Glossary

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  • 3rd Avenue
    a main thoroughfare running north/south on the east side of New York City's Manhattan borough (region), stretching into the Bronx by way of the Third Street bridge
  • 24/7
    'twenty-four/seven' - without stopping; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • a bunch
    colloquial term for 'a lot' or 'a group of' (as in 'a bunch of grapes' or 'a bunch of people')
  • a diamond in the rough
    having wonderful qualities or potential, despite a rough appearance or exterior
  • a hell of a story
    an amazing, fascinating story
  • a-holes
    short for "assholes" (very rude!)
  • A-list
    those who have the highest status
  • abandoned
    left, ignored, deserted
  • abolitionist
    someone who is in favor of abolishing slavery, making slavery illegal
  • Aboriginals
    the word 'aborigine' literally means indigenous (native); this term is often associated with native Australian ethnic groups
  • abortion
    procedure to stop a pregnancy
  • absentee ballot
    a vote sent in by mail
  • absentminded
    tending to forget things easily
  • absolutism
    a belief system based on absolutes
  • absorb
    to learn or become familiar with in an passive, subconscious way by listening
  • abyss
    an extremely deep place
  • accomplish
    to manage to do something difficult
  • according
    as seen or considered by
  • acoustically
    in the sense of sound
  • action!
    said by a director to start the camera when making a film
  • adapt
    to make changes in order to adjust or become used to something
  • addicted
    to be dependent on a drug or medication, to be unable to stop taking it
  • adoption
    a legal agreement where one raises another person's child as one's own
  • adrenaline
    a hormone that gives a burst of energy by making the heart beat faster
  • affordable
    not very expensive
  • agility
    ability to move easily, without difficulty
  • ain’t
    colloquial form of the contraction isn’t (is + not = isn’t) or aren't (are + not = ain’t)
  • ain't
    = am not, are not, is not; ain't is considered incorrect usage, but is sometimes heard in informal speech
  • airstrip
    a simple, unpaved place for a plane to land
  • all aboard
    said when it's time to get on a bus or train
  • allegiance
    loyalty, faithfulness
  • allegory
    a story with a meaning that it hidden or implied
  • amazing
    surprising
  • amended
    changed
  • amp
    an abbreviation for amplifier
  • amplifier
    an electronic device to makes sounds louder
  • amputate
    to cut off part of someone's body, especially an arm, leg, finger, or toe
  • an exceptional nation
    the idea that the USA has a special role, is not like other countries
  • and I'm talking
    and I really mean (informal)
  • angst
    fear, deep anxiety
  • animated
    made using animation (still pictures)
  • animatic
    a digital sketch or outline of a film
  • anticipate
    to expect, predict; know about something in advance
  • anxious
    worried, upset, nervous
  • apocalypse
    a final disaster
  • apparition
    a ghost, or something that appears like a ghost
  • armed
    having a weapon
  • arraigned
    brought to a court to be charged with a crime
  • arraignment
    a formal reading of the charges against a person who has been arrested
  • artful
    done in an artistic way
  • ashram
    a spiritual community, especially in South Asian traditions
  • assertive
    confident, decisive
  • assess
    to evaluate
  • assets
    possessions, the things that he owned
  • astonished
    very surprised
  • athletic
    physically fit and active
  • attainable
    something that can be reached, attained
  • authentic
    true, real
  • autograph
    the signature of a famous person
  • awesome
    amazing, wonderful, great
  • 'awfully nice'
    a colloquial phrase that simply means 'very nice' - while the literal meaning of awful is similar to 'horrible, terrible, or bad', in this case when paired with 'nice', awful means 'very' or 'a great amount of'
  • B-list
    those who have lower status
  • baby stroller
    a small chair on wheels normally used for pushing a baby along
  • backdrop
    term used to describe scenery in the background on a stage
  • baguette
    a long thin loaf of bread
  • banging around through life
    trying to find their way, even if uncertain how to move forward
  • banjo
    four, five, or six-stringed American folk instrument
  • bankable
    something that will definitely earn money
  • (barbecue) shed
    usually a small metal or wooden unit in a person’s yard, used to store tools for the garden or other activities
  • barbed wire
    steel wire for fences that has sharp points
  • barely
    by only a little bit
  • beached whale
    a whale that has become stranded on a beach
  • beam
    a path of light (for example, a laser beam, or moonbeam); used figuratively here
  • beaming
    smiling broadly
  • beats an earthquake
    can't be hurt by an earthquake
  • beaucoups
    anglicized french term for much/many; in English, used colloquially to mean a very large amount of something (sometimes, an exaggerated amount)
  • befall
    to happen
  • begrudgingly
    unwillingly, without enthusiasm
  • believable
    not surprising; something that can be believed
  • beluga
    a small whale; white whale
  • benign
    not harmful or dangerous
  • beyond your reckoning
    beyond your imagination, something that cannot be imagined or described
  • bigotry
    intolerance toward others
  • biker's wallet
    a small wallet with a chain
  • bindi
    a mark in the forehead worn by many women in India
  • binoculars
    a handheld instrument with lenses for both eyes, to see distant things better
  • bioacoustics
    the science of how animals and humans produce and receive sound
  • biological mother
    the woman who gave birth to someone
  • bite
    refers to the small bit of food taken out of a larger piece - the small taste of Mr. Morgenstern’s bagel, for example
  • blade
    the flat cutting part of a knife
  • blanket
    a large piece of material for covering a bed
  • blessed
    very fortunate
  • blinds
    a kind of screen to block light in a window
  • blip
    a small exception to a trend or situation
  • blob
    a shapeless mass or spot of thick liquid
  • bloom and fade
    to grow and flourish; to experience success, but then later fade andlose popularity, just as a flower blooms and then fades
  • blurry
    unclear, out of focus
  • bondage
    slavery
  • boogie man
    an imaginary character often referred to as a scary monster or an unknown presence
  • bouncy
    here: in a happy mood, feeling joyful
  • bound for
    headed for; going in the direction of
  • bound hands
    hands that were tied (from 'to bind')
  • bounty hunter
    someone who chases or finds fugitives (people who are running from the police or the court system)
  • bow
    a knot with two loops and two untied ends
  • bowie knife
    a knife with a double-edged point
  • brand new
    completely new
  • breast-stroking
    an official 'stroke style' of swimming, in which the swimmer moves through the water on his stomach, with arms stretched out and legs kicking in a frog-like motion
  • breather
    a break
  • brink
    edge
  • brisket
    a cut of meat from an animal, normally a cow
  • brisket burnt ends
    a portion of brisket cut off and cooked for several more hours, and cut into cubes
  • Broadway
    a street in New York City with many theaters; the name often refers to the theater industry in New York in general, especially musical theater
  • broke for lunch
    to take a break or pause for lunch
  • brunch
    a late morning meal
  • buckle
    here: to begin to move, as if about to break.
