Mr. Brunken's Class: Thirteen Reasons Why vocabulary list

A list of target vocabulary words from Jay Asher's awesome novel Thirteen Reasons Why. This vocabulary list is meant for ELL students at the upper-middle school level and intended for use in the Middle School Program at Happy Kids School in Taipei, Taiwan.

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definitions & notes only words
  1. lift
    a ride in a car
    "Can you give me a lift to my house?" I said to my friend as we approached his car.
  2. consequence
    the outcome of an event
    Growing up can mean misbehaving, sure, but also understanding the consequences.New York Times (Mar 12, 2012)
  3. apparently
    She fell, apparently dead, and is not yet perfectly recovered from severe bruises.Terhune, Albert Payson
  4. convince
    make realize the truth or validity of something
    He still had not convinced himself he would be making the Nationals’ roster despite the mounting evidence.Washington Post (Apr 3, 2012)
  5. offend
    hurt the feelings of
    "Your visitor offended me, sir," replied Benjamin Carr, slowly sitting down in his chair again, and beginning to recollect himself.Wood, Mrs. Henry
  6. acquaintance
    a relationship less intimate than friendship
    As I had known him at Paris I addressed him as an old acquaintance.Seingalt, Jacques Casanova de
  7. reputation
    the general estimation that the public has for a person
    He still has carved a reputation as an up-and-coming young driver.Seattle Times (Apr 5, 2012)
  8. moderate
    preside over
    The teacher tried to moderate the passionate discussion among the students.
  9. anticipate
    realize beforehand
    The gipsy was silent; but Mrs. Falkland anticipated his answer.James, G. P. R. (George Payne Rainsford)
  10. ridicule
    language or behavior intended to mock or humiliate
    Peg feared she might be held up to ridicule by the mimicry.Terhune, Albert Payson
  11. contemplate
    reflect deeply on a subject
    He used to spend many hours in contemplating these masterpieces.Rameur, E.
  12. decade
    a period of 10 years
    He urged fellow Germans to confront their painful Nazi history in the decades after World War II.Seattle Times (Apr 4, 2012)
  13. potential
    existing in possibility
    Every instant was precious; every leap filled with potential disaster.Titus, Harold
  14. exclusive
    admitting or accepting only a particular group
    But in one instance, his best friend called, inviting him to an exclusive pickup game.New York Times (Apr 4, 2012)
  15. proposition
    a suggestion offered for acceptance or rejection
    This proposition was received with favor and at once adopted.Denny, Emily Inez
  16. funeral
    a ceremony at which a dead person is buried or cremated
    Mr. Wickham's funeral was talked of in Upfield and the neighborhood many years afterward.Rameur, E.
  17. diminish
    decrease in size, extent, or range
    “Did you say the dog ate a couple of wharf rats back there?” asked the officer, turning to the diminishing crowd.Gordon, Harry
  18. awkward
    socially uncomfortable; unsure and constrained in manner
    After the first awkward greeting, "Your room has been airing," she continued, avoiding his eyes.Weyman, Stanley John
  19. privacy
    the quality of being secluded from the presence of others
    Give me some privacy!” while he’s changing his shirt.New York Times (Apr 2, 2012)
  20. avert
    turn away or aside
    He would have given the world to avert his eyes, but he could not.Weyman, Stanley John
  21. innocence
    the state of being unsullied by sin or moral wrong
    The boy's innocence surprised him a little and amused him more.Weyman, Stanley John
  22. indication
    something that serves to suggest
    The Russian masses were rioting; could there be a better indication of a revolutionary awakening?Cahan, Abraham
  23. petty
    preoccupied with unimportant matters in a spiteful way
    And yet how pitifully foolish to be disturbed about such petty details!Wingfield, Lewis
  24. stalk
    the act of following prey stealthily
    He stalked a jogger who regularly ran past his house.
  25. rumor
    gossip passed around by word of mouth
    Rumors later placed him in New York, where he's said to have worked as a schoolteacher.Slate (Mar 4, 2012)
  26. feminine
    associated with women and not with men
    He could hear the feminine chatter rising shrill above the masculine babble below.Matthews, Brander
  27. caress
    touch or stroke lightly in a loving or endearing manner
    His caresses aroused her senses and left her wondering what was going to happen.Hecht, Ben
  28. pathetic
    inspiring mixed contempt and pity
    His actual crime, however, was pathetic, inept, and thwarted.Seattle Times (Sep 29, 2011)
  29. amateur
    lacking professional skill or expertise
    Now, in amateur videos posted on YouTube, some units are openly calling for civilian volunteers.
