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Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The Pickwick Papers: Chapter 1

'The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club' is the first novel by Charles Dickens. It is also the book that has most enhanced my vocabulary. I read it when I was eleven or twelve.My recollection is that for each chapter I read I would have underlined twenty to thirty words to be looked up* in my dictionary. I kept these words in a master list that I attempted to learn.

* I try to look up most words that I cannot give a definition for. 'Of or pertaining to' is a very useful phrase for defining words

This is my attempt to recreate that master list.





  1. Illumine - to give brightness
  2. Indefatigable - incapable or seemingly incapable of being tired
  3. Assiduity - constant attention to what you are doing
  4. Multifarious - many AND various (not an exact synonym for various)
  5. Accrue - receive money and benefits over regular or increasing amounts of time (There should also be an accumulation at the end of that time)
  6. Unwearied - this is obviously the opposite of weary. I would use weary as losing interest or enthusiasm but weary has other definitions and unwearied tends to be used as not tired
  7. Diffusion - spread more widely
  8. Emanating - coming from a source
  9. Defraying - provide money for an expense
  10. Acquiescence - the reluctant acceptance of something without protest
  11. Declamation - rhetorical or emotional speech (often used to condemn but not in this instance)
  12. Susceptible - likely to be influenced or harmed by something (important to differentiate from prone)
  13. Ardour - zeal
  14. Capacious - having a lot of room
  15. Effectual - producing or able to produce a desired effect
  16. Vehement - forceful
  17. Haberdasher - someone who sells sewing-related materials
  18. Bestowed - presented as a gift or honour
  19. Calumnious - statements, often untrue, that are intended to discredit
  20. Allude - refer to something indirectly (often confused with infer)
  21. Scurrilous - using fruity language
  22. Humbug - something designed to deceive
  23. Profound - having intellectual depth and insight
  24. Imperative - of vital importance (not just the most important)
  25. Censure - a judgement involving condemnation
  26. Collate - collect and combine in proper order

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