  • budge
    to move a bit
  • Buley Rock Pools
    a popular tourist destination, Buley Rockhole is a series of rocky pools located in Litchfield National Park, in Northern Territory, Australia
  • bum
    homeless person, someone who wanders aimlessly
  • bummed
    sad, disappointed
  • bungalow
    a small house with a single story
  • busnapping
    theft of a bus
  • butler
    the head male servant in a house
  • cab
    the driver's compartment of a truck
  • cabby
    cab driver
  • caller ID
    the display on a phone of the number of the person calling
  • CallingVoice
    from Irish Gaelic, meaning old style
  • cannibal
    a person who eats other people
  • capacity
    ability, capability
  • carbon copy
    an exact copy
  • carefree
    without worrying
  • Carol of the Bells
    a popular holiday orchestral or choral tune based on a Ukrainian folk song by Mykola Leontovych
  • Carrie Bradshaw
    a leading fictional character in the US television series 'Sex and the City'
  • casting call
    when film or theater directors call for actors to come in and try out for a role
  • catch someone's fancy
    to catch someone's attention so that they like you
  • cement
    a powdery mixture of lime and clay, used to make concrete.
  • cesspool
    a container for sewage; a disgusting place
  • chains
    a set of metal links, sometimes used on tires in snow
  • chance
    unexpected, fated
  • characteristics
    traits, specific parts of a person’s personality that makes them distinct from others or describes the way they interact with others
  • charged up
    excited, enthusiastic
  • Chemehuevi
    a Native American people in Southern California
  • chickened out
    to chicken out: to be too afraid to do something
  • Christmas paper
    special paper used to wrap Christmas presents
  • chubby
    plump, slightly overweight
  • chuck roast
    a large piece of meat from the shoulder of a cow
  • chuckle
    a small laugh
  • circum-ambulating
    walking around
  • circumscribed
    limited or defined in some way
  • circumstances
    conditions
  • civil
    polite, reasonable
  • civilian
    people who are not in the government or the military
  • classified
    secret; something people outside of the government were not allowed to know about
  • classless
    not restricted to any social or economic class
  • 'clean-cut'
    used to describe a person who is dressed well, clean, and avoids getting into trouble; sometimes also indicates a person who dresses stylishly
  • cliché
    a phrase, idiom, or even concept that no longer holds unique meaning due to overuse, or which comes across as insincere or weak because it has been used so often
  • cliff
    a steep rock face
  • co-opt
    to take on or adopt an idea for one's own purpose
  • co-star
    an actor appearing with another main actor
  • coach
    a trainer or teacher
  • code
    the building code, a set of standards for building houses
  • coercive
    using threats or force
  • coil
    round, curled formation
  • coincidence
    an event that seems as if it might have been arranged, but in fact happened by chance.
  • Cold War
    a time of heightened political tension between the United States and the Soviet Union
  • collaborated
    worked together
  • collapsed lung
    when air enters the space around the lungs, which can make the lung collapse
  • collapses
    fall (into bed)
  • colonial
    related to a colony
  • committed
    dedicated, consistent
  • commodity
    something to be bought or sold
  • commotion
    a noisy or agitated disturbance
  • competent
    having the knowledge or skill to do something
  • comprehensive
    complete
  • concentrated
    specific, focused, targeted
  • concordance
    agreement, similarity; lack of difference
  • condition
    state, environment
  • condo
    short for condominium, an apartment-style home attached to one or more other home units
  • confirm
    to make certain something is true
  • confrontation
    a strong disagreement or argument
  • congratulating
    to congratulate: to express good wishes when something good has happened
  • connotation
    an underlying idea, theme, or association that comes along with a word or phrase, in addition to its literal or general meaning
  • consensus
    general agreement
  • contemplate
    to think carefully, to ponder
  • contentment
    satisfaction, a feeling that one has all that one needs
  • Continental Divide
    a line along the top of mountain ranges dividing the continent such that rain or melting snow on one side flows west; on the other side, water flows to the east
  • contingent
    group
  • continually
    repeatedly or without stopping
  • contraption
    some kind of machine; often used in a negative or skeptical sense
  • controversy
    dispute, debate, something people don't agree on
  • conveyor belt
    a surface that moves automatically
  • coordinated
    matching, looking good together (about clothes)
  • cop
    a police officer
  • cops
    policemen (slang)
  • costume
    special or funny clothes, as for a party
  • counselor
    someone who gives advice, helps by speaking with someone
  • cove
    a small, sheltered bay
  • credenza
    a piece of furniture for storing items
  • crest
    the top of something, like a wave or a mountain
  • cross ties
    the large pieces of wood that support a railroad track
  • crosswinds
    winds that blow from the side
  • crucial
    very important, vital
  • cruising
    driving aimlessly or for fun
  • crying your eyes out
    crying hard, sobbing
  • currently
    now, at this time
  • currents
    the flow of water in a particular direction
  • cussing
    informal variant of 'cursing,' using obscene or indecent language
  • dad gets all chained up
    dad gets the chains on
  • daily grind
    daily routine
  • Dall sheep
    a type of wild sheep
  • damn Yankee
    a common phrase given the historical tensions between North and South in the US, here used jokingly
  • darn
    adds emphasis
  • daze
    a mental state when one is very confused or bewildered, not understanding what is happening or not able to think clearly
  • dead end
    a street with no exit on one end
  • death grip
    a very strong, tight hold on someone
  • Death Valley
    section of the Mojave Desert, the lowest elevation in North America
  • debris
    [dǝ'bri] rubble; old or broken things that have been left behind, or lying where they fell
  • defendant
    a person who has been accused of a crime
  • deferred
    postponed, delayed
  • deities
    gods
  • delirious
    when one can't think clearly, often because of illness
  • dementia
    a loss in mental abilities and memory, especially late in life
  • demo record
    a record made to demonstrate something new
  • Denali (McKinley)
    the tallest mountain in North America
  • depths
    very deep places
  • Derry
    refers to Londonderry, the 2nd largest city in Northern Ireland
  • detain
    stop, arrest
  • detention centers
    places where people are held, detained
  • deterrent
    something that discourages or keeps someone from doing something
  • detour
    an alternate route, often to avoid an obstacle
  • devastated
    extremely sad
  • dial
    the instrument (sometimes called a 'knob') or part of a radio or sound playing device that raises and lowers the volume (used with the verb 'to turn'); (in this interview, Priya jokingly says she will 'turn the dial' in reference to herself and the volume of her voice
  • didn't get it
    didn't understand
  • dimes
    a coin worth 10 cents
  • diner
    an informal restaurant that serves typical American food
  • dinosaurs
    large reptiles that lived millions of years ago
  • disabled
    unable to operate, not working
  • disabled vehicle
    a car that is not working
  • Discovery channel
    a TV network with many documentaries
  • disrupt
    interrupt, disturb
  • diverted
    here: distracted
  • divine
    like or from God, or a god
  • DNA
    material that carries genetic information
  • do my best Jack Nicholson
    do my best imitation of Jack Nicholson, an actor
  • dolly
    a small platform on wheels, for holding or moving heavy objects
  • domes
    a building with a rounded top
  • domestically
    in one's own country
  • don't go there
    don't think about that
  • dorsal fin
    the fin on the back of a fish or whale
  • doting
    uncritically adoring, very fond of
  • double-dutch
    a jump-rope game in which two ropes are being swung in opposite directions
  • dour
    surly, stern, not cheerful
  • Dr. Frankenstein
    character from Mary Shelley's novel: a scientist who carried out strange experiments
  • draconian
    very harsh
  • drain the fluids
    pour out oil, gas, etc.
