continually changing as from one address to another
When one of them managed to kill a ground squirrel or a rabbit, a guinea hen or a grouse, the boys’
aimless play halted and there was suddenly a lot of work to do.
a personal belief or judgment
Salva had his own
opinion of how the fire should be built and how long the meat needed to cook, and so did each of the others.
round one's back by bending forward
Some of the boys moved at once, ducking their heads and
compelling immediate action
“Go quickly, all of you,” the teacher said, his voice low and
urgent. “Into the bush. Do you hear me? Not home. Don’t run home. They will be going into the villages. Stay away from the villages—run into the bush.”
a person who takes part in an armed insurrection
Salva did not understand much about it, but he knew that
rebels from the southern part of Sudan, where he and his family lived, were fighting against the government, which was based in the north.
In Latin, "re" means "against" and "bellare" means "to make war." Adjectives that could be used to describe the rebels are "bellicose" ("having a ready disposition to fight") and "belligerent" ("characteristic of one eager to fight").
occurring or distributed over widely spaced and irregular intervals in time or space
The fighting was
scattered all around southern Sudan, and now the war had come to where Salva lived.
scrambled to their feet. Some of them were crying.
turn sharply; change direction abruptly
Overhead, a jet plane
veered away like a sleek evil bird.
"Sleek" means "having a smooth, gleaming surface reflecting light"--this description and the act of veering don't seem to suggest evil. The simile that compares the jet plane to an evil bird focuses on the similarities between 1) the way they fly; 2) their search for prey to kill. Additionally, a sleek jet plane is not a natural sighting in a dirt-filled village, so this adds to the feeling of evil.
in or of a state of physical or nervous strain
At first, everyone stood around uncertainly, speaking in
tense whispers or silent with fear.
The Latin "tensus" is the past participle of the verb "tendere" which means "to stretch out" (which can also be seen in "extend")--here, the author stretches out the scene and fills the readers with tension by describing how the villagers are tense with fear and uncertainty about the attack, the dark, and what's going to happen next.
marked by extreme and violent energy
Their guns were not pointed at the crowd, but even so, the soldiers seemed
fierce and watchful.
confined on all sides
Some of the rebels then joined the back of the line; now the villagers were
discontinue an association or relation; go different ways
The soldiers ordered them to
separate into two groups—men in one group, women and children and the elderly in the other.
approached Salva and raised his gun.
bright with a steady but subdued shining
All he could see was the gun’s huge barrel, black and
gleaming, as it moved toward his face.
break down, literally or metaphorically
If I die now, I will never see my family again.
Somehow, this thought strengthened him enough to keep him from
collapsing in terror.
a muzzle-loading high-angle gun with a short barrel
The village men were forced to carry supplies: guns and
mortars, shells, radio equipment.
express opposition through action or words
Salva watched as one man
protested that he did not want to go with the rebels. A soldier hit him in the face with the butt of a gun.
worried and uneasy
Salva tossed restlessly in the itchy hay.
filled or abounding with fog or mist
On the far horizon, the sky was
hazy from the smoke of the bombs.
an assertion of a right, as to money or property
No one, it seemed, was sure where Nuer land ended and Dinka land began, so each tribe tried to lay
claim to the areas richest in water.
draw back, as with fear or pain
flinched at her glance.
the state of being unsure of something
But at least he was not alone now, and that knowledge was stronger than the
uncertainty about what the woman might do or say to him.
an army unit that uses big guns
During the daytime, Salva could hear the distant booming of
artillery from the fighting a few miles away.
in a state of intense distress and hopelessness
With every shell that exploded he would think of his family, hoping they were safe, wondering
desperately when he would be with them again.
The antonym of "desperately" is "hopefully" and this can be seen more clearly in the Latin roots: "de" means "reversal" and "sperare" means "to hope" (compare with "despair" in the list for Chapters 9-13).
an overwhelming feeling of fear and anxiety
Salva stared at her as
panic rose inside him.