a coal-oil lamp with fingers stiffening from the day’s work.
abacus
When Bailey was six and I a year younger, we used to rattle off the times tables with the speed I was later to see Chinese children in San Francisco employ on their abacuses.
rancor
She seemed to hold no rancor against the babysitter, nor for her just God who allowed the accident.
nonchalance
His nonchalance was meant to convey his authority and power over even dumb animals.
abomination
The ugliness and rottenness of old abominations.
aghast
Aghast, the ladies would ask, “Die?
clabber
We wiped the dust from our toes and settled down for schoolwork, corn-bread, clabbered milk, prayers and bed, always in that order.
appellation
All adults had to be addressed as Mister, Missus, Miss, Auntie, Cousin, Unk, Uncle, Buhbah, Sister, Brother and a thousand other appellations indicating familial relationship and the lowliness of the addressor.
smidgen
Nobody with a smidgen of training, not even the worst roustabout, would look right in a grown person’s face.
indignity
What new indignity would they think of to subject her to?
filch
Because of the kinds of news we filched from those hushed conversations, I was convinced that whenever Reverend Thomas came and Momma sent us to the back room they were going to discuss whitefolks and “doing it.”
hominy
Eggs over easy, fried potatoes and onions, yellow hominy and crisp perch fried so hard we would pop them in our mouths and chew bones, fins and all.
ordain
But on the Sundays when Reverend Thomas preached, it was ordained that we occupy the first row, called the mourners’ bench.
aversion
So my interest in the service’s potential and my aversion to Reverend Thomas caused me to turn him off.
savior
Our savior came for neither of these reasons, but because Bailey yelled so loud and disturbed what was left of the service, the minister’s wife came out and asked Uncle Willie to quiet us down.
hysteria
Laughter so easily turns to hysteria for imaginative children.

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Wednesday October 30th 2013, 2:39 AM
Comment by: dariusz M. (Poland)
I love the way you are running visual thesaurus!
Friday November 8th 2013, 11:04 AM
Comment by: david P.
idk about this book

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