  • drastic
    extreme
  • drastically
    extremely, in great contrast
  • dripping
    to form small drops, as when water or ice cream melt
  • dry cabin
    a cabin with no water or plumbing
  • dry ice
    solid carbon dioxide, used to pack things that must stay cold
  • duck
    to suddenly lower your head
  • dude
    young man, guy (informal slang)
  • dump
    slang: an unpleasant place in poor condition
  • dumpling
    a small ball of dough, often fried or boiled
  • dutifully
    in an obedient way
  • earthquake simulator
    a machine that simulates the motion of an earthquake
  • ease
    the absence of difficulty; when something is easy
  • easy on the eye
    attractive, nice-looking
  • easygoing
    someone who is friendly, relaxed, tolerant; who does not seem stressed
  • eco-disaster
    an ecological disaster
  • ecstasy
    a feeling of great joy or happiness
  • elder
    an older, respected member of the community
  • electoral votes
    votes of the Electoral College, which elects the president
  • elemental
    most basic
  • eligible
    able to take advantage or participate
  • embark
    to begin (often a long trip)
  • embitteredness
    bitterness; sadness with anger or resentment
  • emeritus
    retired, former; a title often used for college professors who have retired but may keep the title emeritus professor" as an honor"
  • enables
    to enable: to make possible
  • encounter
    meeting, interaction
  • engulfing
    swallowing, covering
  • enormous
    extremely large; giant, gigantic
  • entire
    whole
  • envisioned
    to envision: to imagine as a possibility
  • eons
    officially, a scientific term for measuring time - .5 billion years, for example - but often used colloquially simply to mean an exaggerated or long amount of time
  • equivalent
    equal to
  • escorted
    accompanied by
  • ethical
    concerned with ethics, moral questions
  • euphoria
    happiness, extreme excitement or joy
  • everybody's well accounted for
    we know where everybody is
  • excavate
    to dig out
  • exclusionary
    intended to exclude, keep someone out
  • expansive
    long, extensive
  • explosive charges
    a quantity of explosive materials
  • fabulous
    wonderful, marvelous
  • fake
    not real
  • fees
    money that must be paid
  • fellowship
    financial support, often given to graduate students
  • FEMA
    the Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • ferry
    a boat for carrying people or things, usually by a schedule
  • fiancée
    a woman who is engaged to be married
  • fieldwork
    research done outside of one's lab or office
  • fire pit
    a hole in the ground for a small fire
  • fleet
    a large number of ships
  • footage
    film for television or a movie
  • forgo
    to manage or get by without something
  • formica
    a type of hard plastic covering for counters
  • forums
    online places where people can discuss various questions
  • foster care
    when a child is cared for in a group or private home, not by the child's parents
  • four-wheeler
    a small vehicle with four-wheel drive, on which power goes to all four wheels
  • fracture
    a break or crack in something hard
  • freak
    an abnormal person
  • Frederick Douglass
    an American writer who escaped from slavery (1817-1895)
  • freezer
    a kitchen appliance for storing frozen food
  • frisk
    to pat the outside of someone's clothing, to make sure they are not carrying a gun or other weapon
  • fucked up
    in terrible condition, feeling awful; this is fairly rude slang and should be avoided in most contexts!
  • fugitive
    someone who is escaping or fleeing
  • Fugitive Slave Act
    This act was passed by Congress in 1850 as an attempt to quiet Southern calls to secede (separate) from the United States. It required authorities in Northern states to assist in returning escaped slaves to bondage, but remained controversial in many states.
  • fundraiser
    someone who raises money for a purpose
  • funky
    stylish or cool in an unusual way; the word is often used to describe jazz, blues, or soul music
  • gal
    slang for 'girl,' 'young woman'
  • gamble
    to play games while making bets
  • game changer
    someone who changes rules or expectations
  • game on
    let's go, let's get started
  • garb
    clothing
  • garish
    very bright, tasteless
  • garland
    a wreath of flowers, often worn on the head
  • gavel
    a small hammer used by judges to open or close sessions or call for order
  • geez (or jeez)
    an expression of surprise, dismay, or annoyance
  • gene
    a portion of DNA that determines characteristics
  • generalities
    ideas or words that are not specific
  • genetics
    the study of heredity characteristics that are inherited
  • genuine
    real, honest
  • ghee
    clarified butter
  • gigantic
    very big
  • giggling
    laughing lightly or quietly
  • gingerly
    carefully, tentatively
  • give up the ghost on
    here: to give up on, forget, stop doing something
  • glad-handing
    greeting people warmly, but perhaps insincerely
  • glimpse
    a quick look
  • go figure
    used to express that something is surprising or stupid
  • Gobi Desert
    large desert in Asia, region stretching across northwestern China and southern Mongolia
  • godmother
    a woman who promises to be responsible for a child's spiritual upbringing
  • godparents
    people chosen to be responsible for spiritual upbringing of a child
  • golly
    a mild expression of surprise
  • gonna
    going to
  • gorgeous
    very beautiful
  • got turned on to
    became interested in, excited about (slang)
  • gotta
    got to; have to, must
  • grand larceny
    theft of something valuable
  • grandfathered pits
    older cooking pits that are not subject to newer regulations
  • granted
    admittedly; introduces a fact counter to one's main argument, but that does not invalidate it
  • grate
    a framework of crossed or parallel bars or sticks
  • grate on my nerves
    irritate, annoy
  • gravelly
    covered with gravel (very small stones)
  • gray area
    when there is no clear dividing line between two ideas
  • Great Migration
    wildebeest migrating season from January to March in the Serengeti Desert, movement roughly from areas in Tanzania to Kenya
  • grey
    a 'grey area' is a situation that is unclear or ambiguous
  • guru
    a wise guide and/or teacher - someone with authority on a specific subject, or simply in life; officially a Sanskrit term for 'master' or 'teacher;' in mainstream culture, it can mean an expert or teacher in a specific field or discipline
  • had our maximum
    had all we could manage
  • halibut
    a type of fish
  • hallucination
    a perception or vision of something that is not really there; can be caused by drugs, fever, or severe illness
  • halo
    a brace used to keep the neck from moving after an injury
  • hand crank radio
    a radio powered by turning a handle, or crank
  • hand-eye coordination
    when hands and eyes work well together
  • handcuffs
    metal rings placed around a prisoner's wrists
  • hanging out
    spending time idly, relaxing, socializing
  • harsh
    unpleasant
  • haste
    moving more quickly, with more speed
  • he goes
    'he says;' in the context of informal storytelling, it’s common to use 'go' as a synony
  • headline
    a heading at the top of a magazine or newspaper
  • Hear ye
    a phrase spoken to open court sessions
  • hem
    the edge of cloth that is turned under and sewn
  • henna
    a dye used to decorate the body in India
  • hi-hat
    a pair of cymbals mounted on a special stand so that they can be sounded by pressing a pedal
  • highline poles
    tall poles, as for electrical wires, which are generally not very close together
  • hind end
    the back end, the rump
  • His hair has gone white.
