Mr. van Daan. In the opinion of us all, this
revered gentleman has great insight into politics.
a situation from which extrication is difficult
Faultfinding comes easy when this is our
But it’s hard for your parents, try as they might,
To treat you with fairness, and kindness as well;
Nitpicking’s a habit that’s hard to dispel.
conducted with or marked by hidden aims or methods
clandestine radio when there are already
clandestine Jews and
an expression of agreement not supported by real conviction
But I can see that a little
hypocrisy gets me a lot further than my old method of saying exactly what I think (even though no one ever asks my opinion or cares one way or another).
improperly forward or bold
Of course, I often forget my role and find it impossible to curb my anger when they’re unfair, so that they spend the next month saying I’m the most
impertinent girl in the world.
angered at something unjust or wrong
incensed and wasn’t about to let myself be put off like that.
the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work
gist of his reply was: “I have to study too, you know, and if I can’t do that in the afternoons, I won’t be able to fit it in at all. I have to finish the task I’ve set for myself; otherwise, there’s no point in starting. Besides, you aren’t serious about your studies. Mythology—what kind of work is that? Reading and knitting don’t count either. I use that table and I’m not going to give it up!”
an overwhelming number or amount
He went on and on until there was such a
deluge of words I could hardly keep up.
lasting for a markedly brief time
fleeting moment I thought, “Him and his lies. I'll smack his ugly mug so hard he'll go bouncing off the wall!"
marked by a narrow focus on or display of learning
Anyone who’s so petty and
pedantic at the age of fifty-four was born that way and is never going to change.
angered at something unjust or wrong
For a while we were
indignant because no one from the office came upstairs the entire morning; Mr. Kleiman left us on tenterhooks until eleven-thirty.
achieve something by means of trickery or devious methods
They stole two cashboxes containing 40 guilders, blank checkbooks and, worst of all, coupons for 330 pounds of sugar, our entire allotment. It won’t be easy to
wangle new ones.
marked by or showing hopelessness
We’ve been told of children searching
forlornly in the smoldering ruins for their dead parents.
characterized by unrest or disorder or insubordination
Yesterday was a very
tumultuous day, and we’re still all wound up.
a loud bombastic declamation expressed with strong emotion
Mrs. van D. and Dussel continued their
harangue: “You know way too much about things you’re not supposed to. You’ve been brought up all wrong..."
She’s known to be exceedingly pushy, egotistical, cunning, calculating and
a small opening or crevice
Mr. Kleiman sprinkled yellow powder in every nook and
cranny, but the fleas haven’t taken the slightest notice.
a quarrel about petty points
For the next fifteen minutes, at least, the house is filled with the creaking of beds and the sigh of broken springs, and then, provided our upstairs neighbors aren’t having a marital
spat in bed, all is quiet.
in an abundant manner
Then, the lips are moistened
a preparation applied externally as a soothing remedy
What with the
salve, the gauze and the tape, I can’t get my heavenly new shoe on my foot.
in a hesitant manner
“I think my way is easier, Mr. Dussel,” I say
smother or suppress
Mother can barely
stifle a laugh, and I stare straight ahead.
Dussel comes in, goes toward the window with an air of
propriety, sniffs...coughs, sneezes and clears his throat.
climb awkwardly, as if by scrambling
The door opens upstairs at eight-twenty, and this is followed by three gentle taps on the floor...Anne’s hot cereal. I
clamber up the stairs to get my doggie dish.
a pariah who is avoided by others
Dussel complained to Mother that he was being treated like a
leper, that no one was friendly to him and that, after all, he hadn’t done anything to deserve it.
keep offering or supplying something desirable to someone
I must admit they’re doing their best to keep me in condition: they’re
plying me with dextrose, cod-liver oil, brewer’s yeast and calcium.
made heavy or weighted down with weariness
My nerves often get the better of me, especially on Sundays; that’s when I really feel miserable. The atmosphere is stifling, sluggish,
weighing heavily on the senses or spirit
Outside, you don’t hear a single bird, and a deathly,
oppressive silence hangs over the house and clings to me as if it were going to drag me into the deepest regions of the underworld.
indicate by signs
Mother’s nerves are very much on edge, and that doesn’t
bode well for me.
quick to take offense
I was neither
huffy nor cross, but merely sad.
thrown into a state of agitated confusion
“Are you planning to give Anne a Bible for Hanukkah?” Margot asked, somewhat
characterized by violent emotions or behavior
At the moment, the
tempestuous quarrels have subsided; only Dussel and the van Daans are still at loggerheads.
with the terms of the relation reversed
When Dussel is talking about Mrs. van D., he invariably calls her “that old bat” or “that stupid hag,” and
conversely, Mrs. van D. refers to our ever so learned gentleman as an “old maid” or a “touchy neurotic spinster,” etc.
an elderly unmarried woman
When Dussel is talking about Mrs. van D., he invariably calls her “that old bat” or “that stupid hag,” and conversely, Mrs. van D. refers to our ever so learned gentleman as an “old maid” or a “touchy neurotic
call upon in supplication
In the meantime, we’ve been cut off by the dark mass of clouds, so that we can go neither up nor down. It looms before us like an impenetrable wall, trying to crush us, but not yet able to. I can only cry out and
implore, “Oh, ring, ring, open wide and let us out!”
flammable substance used in motion-picture and X-ray film
But that evening, when my fountain pen still hadn’t turned up, we all assumed it had been burned, especially because
celluloid is highly inflammable.
believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds
“It must have melted into stone,” Father
a thin porridge
Mr. Kleiman is still in bed and has eaten nothing but
gruel for three weeks.
lacking orderly continuity
He’s amused us more than once by trying to pass on the news he’s just heard, since the message invariably gets
garbled in transmission.
express criticism towards
Furthermore, he answers every
reproach or accusation with a load of fine promises, which he never manages to keep.
ask for or request earnestly
It was mean of me to treat her that way, and now she was looking at me, oh so helplessly, with her pale face and
force onto another
Does Hanneli really and truly believe in God, or has religion merely been
foisted upon her?
deliberation, I finally came up with an idea, something funny. I consulted Pim, and a week ago we set to work writing a verse for each person.
a situation in which no progress can be made
The war is at an
impasse, spirits are low.
a slight suggestion or vague understanding
I think Pim told me because he, who knows the “intimate secrets” of so many others, needed to express his own feelings for once; Pim never talks about himself, and I don’t think Margot has any
inkling of what he’s been through.