"Speak," Vocabulary from the "Third Marking Period"

A young woman is rendered silent by trauma in Laurie Halse Anderson's "Speak."

Learn these word lists for Anderson's young adult novel: First Marking Period, Second Marking Period, Third Marking Period, and Fourth Marking Period.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. analyze
    break down into components or essential features
    David doesn’t bother to analyze my reluctance.
  2. assembly
    a group of persons gathered together for a common purpose
    No assembly, no vote.
  3. asylum
    a shelter from danger or hardship
    It is supposed to bore us into submission or prepare us for an insane asylum.
  4. bigoted
    blindly and obstinately attached to some creed or opinion
    I think this is part of his punishment for that bigoted crap he pulled in class.
  5. boulder
    a large smooth mass of rock detached from a place of origin
    There is a boulder on me.
  6. budget
    a summary of intended expenditures
    He said hornets better represent the Merryweather spirit than foreign marsupials, plus the Wombat mascot costume was going to suck money from the prom committee’s budget.
  7. carcass
    the dead body of an animal
    Sometimes poor people take the venison for their winter’s meat, but most of the time the carcasses rot until their skin hangs like ribbons over their bones.
  8. collapse
    break down, literally or metaphorically
    I squeeze my thumb so the blood gathers in a perfect sphere before it collapses and slides toward the palm of my hand.
  9. colleague
    an associate that one works with
    One of your colleagues thinks I have an authority problem.
  10. consequence
    a phenomenon that is caused by some previous phenomenon
    This is my Consequence.
  11. conundrum
    a difficult problem
    Conundrum—a three-point vocab word.
  12. decent
    socially or conventionally correct; refined or virtuous
    To get a decent grade in her class, we have to figure out what he was really trying to say.
  13. deranged
    driven insane
    I can hear myself—I’m mumbling like a deranged drunk.
    In this case, the speaker compares her behavior to that of a person who is drunk out of her mind.
  14. dissect
    cut open or cut apart
    My face becomes a Picasso sketch, my body slicing into dissecting cubes.
  15. felony
    a serious crime, such as murder or arson
    His clothes are a little freaky maybe, but that’s a misdemeanor here, not a felony.
  16. fumble
    feel about uncertainly or blindly
    He sets the coffee on top of his car and fumbles in his pocket for the keys.
  17. gargoyle
    an ornament consisting of a grotesquely carved figure
    The moon is asleep and I’m sitting on my porch roof like a frozen gargoyle, wondering if the sun is going to blow off the world today and sleep in.
  18. germinate
    sprout; produce buds or branches
    What seeds need to germinate: Seeds are inefficient.
  19. harem
    living quarters for wives in some Muslim households
    She wears a scarf on her head and some brown-and-red gauzy harem pants.
    Harem pants are traditional to Asia, Indian, Middle Eastern cultures.
  20. jabber
    talk in a noisy, excited, or declamatory manner
    I listen to jabber- jabber from Quebec, a farm report from Minnesota, and a country station in Nashville.
  21. misdemeanor
    a crime less serious than a felony
    His clothes are a little freaky maybe, but that’s a misdemeanor here, not a felony.
  22. obnoxious
    causing disapproval or protest
    I look at my canoe feet and my wet, obnoxious anklebones.
  23. pluck
    pull lightly but sharply
    Who sits around without a shirt on, plucking a mandolin?
  24. psychiatric
    relating to the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders
    I think it’s some kind of psychiatric disorder when you have more than one personality in your head.
  25. reputation
    the general estimation that the public has for a person
    She has a choice: she can hang out with me and get the reputation of being a creepy weirdo who might show up with a gun someday, or she can be a Martha—one of the girls who get good grades, do nice things, and ski well.
  26. seep
    pass gradually or leak or as if through small openings
    I can feel the wind seep through the glass and penetrate my shirt.
  27. shard
    a broken piece of a brittle artifact
    They look like lockers, boxes, glass shards, lips with triangle brown leaves.
  28. strategy
    an elaborate and systematic plan of action
    My cafeteria strategy has changed since I have no friends in the known universe.
  29. tenure
    the term during which some position is held
  30. trudge
    walk heavily and firmly, as when weary, or through mud
    I even think about trudging uphill to school.
  31. vulnerable
    capable of being wounded or hurt
    First off, I don’t go through the line for anything, to avoid that vulnerable moment of coming out into the lunchroom, that moment when every head lifts and evaluates: friend, enemy, or loser.
  32. wistful
    showing pensive sadness
    She looks wistful.

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