    His hair has become white
  • hit-the-penny
    A game in which a penny is placed on the ground between two players, who try to hit the penny by throwing a ball at it.
  • hitchhiker
    someone who travels asking for rides from other drivers
  • hog
    a domesticated (not wild) pig
  • hoisted
    raised
  • hold up
    an unexpected delay
  • hole in the wall
    slang: a small, unattractive place
  • holy shit
    an expression of amazement (slang, can be rude)
  • Holy smoke!
    a play on words: Holy smoke! is an informal expression of surprise
  • homegrown
    made at home, grown in a home garden
  • Homer Simpson
    a cartoon character in the popular American television series, 'The Simpsons'.
  • hoodwink
    to fool, trick someone
  • hoosegow
    jail, prison (slang, from Spanish 'juzgado')
  • hors d'oeuvres
    small appetizers
  • hotline
    a direct telephone line that can be called any time, especially for emergencies
  • hovering
    to hover: to be in one place in the air
  • how's about
    what about, why don't we (introduces a suggestion)
  • hózhó
    translated loosely as 'harmony,' a Navajo word that represents a spiritual state, a sense of balance
  • HR
    Human Resources – the department of a business for hiring and training employees
  • humane
    kind, considerate
  • humdrum
    boring, dull
  • Humvee
    four-wheel drive military vehicle
  • hurdle
    barrier, obstacle; something that makes it harder to reach a goal
  • hurricane
    a dangerous tropical storm
  • hydrophone
    a microphone designed to be used underwater
  • I can't go like...
    I can't say...
  • idling
    leaves the motor running, but without moving forward
  • idolize
    to look up to someone as if to an idol; to admire greatly
  • IED
    improvised explosive device; a homemade bomb used in nontraditional combat
  • igloo
    A dome-shaped house used by Inuit peoples, often made from blocks of snow
  • I'm getting there
    I'm making progress
  • impartial
    fair, treating everyone equally
  • impeccable
    faultless, without error; often refers to taste (style, music), professionalism, or the way someone dresses
  • imperial
    having to do with an empire
  • imply
    to suggest, usually indirectly and based upon the context, words, or situation
  • impulse
    a sudden urge
  • in dispute
    something that people disagree about is in dispute
  • in recognition of
    taking into account
  • In the fashion of my family
    As my family usually did
  • in the nurture camp
    on the side that favors nurture
  • in the same breath
    at the same time
  • in the same league as
    equal to, as good as
  • incident
    an event, something that happened
  • inconsistency
    something that contradicts itself, is not consistent
  • indents
    impressions, concave marks
  • Indian country
    Native American reservations and settlements in the United States
  • indicted
    formally charged with a crime
  • induce
    to influence someone to do something
  • inebriated
    drunk
  • info
    short for 'information'
  • initially
    at first
  • insight
    a deep understanding
  • instability
    a situation when something tends to change, is not stable
  • instance
    example
  • instinct
    knowledge or tendency to do something without thinking
  • intact
    not broken, in one piece
  • interconnectivity
    being connected with surrounding people, things, nature, elements, or all of these
  • interns
    people working on an informal basis for little or no pay
  • internship
    a temporary job, sometimes without pay, for experience
  • it hit home with me
    it made a strong impression
  • it hit me
    I suddenly realized
  • it's lost on someone
    someone can't appreciate it
  • it's our thing
    it's what we do
  • jaded
    cynical
  • janitor
    a person who cleans a building
  • jarring
    startling
  • jerk
    an annoying or irritating person
  • jerky
    meat that has been sliced and dried for preservation; it does not need to be kept cold and is a common snack for hikers
  • Jersey
    short for New Jersey""
  • joint
    informal: a restaurant or bar
  • joyride
    taking a car without permission, while intending to return it
  • jubilation
    joy, great happiness, celebration
  • jumped its banks
    flowed over the banks
  • junior high school
    school for young students, usually 7th to 9th grade
  • ka-bang
    the noise of an explosion
  • key
    main, important
  • kind of
    (informal) somewhat, fairly, rather
  • knapsack
    backpack
  • knob
    a small rounded handle
  • knucklehead
    troublemaker, foolish person
  • koosh
    a kind of ball with thin rubber filaments
  • kosher
    in accordance with traditional Jewish dietary laws
  • kumbaya
    here: too sentimental
  • LA
    Los Angeles
  • ladle
    a large spoon for stirring and serving soup
  • landed a job
    got a job
  • landslide
    when earth or rock slides down a hill
  • lane trippers
    familiar term used for the yellow dashed lines that divide highways
  • lar-nyx
    the guard incorrectly pronounced 'larynx,' part of the neck that contains the vocal cords
  • lasagna
    an Italian dish of pasta, sauce, and cheese
  • latent
    unseen but present; hidden
  • laughter
    the act or sound of laughing
  • ledge
    a kind of shelf formed from the surrounding rocks of the waterfalls
  • legacy
    the history, memory, and/or life story of a person after they have gone or died, generally a positive impression that people look back on with respect and honor
  • legit
    (slang) legitimate, done properly
  • lethal
    fatal; something that can cause death
  • liberal
    left-wing political orientation
  • lick
    a set pattern or phrase consisting of a short series of notes in solos and accompaniment, in blues, jazz or rock music
  • linoleum
    a common type of flooring
  • long stretch
    referring to a large area or territory
  • lore
    old stories, often expressing a traditional point of view
  • love seat
    a small couch for two people
  • lovely
    beautiful, very pretty
  • low-budget
    a project with little money
  • Lower East Side
    first known as a settlement point for many immigrants, the Lower East Side refers to the southeastern region of New York City’s Manhattan borough (region); also more recently referred to as East Village.
  • lumber truck
    large vehicle used to pull heavy loads, particularly lumber (long wooden planks)
  • lunar
    relating to the moon.