  30. destination
    the place designated as the end, as of a race or journey
    The start was made at daybreak, and after two days' long marching they reached their destination.Henty, G. A. (George Alfred)
  31. bluff
    pretense that your position is stronger than it really is
    And now I must bluff him out—I'm not going to be scared off.Douglas, Hudson
  32. anonymous
    having no known name or identity or known source
  33. stifle
    smother or suppress
    Gradually every other feeling was stifled by the bitterness and fierce hate raging within him.Elisabeth Burstenbinder (AKA E. Werner)
  34. sarcasm
    witty language used to convey insults or scorn
    Sarcasm and ridicule wound deeply; they are hot pokers jabbed in quivering flesh.Hunter, Col. Wm. C.
  35. grudge
    harbor ill feelings
    “We Kings are in the business not of holding grudges,” he said, “but forgiving.”New York Times (Feb 1, 2011)
  36. bass
    the lowest part of the musical range
    Here the preacher's voice broke in like the deep roll of a bass drum.Johnston, Annie F. (Annie Fellows)
  37. candid
    informal or natural
    Still, both provide much needed entertainment and candid reactions and emotions, opposed to the ceaseless cliché drivel sputtered by automatons.Washington Post (Sep 30, 2011)
  38. posture
    the arrangement of the body and its limbs
    He said nothing, but his posture and countenance spoke whole volumes of defiance and murderous intent.Maori, A Pakeha
  39. daze
    overcome as with astonishment or disbelief
    As night fell, dazed residents shuffled through town, some looking for relatives, while rescue workers searched the rubble for survivors.Time (Mar 3, 2012)
  40. curb
    an edge between a sidewalk and a roadway
    As Jones reached the curb, Florence came forth as if on invisible wings.MacGrath, Harold
  41. abortion
    termination of pregnancy
    Sixty percent of abortions are done in the first nine weeks of pregnancy, when medication abortions are most effective, doctors said.Washington Post (Feb 27, 2012)
  42. compatible
    able to exist and perform in harmonious combination
    Certain breeds have been selected by humans to be more compatible with small spaces, and they are not always the smallest dogs.New York Times (Jul 27, 2010)
  43. documentary
    a film presenting the facts about a person or event
    Then a dozen years later, another man raised the Titanic to an even greater fame with a multi-Academy Award winning movie and follow-up documentaries.Seattle Times (Apr 1, 2012)
  44. chauffeur
    a man paid to drive a privately owned car
    He took our fastest car, our best chauffeur.Williams, Jesse Lynch
  45. flinch
    draw back, as with fear or pain
    Ms. Goodman flinched when he touched her, but soon enough she was twisted up in his arms like a human pretzel.New York Times (Nov 21, 2011)
  46. hazardous
    involving risk or danger
    “These winds could bring down trees, power poles and lines and make driving hazardous,” the agency said.
  47. juvenile
    of or relating to children or young people
    He made himself juvenile and hilarious in the company of the young lords.Thackeray, William Makepeace
  48. outcast
    a person who is rejected (from society or home)
    It's also about finding community after years of feeling like outcasts.Seattle Times (Apr 23, 2011)
  49. subtlety
    the quality of being difficult to detect or analyze
    Subtleties are missed with a phone call,” she said.New York Times (Jan 23, 2012)
  50. dissect
    analyze by breaking down into components
    Hours after a speech, it was being dissected on the Internet.
  51. vouch
    give personal assurance; guarantee
    "The book is worth reading," vouched Mr. Whitely.Ford, Paul Leicester
  52. parody
    a composition that imitates or misrepresents a style
    There are fan sites, Facebook pages and endless parody videos.New York Times (Feb 10, 2012)
  53. intriguing
    capable of arousing interest or curiosity
    Some of the less glittery items can be just as intriguing.New York Times (Mar 30, 2012)
  54. curriculum
    an integrated course of academic studies
    The schools’ curriculum focuses on English, math, sciences and world languages.Washington Post (Apr 4, 2012)
  55. decipher
    make out the meaning of
    Quickly he deciphered the script hidden in the ornate tracings.Landon, Herman
  56. counselor
    someone who gives advice about problems
    Scarpace said school counselors and teachers are being trained to look for signs, but need parents to be cooperative, not defensive.
  57. betrayal
    an act of deliberate disloyalty
    This particular betrayal stands out because it turned out to be so unnecessary.
