List 2

This list covers "My Best Is Always Not Enough"–"Daughter."
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definitions & notes only words
  1. falter
    walk unsteadily
    I walk down the hallway, my fingers lightly following the wall, my eyes fixed on a tiny light coming from the kitchen. My step falters when I hear Uhmma’s voice.
  2. slur
    utter indistinctly
    Where were you? Uhmma asks.
    That is not your concern, Apa slurs.
  3. strew
    spread by scattering
    The coffee table is overturned, Korean newspaper strewn all over the carpet.
  4. skewed
    having an oblique or slanting direction or position
    I pick up a broken picture frame, the photo of our family at the airport in Korea slightly skewed, and set it on the couch.
  5. grimace
    contort the face to indicate a certain mental state
    Here, Uhmma, I say and offer her the bag of ice. Uhmma takes it from me, presses it to her eye, and grimaces.
  6. podium
    a platform raised above the surrounding level
    Up at the front of the room a man with slicked-down hair stands at a podium surrounded by two stands of yellow and white flowers.
  7. gritty
    composed of or covered with small particles
    I nod and swirl my feet through the rough grains, enjoying the gritty tickling at the bottom of my feet.
  8. sliver
    a small, thin bit of wood, glass, metal, etc.
    She lines up the halves of the scallions and starts to chop. Fine slivers of green and white circles cover the cutting board.
  9. obligate
    cause to be indebted
    I am not obligated to her, Uhmma. I am going to pay her back.
  10. asphalt
    mixed substance used for paving and roofing
    In my neighborhood, instead of lawns there are fields of concrete and asphalt.
  11. cowlick
    a tuft of hair in a different direction from the rest
    Apa’s hair is wet and slicked down, his cowlick forced to lie still.
  12. congregation
    group that habitually attends a particular place of worship
    Ahn-young-ha-say-yo, Mr. Park, he says, bowing and shaking Apa’s hand. We are very happy to have you with us today. Your wife has become a most valued member of our congregation.
  13. flit
    move along rapidly and lightly; skim or dart
    Apa nods, but his eyes shift around the room, flitting from person to person, family to family.
  14. demure
    shy or modest, often in a playful or provocative way
    He tells my parents, Young Ju is looking very grown up. More and more like a demure young lady.
  15. discreet
    marked by prudence or modesty and wise self-restraint
    Uhmma discreetly wets her fingers with some spit and reaches up, pressing the lock of hair back down.
  16. sly
    marked by skill in deception
    When it looks as though someone might approach him, Apa slyly moves away to another corner of the room, pretends to become interested in his crumpled program.
  17. garble
    distort or make false by mutilation or addition
    At first I am not sure if they called me because the name sounds so garbled, but when Amanda gives me a nudge, I stand up.
  18. sobriety
    the state of being unaffected or not intoxicated by alcohol
    As we near the police cars, Mr. Doyle starts to nod as though he understands what is going on. He turns in his seat to look at us and explains, “They’re just doing one of those sobriety checks.”
  19. anticipation
    an expectation
    My chest tightens in anticipation even though I know Mr. Doyle has not been drinking.
  20. lament
    regret strongly
    She shakes her head and laments, To think of all those people there to honor you, and your own parents could not take a night off from their jobs.
Created on April 6, 2020 (updated April 9, 2020)

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