  • lush
    where plants grow easily, luxuriantly
  • lustily
    energetically
  • mad
    insane
  • magna cum laude
    (Latin) with great distinction
  • magnetic pull
    a strong attraction or interest
  • maintenance man
    man who does small repairs
  • make eye contact
    to look another person in the eye
  • make my day
    to make someone's day" is to make it a good day; a happy or pleasant event"
  • man
    expresses emphasis
  • maneuver
    to move skillfully and carefully
  • manila folder
    a plain paper folder
  • manners
    customs; a set of rules for behavior
  • manufacture
    to make, to produce
  • marble
    a hard stone often used for building and sculpture
  • matzah ball
    a small dumpling made of matzah meal with egg and chicken fat
  • mechanic
    someone who fixes machines
  • mellow
    soft, relaxed
  • mental gymnastics
    having to think hard
  • mesa
    From the Spanish for 'table,' a raised geographical formation with a flat top and steep cliffs in the western and southwestern regions of the United States
  • migrant farming work
    farming work in Australia often involves picking fruit
  • millennial
    relating to a period of 1,000 years
  • mimic
    to imitate
  • miniature
    very small
  • miracle
    a welcome event that is hard to understand or explain
  • Miranda rights
    the right to remain silent after being arrested
  • misconception
    something that is not correctly understood
  • misreads
    to misread: to misunderstand
  • mock-up
    a quick visual outline of a film
  • modifying
    changing, adapting
  • Mojave Desert
    a desert located in southeastern California and parts of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah
  • momentous
    very important, significant
  • moose
    elk, a type of large deer with large antlers
  • mosque
    a Muslim place of worship
  • motley crew
    a varied group, different types of people
  • mouse
    a small device used to point to things on a computer screen
  • mug shot
    a picture taken by the police of a person who has been arrested
  • mundane
    uninteresting, general, routine; often referring to everyday tasks and activities
  • municipal
    of a city
  • muscular
    having strong or well-developed muscles
  • musicologist
    someone who studies music, as in music history or music theory
  • musk ox
    a large animal like cattle, with a heavy coat of fur
  • NASA
    the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Navajo
    Native American tribe of the southwestern United States, recognized by the US government as the largest tribe on US territory; the Navajo Nation is an independent governing body
  • nesting stage
    the time when one wants to start a family
  • newsreel
    a short film with news about current events
  • nickels
    a nickel = a coin worth 5 cents
  • nigger
    an African-American, or black person; this word is deeply offensive. Do not use it!
  • nine iron
    a type of golf club
  • noose
    a loop made of rope, put around the neck to kill someone by hanging
  • notorious
    famous, well-known, for a negative reason
  • novel
    unusual, unexpected
  • novelty
    something that is new and different or unexpected
  • nurture
    to care for, encourage growth
  • oath
    promise, vow
  • object lesson
    a specific illustration or example of a principle
  • objective
    a goal
  • obnoxious
    annoying, rude, irritating
  • obscure
    not well known
  • obviously
    clearly
  • oceanographer
    a scientist who studies the ocean
  • ocher
    a natural earth pigment (coloring), ocher can be found in a variety of colors (yellow, red, purple, brown, sienna, umber), and contains hydrated iron oxide, which is what produces the coloring; also spelled 'ochre.'
  • of all places
    expresses that a place seems improbable or unlikely
  • off of
    near
  • oftentimes
    often
  • oi vey
    expression of surprise (from Yiddish)
  • Old Faithful
    a geyser in Yellowstone
  • on cloud nine
    very happy
  • on sale
    being sold with a discount, for less than the usual price
  • on the books
    part of the laws
  • on the verge of
    near a limit beyond which something might happen
  • ongoing
    continuing, happening now
  • only scratched the surface
    only just begun; only done a little
  • open-hearted
    warm, friendly, trusting
  • option
    a possible way to do something
  • orca
    a black and white whale with large teeth; killer whale
  • ordeal
    a terribly difficult or painful experience
  • originate
    to come from, to come into being
  • origins
    the place where something began
  • ornaments
    in music, quick notes added to a basic line of melody
  • orphan
    a child whose parents have died
  • out of my mind
    insane, crazy
  • out of the blue
    unexpectedly, with no warning
  • outgoing
    someone who likes to be with and talk with other people; not shy or quiet
  • outhouse
    a small building with a toilet but usually no plumbing
  • outstanding warrant
    when a warrant has been issued but the person has not been arrested or come to court
  • over-...
    to do something too much
  • over-romanticize
    to see things too romantically, not realistically
  • over-stimulation
    when someone has become too stimulated or too excited
  • overlook
    a place on the side of the road to stop and admire the view
  • overseer
    a person who oversees or supervises the work of others
  • overwhelmed
    the feeling that one cannot deal with one's problems; a feeling of exhaustion or defeat
  • overwhelmingly
    almost completely
  • Pacific Palisades
    a residential neighborhood in the Westside of Los Angeles, California, with many wealthy residents, near Santa Monica Bay
  • palm of their hands
    the inner part of the hand between fingers and wrist
  • pandemonium
    chaos, craziness
  • paradox
    two statements or thoughts that seem to contradict each other, that seem like they cannot both be true
  • paramedic
    emergency medical worker
  • Pardon my French
    excuse me for swearing, using indecent language
  • pass out
    faint, lose consciousness
  • passive
    used to describe a person’s inaction, unwillingness or inability to be active or direct when handling a situation or participating in an event
  • passive-aggressive
    used to describe the action or attitude of a person who does not directly deal with a problem in a relationship, but indirectly shows aggression or criticism; for example, a person who speaks pleasantly to a colleague, but leaves a critical, angry note on their desk to solve a problem would(...)
  • pastor
    a minister in a Christian church
  • patent
    a license that gives right to use or sell something
  • patriarchy
    a social system controlled by men
  • PBJ
    peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, an inexpensive and common food in the US
  • pecking order
    a hierarchy of status
  • pedal
    a lever operated by the feet
  • people-watching
    watching people to observe their everyday interactions and habits
  • perch
    to be sitting (often used with birds)
  • phenomenon
    something that happens; a fact or event; often refers to something complicated that can be studied
  • physically
    having to do with the body
  • pickup truck
    small truck with an enclosed cab and open back
  • picture-perfect
    absolutely perfect
  • pile driver
    a machine for driving piles (large poles) into the ground, often to support a building
  • pine
    a evergreen tree with long, needle-shaped leaves; its wood is often used in building
  • pioneered
    was one of the first to do something
  • piss off
    slang, potentially rude: to make angry
  • pivot
    a turn in direction
  • plantation
    an estate on which crops like cotton or coffee are grown
  • plight
    a difficult situation
  • plowing
    driving directly
  • plunge
    to go down deep in water
  • pod of whales
    a group of whales
  • polls
    the place where people vote in an election
  • pollster
    someone who conducts polls, surveys of public opinion
  • poor bastards
    an expression of sympathy (slang); careful - without the word 'poor,' the word 'bastard' is very rude!