  58. keg
    small cask or barrel
    “We’ve gone from drinking kegs of beer to getting free bottle service at New York City nightclubs.New York Times (Sep 10, 2011)
  59. condescending
    characteristic of those who treat others with arrogance
    From most accounts, Woods was generally rude and condescending — not a good guy.Washington Post (Apr 4, 2012)
  60. snowball
    increase or accumulate at a rapidly accelerating rate
    Once the season started going, it just kind of snowballed.Washington Post (Feb 19, 2012)
  61. ornate
    marked by complexity and richness of detail
    The main building, which dominates a breathtakingly picturesque valley, also houses an ornate temple filled with colorful Buddhas and altars illuminated by butter lamps.New York Times (Jan 28, 2012)
  62. aura
    distinctive but intangible quality around a person or thing
    “The building had a ‘Sleeping Beauty’ aura,” Ms. Ernst said.New York Times (Mar 10, 2012)
  63. meander
    a bend or curve, as in a stream or river
    South of Omaha and Council Bluffs, the Missouri begins its meandering route once again.
  64. paranoia
    a mental disorder characterized by delusions of persecution
    Then, after reading and watching the news for a few days, a little paranoia set in.New York Times (Dec 7, 2011)
  65. melodramatic
    having excitement and emotional appeal
    “Without being melodramatic, he looked straight at me and set himself on fire.”New York Times (Nov 17, 2011)
  66. intrusive
    tending to enter uninvited
    Most rooms cannot be closed off completely and noise can be intrusive.New York Times (Feb 18, 2012)
  67. spew
    eject or send out in large quantities (also metaphorical)
    Please, don’t simply spew out information, but take time to read what others are talking about and interact with them.Forbes (Sep 3, 2011)
  68. pessimist
    a person who expects the worst
    So a pessimist tends to believe bad things are permanent, while an optimist will view the same problem as temporary, he notes.New York Times (Sep 24, 2011)
  69. egg on
    urge on; cause to act
    Cooper celebrated with 15 seconds left by fanning his arms in the air to egg on the hearty Ohio crowd.New York Times (Mar 19, 2012)
  70. snicker
    a disrespectful laugh
    I stood there, listening to the snickers of my partners, who knew better.Golf Digest (Sep 22, 2010)
  71. relevance
    the relation of something to the matter at hand
    Such trends may not have any relevance to the malaria parasites that infect humans.
  72. serrated
    notched like a saw with teeth pointing toward the apex
    He held up the knife, a serrated blade with a wooden handle.New York Times (Apr 21, 2011)
  73. callousness
    a lack of sympathy or regard for others
    And she was shocked, also, by the apparent callousness of the dead men’s comrades.Chisholm, A. M. (Arthur Murray)
  74. abrasive
    causing irritation or erosion by friction
    Size also matters, and the team has spent hours shaving off fragments of stone with abrasive diamond powder.
  75. berserk
    frenzied as if possessed by a demon
    Every time another man comes into this house you go berserk.
  76. cheesy
    of very poor quality; flimsy
    Since superhero outfits can come across as cheesy on screen, for example, Mr. Feige usually acknowledges the original look and then waters it down.New York Times (Jul 25, 2011)
  77. amnesia
    partial or total loss of memory
    He had amnesia and could not tell them anything and they just looked at him with deep sympathy.Sills, Steven (Steven David Justin)
  78. montage
    sticking together pieces of paper or photographs to form art
    Television news channels played montages of Obaid Chinoy's acceptance speech, running patriotic songs in the background.
  79. decelerate
    reduce the speed of
    I'll start decelerating now so we can make the turn and circle back.Campbell, John Wood
  80. mesmerizing
    attracting and holding interest as if by a spell
    At times it can be mesmerizing watching them pass.”Washington Post (Sep 18, 2011)
  81. blindside
    catch unawares, especially with harmful consequences
    Sometimes, scientists are blindsided by earthquakes because they occur along undiscovered faults.New York Times (Mar 22, 2011)
  82. endgame
    the final stages of an extended process of negotiation
    “My endgame is to save companies,” said Mr. Benjamin, 71, “hopefully for their owners.”New York Times (Mar 1, 2012)
  83. aftereffect
    any result that follows its cause after an interval
    It is a scary idea that food poisoning—which we think of as lasting just a few days—could instead have lifelong aftereffects.Scientific American (Mar 29, 2012)
  84. flip out
    react in an excited, delighted, or surprised way
    "People really flip out when they hear this," Eicher says.
  85. charity case
    a case for a welfare worker
    Did she think he was a charity case?Sudermann, Hermann
  86. psychobabble
    using language loaded with psychological terminology
    But it’s a fun psychobabble discussion to have while waiting in an empty locker room for players to show up.New York Times (Dec 17, 2011)
Created on April 5, 2012 (updated April 6, 2012)

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