"The Catcher in the Rye," Vocabulary from Chapters 17-21 30 words

You'll discover that Holden used more words than just "phony" by playing this word list based on J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye"

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. raspy
    unpleasantly harsh or grating in sound
    He had one of these very raspy voices, and he never stopped talking, practically.
  2. seductive
    tending to entice into a desired action or state
    At first she didn't want to, because she had her lipstick on and all, but I was being seductive as hell and she didn't have any alternative.
  3. blase
    nonchalantly unconcerned
    He was with some gorgeous blonde, and the two of them were trying to be very blasé and all, like as if he didn't even know people were looking at him.
  4. nauseate
    cause aversion in; offend the moral sense of
    It was nauseating.
  5. hesitate
    pause or hold back in uncertainty or unwillingness
    He didn't hesitate to horn in on my date, the bastard.
  6. criticize
    find fault with; express criticism of; point out real or perceived flaws
    I could see them all sitting around in some bar, with their goddam checkered vests, criticizing shows and books and women in those tired, snobby voices.
  7. brutal
    (of persons or their actions) able or disposed to inflict pain or suffering
    It was brutal.
  8. clique
    an exclusive circle of people with a common purpose
    "It's full of phonies, and all you do is study so that you can learn enough to be smart enough to be able to buy a goddam Cadillac some day, and you have to keep making believe you give a damn if the football team loses, and all you do is talk about girls and liquor and sex all day, and everybody sticks together in these dirty little goddam cliques."
  9. brook
    a natural stream of water smaller than a river (and often a tributary of a river)
    Then, when the dough runs out, I could get a job somewhere and we could live somewhere with a brook and all and, later on, we could get married or something.
  10. precision
    the quality of being reproducible in amount or performance
    "That's precision."
  11. sacrilegious
    grossly irreverent toward what is held to be sacred
    Sally said I was a sacrilegious atheist.
  12. bitter
    marked by strong resentment or cynicism
    He's a very bitter guy, the brother, because he was a doctor in the war and now he can't operate any more because his nerves are shot, so he boozes all the time, but he's pretty witty and all.
  13. fiancee
    a woman who is engaged to be married
    Marcia was Alec's fiancée before he lost his memory, and she recognizes him when he's in this store autographing books.
  14. noble
    having or showing or indicative of high or elevated character
    She's very noble and all.
  15. furlough
    a temporary leave of absence from military duty
    I was practically a child at the time, but I remember when he used to come home on furlough and all, all he did was lie on his bed, practically.
  16. lieutenant
    a commissioned military officer
    It had this guy in it named Lieutenant Henry that was supposed to be a nice guy and all.
  17. impression
    a clear and telling mental image
    She'd say, "And now we like to geeve you our impression of Vooly Voo Fransay."
  18. aristocratic
    belonging to or characteristic of the nobility or aristocracy
    He kept telling her she had aristocratic hands.
  19. flit
    move along rapidly and lightly; skim or dart
    "Flit" is used as a noun in this case to describe girls who go around from place to place.
    The other end of the bar was full of flits.
  20. trait
    a distinguishing feature of your personal nature
    He said you could turn into one practically overnight, if you had all the traits and all.
  21. typical
    exhibiting the qualities or characteristics that identify a group or kind or category
    "Is this going to be a typical Caulfield conversation?
  22. pursue
    carry out or participate in an activity; be involved in
    If she was decent and nice enough to let you--" "Must we pursue this horrible trend of thought?"
  23. trend
    a general direction in which something tends to move
    If she was decent and nice enough to let you--" "Must we pursue this horrible trend of thought?"
  24. inane
    devoid of intelligence
    "Must we go on with this inane conversation?"
  25. psychoanalysis
    a set of techniques for exploring underlying motives and a method of treating various mental disorders; based on the theories of Sigmund Freud
    I'm not giving an elementary course in psychoanalysis.
  26. boisterous
    noisy and lacking in restraint or discipline
    The one thing I did, though, I was careful as hell not to get boisterous or anything.
  27. probable
    likely but not certain to be or become true or real
    "It's highly probable," he said.
  28. equipment
    an instrumentality needed for an undertaking or to perform a service
    I kept picturing her not knowing what to do with all my suits and athletic equipment and all.
  29. foyer
    a large entrance or reception room or area
    It was dark as hell in the foyer, naturally, and naturally I couldn't turn on any lights.
  30. adhesive
    tending to adhere
    I noticed she had this big hunk of adhesive tape on her elbow.