  • posture
    how one holds the body while standing or sitting
  • potlatch
    a ceremonial meal among Native Americans of North America
  • prank
    a practical joke
  • precursor
    a person or thing that came before
  • predator
    something that hunts
  • prejudice
    negative feelings about a group of other people, even if you don't know them
  • presumption
    what one thinks is true, an assumption based on facts
  • pretty much
    basically, mostly
  • preview
    when you can see something before it is widely released or shown
  • prey
    something that is hunted
  • primal
    basic, fundamental
  • prior to
    before
  • prism
    a solid transparent object with angles that split light into different colors
  • profusely
    at length, freely, abundantly
  • progressed
    to progress: to advance, move on
  • prohibit
    to not allow
  • prominent
    important, well-known
  • propellor
    a device with angled blades that propels ships or airplanes (makes them move forward)
  • protective
    wanting to protect someone
  • prototype
    a first model of something
  • public defender
    a lawyer appointed for people who cannot afford their own lawyer
  • puffin
    a seabird that lives in the north with a large, colored beak
  • pumped
    excited
  • punch a time clock
    to make a record of when one arrives at work
  • punjabi
    a type of suit worn by many Indian men
  • put yourself in someone's shoes
    to imagine oneself in someone else's situation; to understand someone's position
  • putting the pedal to the metal
    driving fast (putting the gas pedal to the metal of the car)
  • pyramid
    a structure with sides that meet in a point at the top
  • Quite the contrary
    an expression used to state that what was just said is not in fact true
  • r-insulation factor
    a measure of how well a house is insulated
  • rag top
    a car with a fabric roof that opens (slang)
  • rally
    a meeting to show support for a political or social cause
  • ranch house
    a one-story house with an open layout
  • random
    here: unexpected
  • rapids
    a place in a river where water flows especially fast
  • rapist
    someone who rapes, sexually assaults another person
  • react
    to act in response to something else
  • reality TV show
    a program with people as themselves, instead of actors
  • realm
    area
  • recall
    to remember
  • records
    large flat discs made of vinyl used to play music (on a “record player”), widely used until cassette tapes and compact discs became more popular in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Records have always held sentimental and musical value, however, and in the US have regained popularity for their(...)
  • reflection
    a mirror image; used here to refer to the face as the subject seen as a reflected mirror image
  • regrets
    actions or decisions that a person wishes they had not done in the past (to say someone 'has no regrets' means that they would not change the way their life had been led, to not wish that their past was different than reality)
  • reindeer
    a deer that lives in the far north of Europe and North America
  • reinforce
    emphasize, make clear
  • relative
    not absolute; considered in relation or in comparison to something else
  • remnant
    what is left of something; the remains of something
  • remorse
    regret, a feeling of guilt
  • renowned
    famous, well-known
  • repulsed
    deeply offended
  • reservation
    area of land managed by a Native American tribe
  • resolve
    to take care of a problem
  • rest home
    a home for elderly (particularly sickly) people, often with medical care and personal assistance
  • restricted
    not open to everyone
  • retrospective
    looking backward to the past
  • revival meetings
    meetings to awaken religious fervor
  • ribbon
    a narrow strip of fabric, often for tying
  • ripe
    ready to be used for its intended purpose; when referring to fruit, in the perfect state of freshness to be eaten
  • road movies, road stories
    movies and stories pertaining to the popular travel pastime of road trip
  • road trip
    packing up a car with food and making a vacation out of a long drive.
  • rock
    to move back and forth; a style of music (short for rock and roll)
  • role model
    a person who leads by a positive and/or successful example; often includes a connotation (an association) with moral uprightness or moral living… often a role model is an older peer or elder that younger people 'look up to' in order to follow their example
  • roller coaster
    a fast ride at amusement parks
  • roughly
    approximately, about
  • 'round about
    approximately, about
  • Rudolph
    Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a character in children's stories
  • running water
    water in a house that comes through pipes
  • rupture
    break or burst, used of pipes, or blood vessels or organs of the body
  • rural
    an area located outside of a main city or town, sometimes referred to as “countryside”
  • rush
    here: a sudden intense feeling
  • sacred sites
    places with religious significance to people who inhabited the area
  • salon
    a social gathering, often with a literary or artistic interests
  • salvage
    save or retrieve whatever parts are usable
  • salvation
    the act of saving
  • saran wrap
    a thin clear plastic film for wrapping food
  • sari
    a traditional dress of India
  • satellite
    an object that moves around a larger planet, or a machine in space that moves around the earth or another body
  • say what?
    an expression of great surprise (informal)
  • scatterbrained
    disorganized, absentminded
  • scenario
    situation; an outlne of a film or play
  • scofflaw
    someone who doesn't obey rules or laws
  • seal
    a mammal that lives in the sea, with a streamlined body
  • sean nós
    from Irish Gaelic, meaning old style
  • searchlight
    a very large light directed at the sky
  • Sears Roebuck
    a large department store
  • security checkpoint
    where government officials or police check people at an airport
  • seersucker
    a type of light fabric with raised and flat sections
  • seesaw
    traditional children’s play apparatus, with by a long board supported in the middle; used metaphorically here as a mental picture of methodically 'going in and coming out.'
  • seismic airgun (airgun)
    a machine that drives energy into the ocean, often used in looking for oil or gas under the sea
  • seldom
    rarely, not very often
  • Serengeti
    ecosystem, geographical region in Africa, also a National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • serpent
    snake
  • settlement
    a place where people have moved to or settled
  • shack
    makeshift, haphazard structures that are used for housing, often made out of wood, abandoned materials, scrap metal, etc.
  • shark
    a large fish, often with sharp teeth
  • sharp
    aged cheese is said to have a 'sharp' flavor
  • shattering pain
    extreme, terrible pain
  • she didn't get it
    she didn't understand
  • shift
    the time he needed to work that day
  • shift changes
    Shift” refers to a period of time (usually marked by hours) which an employee works for its company on a particular day.  An employee may have "night shift” or "day shift
  • shrapnel
    pieces of a bullet or bomb after it has hit its target
  • shrinking
    becoming smaller
  • shuffling
    to shuffle: to walk slowly, hardly picking up one's feet
  • sibling
    a brother or sister
  • sick and tired
    lost all patience
  • sidestep
    to step away, step to the side
  • Sierras
    the Sierra Nevada mountain range, located in parts of Nevada and California
  • silly putty
    a toy like clay that can be stretched or molded
  • singular
    remarkable, extraordinary, very unusual
  • sitcom
    situation comedy, a popular type of television programming
  • sites
    places of interest, locations of historical or cultural significance; often used in the context of tourism or travelling
  • sketchpad
    a pad of paper for drawing
  • slender
    somewhat thin, not fat
  • slobbering
    drooling; with saliva flowing from the mouth
  • slut
    a woman who has many casual sexual partners (rude)
  • snap out of it
    don't feel sorry for yourself; to stop focusing on something negative
  • social services
    organizations that handle social welfare matters such as adoption
  • sockets
    eye-socket: the opening in the skull where eyes are located
  • solitary confinement
    when one is held in prison apart from other prisoners
  • something has come up
    something has happened
  • song-trading session
    time spent between musicians sharing their personal songs or music with each other
