Chapters 17–19

When Sophie meets the BFG—the Big Friendly Giant—they concoct a plan to prevent the other giants from eating humans.
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definitions & notes only words
  1. crevice
    a long narrow opening
    Sophie, still wearing only her nightie, was reclining comfortably in a crevice of the BFG’s right ear.
  2. grim
    shockingly repellent; inspiring horror
    But this grim encounter made her more than ever determined to go through with her mission.
  3. loom
    come into view indistinctly, often threateningly
    Not more than a hundred yards away, through the tall trees in the garden, across the mown lawns and the tidy flower-beds, the massive shape of the Palace itself loomed through the darkness.
  4. stagger
    astound or overwhelm, as with shock
    The sheer size of it staggered the BFG.
  5. pell-mell
    in a wild or reckless manner
    ‘Very short,’ the BFG said. ‘We must go pell-mell for leather now!’
  6. gilded
    made from or covered with gold
    It was a large room. A lovely room. A rich carpet. Gilded chairs. A dressing-table. A bed. And on the pillow of the bed lay the head of a sleeping woman.
  7. crockery
    ceramic dishes used for serving food
    There was suddenly a crash and a clatter of crockery which could only have meant that the tray the maid was carrying had fallen out of her hands.
  8. punctuate
    interrupt periodically
    Then there was a pause punctuated by gasps from the famous voice as the newspaper article was clearly being read and digested.
  9. digest
    arrange and integrate in the mind
    Then there was a pause punctuated by gasps from the famous voice as the newspaper article was clearly being read and digested.
  10. petrify
    cause to become stunned or immobile, as with fear or awe
    Sophie was petrified.
    Curiously enough, the Queen looked petrified, too.
  11. gape
    look with amazement
    The Queen was still staring at Sophie. Gaping at her would be more accurate. Her mouth was slightly open, her eyes were round and wide as two saucers, and the whole of that famous rather lovely face was filled with disbelief.
  12. aback
    by surprise
    ‘No, Mary! No, don’t do that!’ The Queen spoke so sharply that the maid was quite taken aback.
  13. starch
    stiffen textile fabrics in laundering
    The maid, with her hands clasped across her starched white bosom, was staring at her mistress with a look of absolute disbelief on her face.
  14. cope
    come to terms with
    She had not been trained to cope with this kind of madness.
  15. composure
    steadiness of mind under stress
    The sheer absurdity of it all was helping her to regain her composure.
  16. fiasco
    a complete failure or collapse
    Her hands were now planted firmly on her hips and there was a look on her face which seemed to say, ‘I want no part of this fiasco.’
  17. humbug
    something intended to deceive
    ‘Your Majester,’ he said. ‘I is your humbug servant.’ He bowed again.
    Here, the BFG uses the word humbug ("a fraud; a deceptive person") when he means to say humble ("modest; not arrogant or prideful").
  18. totter
    move unsteadily, with a rocking motion
    He gripped the handles of the wheelbarrow. He swayed. He tottered.
  19. keel over
    fall suddenly; collapse
    Then he keeled over on the grass in a dead faint.
  20. sovereign
    a nation's ruler usually by hereditary right
    ‘Oh, Majester!’ cried the BFG. ‘Oh, Queen! Oh Monacher! Oh, Golden Sovereign! Oh, Ruler! Oh, Ruler of Straight Lines! Oh, Sultana! I is come here with my little friend Sophie...to give you a...’ The BFG hesitated, searching for the word.
Created on August 8, 2019 (updated August 8, 2019)

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