"The Catcher in the Rye," Vocabulary from Chapters 12-16 40 words

As you read J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye," you'll discover that Holden used more words than just "phony." To learn more of Holden's vocabulary, play these word lists: Chapters 1-5, Chapters 6-11, Chapters 12-16, Chapters 17-21, and Chapters 22-26.
  1. touchy
    quick to take offense
    I stopped having a conversation with him, if he was going to get so damn touchy about it.
  2. pore
    any small opening in the skin or outer surface of an animal
    They got their pores open the whole time.
  3. fare
    the sum charged for riding in a public conveyance
    When I got out in front of Ernie's and paid the fare, old Horwitz brought up the fish again.
  4. ripple
    (electronics) an oscillation of small amplitude imposed on top of a steady value
    He was putting all these dumb, show-offy ripples in the high notes, and a lot of other very tricky stuff that gives me a pain in the ass.
  5. humble
    marked by meekness or modesty; not arrogant or prideful
    Anyway, when he was finished, and everybody was clapping their heads off, old Ernie turned around on his stool and gave this very phony, humble bow.
  6. marvelous
    extraordinarily good or great ; used especially as intensifiers
    "How marvelous to see you!" old Lillian Simmons said.
  7. crooked
    not straight; dishonest or immoral or evasive
    Then, instead of saying, "You're goddam right I am, you dirty crooked bastard!" all I probably would've said would be, "All I know is my goddam gloves were in your goddam galoshes."
  8. nonchalant
    marked by blithe unconcern
    I just got very cool and nonchalant.
  9. principle
    rule of personal conduct
    It was against my principles and all, but I was feeling so depressed I didn't even think.
  10. virginity
    the condition or quality of being a virgin
    I've had quite a few opportunities to lose my virginity and all, but I've never got around to it yet.
  11. passionate
    having or expressing strong emotions
    You take a girl when she really gets passionate, she just hasn't any brains.
  12. sophisticated
    having or appealing to those having worldly knowledge and refinement and savoir-faire
    I read this book once, at the Whooton School, that had this very sophisticated, suave, sexy guy in it.
  13. chateau
    an impressive country house (or castle) in France
    He had this big ch√Ęteau and all on the Riviera, in Europe, and all he did in his spare time was beat women off with a club.
  14. canal
    a bodily passage or tube lined with epithelial cells and conveying a secretion or other substance
    "Well, actually, it's in the spinal canal."
  15. recuperate
    get over an illness or shock
    "I'm still recuperating," I told her.
  16. seldom
    not often
    "I go to the movies as seldom as I can."
  17. premature
    too soon or too hasty
    I was a little premature in my calculations.
  18. atheist
    someone who denies the existence of god
    In the first place, I'm sort of an atheist.
  19. disciple
    someone who believes and helps to spread the doctrine of another
    Take the Disciples, for instance.
  20. lunatic
    an insane person
    If you want to know the truth, the guy I like best in the Bible, next to Jesus, was that lunatic and all, that lived in the tombs and kept cutting himself with stones.
  21. betray
    disappoint, prove undependable to; abandon, forsake
    I remember I asked old Childs if he thought Judas, the one that betrayed Jesus and all, went to Hell after he committed suicide.
  22. chisel
    engage in deceitful behavior; practice trickery or fraud
    "You're trying to chisel me."
  23. steady
    make steady
    Now I was on the way to the bathroom to get a good shot of bourbon or something to steady my nerves and help me really go into action.
  24. trickle
    run or flow slowly, as in drops or in an unsteady stream
    I'd hold onto the banister and all, with this blood trickling out of the side of my mouth a little at a time.
  25. gory
    covered with blood
    I didn't want a bunch of stupid rubbernecks looking at me when I was all gory.
  26. cadet
    a military trainee (as at a military academy)
    Then she told me about some other guy, some West Point cadet, that was cutting his throat over her too.
  27. spendthrift
    someone who spends money prodigally
    I'm a goddam spendthrift at heart.
  28. invest
    make an investment
    Another reason I know he's quite well off, he's always investing money in shows on Broadway.
  29. convent
    a religious residence especially for nuns
    While I was eating my eggs, these two nuns with suitcases and all--I guessed they were moving to another convent or something and were waiting for a train--came in and sat down next to me at the counter.
  30. genuine
    not fake or counterfeit
    They were these very inexpensive-looking suitcases--the ones that aren't genuine leather or anything.
  31. inferiority
    an inferior quality
    What I did, I finally put my suitcases under my bed, instead of on the rack, so that old Slagle wouldn't get a goddam inferiority complex about it.
  32. complex
    (psychoanalysis) a combination of emotions and impulses that have been rejected from awareness but still influence a person's behavior
    What I did, I finally put my suitcases under my bed, instead of on the rack, so that old Slagle wouldn't get a goddam inferiority complex about it.
  33. bourgeois
    conforming to the standards and conventions of the middle class
    He kept saying they were too new and bourgeois.
  34. spoil
    make a mess of, destroy or ruin
    It wouldn't have spoiled the conversation if they had, but it would've been different, probably.
  35. mushy
    effusively or insincerely emotional
    She sings it very Dixieland and whorehouse, and it doesn't sound at all mushy.
  36. depress
    lower someone's spirits; make downhearted
    I can understand somebody going to the movies because there's nothing else to do, but when somebody really wants to go, and even walks fast so as to get there quicker, then it depresses hell out of me.
  37. rave
    praise enthusiastically
    They're not as bad as movies, but they're certainly nothing to rave about.
  38. holster
    a sheath (usually leather) for carrying a handgun
    While the father kept giving him a lot of advice, old Ophelia was sort of horsing around with her brother, taking his dagger out of the holster, and teasing him and all while he was trying to look interested in the bull his father was shooting.
  39. mutiny
    engage in a mutiny against an authority
    They were always showing Columbus discovering America, having one helluva time getting old Ferdinand and Isabella to lend him the dough to buy ships with, and then the sailors mutinying on him and all.
  40. squaw
    an American Indian woman
    Then you'd pass by this big glass case, with Indians inside it rubbing sticks together to make a fire, and a squaw weaving a blanket.