  • sought
    past tense of seek
  • soul-searching
    term used about the process a person might go through to 'find themselves,' find out who they are as a person, or what they might think about a certain issue or topic
  • soundscape
    all the sounds one can hear together in a place
  • sparked an interest
    made someone interested
  • sparkling
    (of a drink) fizzy, carbonated
  • Spartacus
    a character in ancient Greece
  • species
    a group of individual animals related so they can breed, have children or offspring together; for example, different dogs are of the same species, but cats and dogs are different species
  • specificity
    particular words or ideas
  • spectacular
    fantastic, wonderful
  • spontaneous
    done without planned intention; something that happens immediately or suddenly; done “on a whim”
  • spontaneously
    without planning
  • spring fever
    excitement or restlessness felt in the spring
  • stacked
    placed one on top of another
  • stationary orbit
    an object that circles the earth in relation to a fixed point on earth is in stationary orbit
  • steady
    calm, stable
  • STEM
    an acronym standing for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
  • step-dad
    stepfather; the husband of one's mother after divorce or death of one's father
  • stickball
    a street game played with a stick and a ball; somewhat like a simplified version of baseball
  • stirrup
    section of a saddle which holds the feet of a rider
  • stock footage
    old standard film clips
  • stoopball
    an informal game in which a ball is thrown against a stoop (the stairs leading up to a house or building)
  • straighten
    to make straight, stand straight
  • straightforward
    simple, direct
  • stressor
    something that causes stress
  • stroke
    a loss of brain function caused by a problem in the flow of blood to part of the brain
  • studio
    a place for an artist, musician, or dancer to work
  • stunned
    amazed, very surprised
  • stupefied
    stunned, dazed; unable to think clearly from surprise
  • sturdy
    strong, stable
  • subs
    short for submarines""
  • substantially farther
    much farther
  • super
    very, extremely
  • Superadobe
    a new type of adobe, a building material often made of clay, sand, water, and straw
  • supertankers
    very large ships
  • surface tension
    a property of the surface liquids that can resist an external force
  • surly
    angry, sullen, grouchy
  • suspended
    held over, hanging over
  • swig
    a large swallow of a drink
  • swollen
    here: higher than usual
  • syndrome
    a group of symptoms of an illness
  • tacks
    small sharp objects like a very short nail
  • taker
    someone who accepts an idea or suggestion
  • tamp
    to press or tap down
  • tanning
    the process of making leather from animal skins
  • tart
    a woman who dresses in a tasteless way to attract men's attention
  • teeny
    very small; a colloquial version of tiny
  • telescope
    a tool used to make distant objects; we use telescopes to view the moon or other things in space
  • template
    a model or example
  • tends to
    to have a tendency toward (or to do) something;” to have a general reaction or effect that is predictable or consistent
  • terminal velocity
    the highest speed something will fall through air
  • the apple doesn't fall far from the tree
    idiom: children are much like their parents
  • the Bronx
    the northernmost of New York City’s five boroughs (or regions)
  • the delta
    an area of the American South including parts of Mississippi
  • the Empire State Building
    a 103-story building in Manhatten, long seen as a cultural icon and symbol of New York City
  • the fundamentals
    the basic, more important things
  • the golden rule
    'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you' – often associated with Christian or Biblical roots, see Matthew 7:12 in the Bible
  • the help
    in this context 'the help' refers to African-Americans who needed to work as maids or servants for the white people who have now left
  • the key element
    the most important thing
  • the life of the party
    a lively, energetic person who makes a party fun for everyone else
  • the lower 48
    other states in the continental US
  • the man's word
    his promise; 'to give your word' means to make a promise
  • the Occupy Movement
    protests against economic and social inequality
  • the princely sum
    the amount
  • theme
    a melody or song written for a film or TV show
  • TheRun1
    past tense of seek
  • they got people there
    they brought people there, made them come
  • thrilled
    very excited, overjoyed
  • thrive
    to be very healthy
  • thugs
    criminal, violent person
  • thy
    old, archaic term for 'you'
  • thyself
    old, archaic term for 'yourself'
  • tidal waves
    very large dangerous waves
  • time-killing
    any activity used to take up time that would otherwise be spent doing nothing or waiting for something; also, to kill time""
  • Time Out
    a magazine and website with information on events, activities, and things to do in New York
  • tinkering
    to tinker: to experiment, make small changes
  • tiny
    very small
  • tippy
    not stable; when something may tip or fall over
  • Title
    Description
  • to abandon
    to leave behind
  • to abuse
    to mistreat, hurt
  • to address oneself
    to turn one's attention to
  • to alter
    to change
  • to assess
    to estimate or evaluate
  • to assimilate
    to make or become more like something else
  • to bale
    to package leaves into bales, large bundles
  • to be bound
    to be headed somewhere, to be going somewhere
  • to be charged with a crime
    an official accusation of a crime
  • to be discovered
    here: a term often used in relation to career prospects, particularly in the talent and entertainment industries; for example, someone might be discovered for a starring role in film or the theater
  • to be the best hen
    referring to a hen in a coop, being the best or most qualified person
  • to be up for something
    to be willing or able to do something
  • to beat
    to hit, strike, hurt
  • to bond
    to develop or keep close relationships
  • to bust
    to arrest (slang)
  • buzzed
    in an airplane: to fly by closely
  • to call the test
    to cancel the test
  • to cast
    to give a role to an actor
  • to catch on
    to become popular or accepted
  • to catch up on something
    to finish something that should have been done earlier
  • to chain-smoke
    to smoke continuously
  • to chant
    rhythmic speaking or sounds, often used for a spiritual ceremony or meditation
  • to check in
    to show one's ticket and identification to get on a plane
  • to clear security
    to get past the security checkpoint
  • to compensate for
    to make up for
  • to counter
    to act against
  • to cut your losses
    to get out of a difficult situation before it gets worse
  • to cycle through
    to go back and forth
  • to do time
    to be in prison
  • to drive (someone) nuts
    to annoy someone, to make them “go crazy” by bothering them
  • to ease
    to move gently
  • to engage someone
    to get someone's attention, start talking with someone
  • to exploit
    to use, make use of something; often used in a negative sense
  • to expunge
    to remove, erase, delete
  • to eye someone
    to look at someone
  • to facilitate
    to make something easier
  • to feel at home
    to feel comfortable in a place or situation
  • to feel down
    to feel depressed
  • to feel used
    to feel someone has taken advantage of you
  • to figure
    consider, think, expect
  • to flood
    to move as a large mass
  • to flop
    to fall in a loose, heavy way
  • to freak out
    to lose control or become overly worried
  • to get out of it
    to fix, solve a problem
  • to go by a name
    to be called by a name
  • to go down
    to happen, to occur (slang)
  • to grant
    to give permission for something
  • to handcuff
    to put handcuffs on someone
  • to harbor
    here: to have a feeling or thought in your mind
  • to have a thing for
    to be enthusiastic about, to like very much, to be a fan of
  • to have no clue
    to have no idea, not understand at all
  • to head
    to lead, to be in charge of
  • to “hit the wall”
    to come to a point where one must stop, or to come to a physical or mental state when it is hard to continue
  • to hitchhike
    to stand on the side of a road to ask passing drivers for a ride
  • to hold sacred
    to consider something valuable or precious
  • to hover
    to float in the air, staying in one place
