a familiar name for a person (often a shortened version of a person's given name)
In fact, even in their absence they could not be spoken of too harshly unless we used the sobriquet “They.”
uneasiness about the fitness of an action
The Depression must have hit the white section of Stamps with cyclonic impact, but it seeped into the Black area slowly, like a thief with misgivings.
violent pangs of suffering
The country had been in the throes of the Depression for two years before the Negroes in Stamps knew it.
very unhappy; full of misery
A wretched feeling of being torn engulfed me.
ostentatiously lofty in style
But Uncle Willie was suffering under our father’s bombastic pressure, and in mother-bird fashion Momma was more concerned with her crippled offspring than the one who could fly away from the nest.
deeply or seriously thoughtful
I don’t think she ever knew that a deep-brooding love hung over everything she touched.
troubled persistently especially with petty annoyances
I was certainly very vexed with Bailey.
spectacles clipped to the nose by a spring
Her white skin and the pince-nez that she dramatically took from her nose and let hang free on a chain pinned to her dress were factors that brought her a great deal of respect.
lightening a penalty or excusing from a chore by judges or parents or teachers
She most often got them leniency, and they always brought in the vote.
the articulation of speech regarded from the point of view of its intelligibility to the audience
St. Louis teachers, on the other hand, tended to act very strictly, and talked down to their students from the lofty heights of education and whitefolks’ enunciation.
not to be placated or appeased or moved by entreaty
Their jobs and their family set them apart, but they were best known for their unrelenting meanness.
There was no police investigation nor social reprobation.
characterized by profanity or cursing
He strung ordinary sentences together and they came out sounding either like the most profane curses or like comical poetry.
disarrange or rumple; dishevel
She was so pretty and so quick that even when she had just awakened, her eyes full of sleep and hair tousled, I thought she looked just like the Virgin Mary.
censure severely or angrily
I was called Old Lady and chided for moving and talking like winter’s molasses.
horrible in fierceness or savagery
Because of the lurid tales we read and our vivid imaginations and, probably, memories of our brief but hectic lives, Bailey and I were afflicted—he physically and I mentally.
mentally upset over possible misfortune or danger etc
I wasn’t afraid, a little apprehensive, maybe, but not afraid.
state of uncertainty or perplexity especially as requiring a choice between equally unfavorable options
It was the same old quandary.
become less in amount or intensity
Then she picked me up in her arms and the terror abated for a while.
showing inappropriate levity
Grandmother Baxter’s clients were there in gay and flippant array.
marked by casual disrespect
When I refused to be the child they knew and accepted me to be, I was called impudent and my muteness sullenness.
remote and separate physically or socially
After St. Louis, with its noise and activity, its trucks and buses, and loud family gatherings, I welcomed the obscure lanes and lonely bungalows set back deep in dirt yards.
acceptance of despair
The resignation of its inhabitants encouraged me to relax.
injustice by virtue of not conforming with rules or standards
Their decision to be satisfied with life’s inequities was a lesson for me.
a notable achievement
Bailey regaled the customers with our exploits.