extravagantly or foolishly loving and indulgent
If I were a teacher I would cook up some real scorchers for the children of
happening or recurring at regular intervals
I might even delve deeper into natural history and say, “The
periodical cicada spends six years as a grub underground, and no more than six days as a free creature of sunlight and air. Your son Wilfred has spent six years as a grub in this school and we are still waiting for him to emerge from the chrysalis."
stout-bodied insect with large membranous wings
I might even delve deeper into natural history and say, “The periodical
cicada spends six years as a grub underground, and no more than six days as a free creature of sunlight and air. Your son Wilfred has spent six years as a grub in this school and we are still waiting for him to emerge from the chrysalis."
pupa of a moth or butterfly enclosed in a cocoon
I might even delve deeper into natural history and say, “The periodical cicada spends six years as a grub underground, and no more than six days as a free creature of sunlight and air. Your son Wilfred has spent six years as a grub in this school and we are still waiting for him to emerge from the
Her mind was so
nimble and she was so quick to learn that her ability should have been obvious even to the most half-witted of parents.
desire strongly or persistently
At the age of four, she could read fast and well and she naturally began
hankering after books.
having knowledge and spiritual insight
The only book in the whole of this
enlightened household was something called Easy Cooking belonging to her mother, and when she had read this from cover to cover and had learnt all the recipes by heart, she decided she wanted something more interesting.
Mrs Phelps, slightly taken
aback at the arrival of such a tiny girl unaccompanied by a parent, nevertheless told her she was very welcome.
Her first thought was to pick a young teenager's romance of the kind that is written for fifteen-year-old schoolgirls, but for some reason she found herself
instinctively walking past that particular shelf.
extremely impressive in strength or excellence
It was a
formidable list and by now Mrs Phelps was filled with wonder and excitement, but it was probably a good thing that she did not allow herself to be completely carried away by it all.
feel bitter or indignant about
resented being told constantly that she was ignorant and stupid when she knew she wasn't.
marked by up-to-dateness in dress and manners
He thought it gave him a
rakish daring look, especially when he wore it at an angle with his loud checked jacket and green tie.
And later on, as she watched her skinny little husband
skulking around the bedroom in his purple-striped pyjamas with a pork-pie hat on his head, she thought how stupid he looked.
correct by punishment or discipline
The experience had clearly
chastened Mr Wormwood and he seemed temporarily to have lost his taste for boasting and bullying.
able to make fine distinctions
subtle mind was already at work devising yet another suitable punishment for the poisonous parent.
"Come on!" Matilda cried and she burst into the room,
brandishing her knife.
complete and without restriction
sheer cleverness she could run rings around them all.
devoid of intelligence
But the fact remained that any five-year-old girl in any family was always obliged to do as she was told, however
asinine the orders might be.
look with amazement
“You mean you did it in your head, dad?" the son asked,
a medicine that strengthens and invigorates
She carefully left enough of her father's original hair
tonic in the bottle so that when she gave it a good shake the whole thing still looked reasonably purple.
a toilet that is cleaned of waste by the flow of water through it
"Peroxide is a very powerful chemical. It's what they put down the
lavatory to disinfect the pan only they give it another name."
offering little or no hope
The village school for younger children was a
bleak brick building called Crunchem Hall Primary School.
confusion resulting from failure to understand
She seemed to understand totally the
bewilderment and fear that so often overwhelms young children who for the first time in their lives are herded into a classroom and told to obey orders.
perceptible by the senses, especially the sense of touch
Some curious warmth that was almost
tangible shone out of Miss Honey's face when she spoke to a confused and homesick newcomer to the class.
marked by unjust severity or arbitrary behavior
She was a gigantic holy terror, a fierce
tyrannical monster who frightened the life out of the pupils and teachers alike.
distinctive but intangible quality around a person or thing
There was an
aura of menace about her even at a distance, and when she came up close you could almost feel the dangerous heat radiating from her as from a red-hot rod of metal.
a detailed statement giving facts and figures
She had been listening slightly spellbound to this smooth
recital, and now she said, "How far can you go?"
skillful performance or ability without difficulty
She had never come across a five-year-old before, or indeed a ten-year-old, who could multiply with such
dignified and somber in manner or character
She looked again at the small girl with bright eyes standing beside her desk so sensible and
an unusually gifted or intelligent person
There was no doubt in her mind that she had met a truly extraordinary mathematical brain, and words like child-genius and
prodigy went flitting through her head.
move along rapidly and lightly; skim or dart
There was no doubt in her mind that she had met a truly extraordinary mathematical brain, and words like child-genius and prodigy went
flitting through her head.
something said in a restrained way for ironic contrast
"That really is very good indeed," Miss Honey said, making the
understatement of her life.
a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment
Smoothly, without a pause and at a nice speed, Matilda began to read:
epicure dining at Crewe
Found a rather large mouse in his stew.
Cried the waiter, "Don't shout
And wave it about
Or the rest will be wanting one too."
"It is someone who is
dainty with his eating," Matilda said.
a humorous rhymed verse form of five lines
"It's called a
limerick," Matilda said.