  • to interfere
    to prevent something from happening
  • to light up the room
    to bring energy and a good feeling to a gathering
  • to liken
    to compare, to say that something is similar to something else
  • to lug
    to carry something heavy or awkward
  • to make a fortune
    to make a lot of money
  • to make it
    to survive; to reach a place (often with difficulty)
  • to maneuver
    to guide, direct, make one's way
  • to mend one's ways
    to stop behaving poorly
  • to monitor
    to manage, to watch or listen for
  • to 'moon'
    a prank of taking down one’s pants and showing one’s buttocks or backside
  • to mush up together
    to mix up
  • to mutter
    to speak quietly to oneself, often from irritation
  • to narrow something down
    to focus on more likely possibilities
  • to neglect to do something
    to not do something that was expected
  • to oscillate
    to swing or move back in forth at a regular rhythm
  • to overwhelm
    to defeat, give far too much of something
  • to pal around
    to spend time together as friends
  • to partake
    to sample, to take part in
  • to pass away
    to die
  • to pass out
    to lose consciousness
  • to pervade
    to be present throughout something, to spread throughout something
  • to plug into
    to connect with a cord
  • to pound
    to hit hard, loudly
  • to process
    here: to think something through
  • to pull someone's leg
    to joke
  • to pull the wool over someone's eyes
    to trick or fool someone
  • to purloin
    to steal
  • to pursue music
    to try music as a career
  • to put someone up
    to give someone a place to stay; to let someone stay in your home
  • to put up with
    to accept something or someone that may not be as good as one would like; to endure without complaining
  • to quiver
    to shake, shiver
  • to ramp up
    to make changes before a time of greater demands
  • to rear
    to raise (a child)
  • to relate
    to understand, to sympathize
  • to relinquish
    to give up
  • to reside
    to live
  • to resuscitate
    to revive
  • to run the numbers
    to calculate and explain the numbers
  • to scrunch
    to squeeze, crumple
  • to second-guess
    to criticize or judge someone, using hindsight
  • to secure
    to fasten or fix something in place so that it cannot move
  • to seize
    to grab, grasp, take hold of
  • to shape up
    to improve, get better
  • to shoot
    here: to film; to shoot photographs = to take photographs
  • to shut down
    to stop one's normal activities, avoid conversation and interaction
  • to smack
    to hit, strike suddenly
  • to spark
    to start
  • to stick with
    to continue with, continue using
  • to stumble across
    to find
  • to surface (memories)
    to come up, be remembered, to reappear
  • to take some time
    here: to take time off from work
  • to take someone in
    to give someone shelter, a place to stay
  • to tip
    to push something to one side
  • to torpedo
    to hit as a torpedo would (an underwater missile fired from a ship)
  • to twinkle
    to shine or give off light in a way that flickers, seems to go on and off; for example, stars twinkle at night
  • to vow
    making a solemn promise
  • to weep
    to cry softly
  • to what extent
    to what degree; how much
  • to wind up
    to arrive at or be in a place, sometimes in an unexpected or unplanned way
  • to wrench
    to turn roughly
  • to zip
    here: to run quickly
  • torches
    large sticks with a flame
  • toss
    to throw lightly or casually
  • toss and turn
    to move about in bed when one can't sleep
  • tough
    difficult
  • tough time
    a difficult time
  • trace
    evidence, hint
  • transcends
    goes beyond
  • transfers
    a small ticket for continuing a bus trip
  • transpersonal psychology
    a school of psychology that seeks to integrate spiritual experience with scientific psychology
  • transport
    to take from one place to another; here used figuratively to describe the feeling that you have been taken to a very different place
  • trim
    a decorative section along the side or edges of something
  • triple decker
    a boat with three decks, three levels
  • trombone
    a large brass musical instrument with a slide
  • trophy
    a large cup or object received for winning a competition
  • trumpet
    a brass musical instrument
  • TSA
    Transportation Security Administration; the organization responsible for safety at airports
  • tumble
    to fall
  • tunnel vision
    when one thinks about one thing only, without considering the context
  • turnoff
    the place where you turn off a main road
  • ‘twas
    colloquial variant of 'it + was'
  • two sides of the same coin
    things that seem different but are actually related
  • ultimate
    last, most extreme
  • UN
    the United Nations
  • unannounced
    not made known in advance
  • uncanny
    strange, unusual, unsettling
  • uncharted
    unknown, a place or territory that has not yet been discovered
  • uncharted territory
    great uncertainty, lack of knowledge
  • underlined
    when a line appears under a word to emphasize it
  • underside
    a dark or hidden side
  • unfit
    not suited, unacceptable
  • unfolds
    takes place
  • ungodly
    horrible, terrible, painful
  • universal
    something applies to all people or situations
  • unmaking
    ruin, destruction
  • unresponsive
    silent, not responding
  • upbringing
    the way a child is raised
  • vague
    not distinct, not clear
  • vanity
    excessive pride
  • vehicle
    in this sense, a catalyst, or that which takes you to a new place or understanding of life
  • velcro
    a kind of tape for fastening made of two strips, with tiny hooks and loops
  • velociraptor
    a kind of small, fast dinosaur
  • verbal
    having to do with words and speech
  • verdict
    the decision of whether someone is guilty
  • vernacular
    informal speech, the everyday usage of ordinary people
  • vibrant
    lively, full of energy
  • videographer
    someone who makes videos
  • vigil
    keeping awake to protest or pray
  • virtues
    good qualities, moral behavior
  • visceral
    related to the body or muscle tissues; often used figuratively to indicate a deep, instinctive feeling or reaction
  • vividly
    very clearly
  • vocalized
    to give voice to, say
  • voluntarily
    of one's free will; not forced
  • Walking Across America 2
    'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you' – often associated with Christian or Biblical roots, see Matthew 7:12 in the Bible
  • walrus
    a large sea mammal with tusks
  • waltz
    a type of formal dance
  • wanna
    an informal, colloquial pronunciation of "want to"
  • warrant
    an order to appear in court, or that someone can be arrested
  • wastelands
    empty land without life
  • wave
    slightly curly hair
  • way the hell deep
    (informal) very, very deep
  • weave in and out
    to walk among the rooms
  • weird
    strange, unusual
  • went downhill
    to go downhill: to get worse, not succeed
  • we're doing our thing
    we're doing what we want, what's expected
  • What is this behind the bad look?
    Why are you giving me this bad look?
  • whoa!
    an exclamation used to tell someone to stop
  • wholesale
    completely
  • wield
    to use intentionally, with purpose (as in a weapon, a knife, etc.)
  • will
    a will is a legal document that says what should be done with one's possessions after one dies
  • winch
    a device with a turning wheel and a rope, for pulling heavy things
  • wink
    to close one eye quickly
  • wishy-washy
    without a clear goal
  • within earshot
    close enough to hear
  • womb
    the part of a woman's body where a baby grows
  • Wonder Bread
    a type of very soft, white bread, mass-produced and sold in plastic bags
  • wont to do
    in the habit of doing
  • Word got around
    The news was spread; people heard about what had happened
  • workplaces
    places where one does one's job
  • wreck
    something that has been destroyed or ruined; 'she's a wreck' here means that she is very worried or upset
  • wretch
    a very unhappy, contemptible, or undeserving person
  • xenophobia
    fear or dislike of people from other countries
  • yearned
    very much wanted, desired
  • Yellowstone
    a national park in Wyoming
  • yokel
    an uneducated person from the countryside
  • 'you’re workin' me hard'
    'you’re making this difficult for me,' 'you're giving me a hard time'
  • zoning board
    a local government board that handles building permits
  • Zubu-Baba bad guy
    a name made up by Josh to refer to a frightening person
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