Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter

A long while ago – maybe in the 1990’s, I heard a BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa, starring John Sessions and Siobhan Redmond. I remember it being very funny. More recently, I read the book in English which was also very interesting and amusing, and contained a lot of difficult words, some of which are below (some are less difficult, but I still wasn’t sure of them, hence their inclusion).

page word definition
80 lugubrious mournful, dismal
90 proparoxytones having an accent or heavy stress on the antepenultimate syllable
97 punctilious strict or exact in the observance of the formalities or amenities of conduct or actions
112 mimeticosemantic mimetic – related to mimicrysemantic – related to meanings of words or signs
117 calumny a false and malicious statement designed to injure the reputation of someone or something
117 jeremiads a prolonged lamentation or mournful complaint
117 cyclothymia a mild bipolar disorder characterized by instability of mood and a tendency to swing between mild euphorias and depressions
117 jitney route taxi
126 mesocrat mixed-race
126 oligophrenic having less than normal mental development
126 acromegalic sufferer from a chronic disease characterized by enlargement of the bones of the head, the soft parts of the feet and hands, and sometimes other structures, due to excessive secretion of growth hormone by the pituitary gland
145 ukase any order or proclamation by an absolute or arbitrary authority
145 venial able to be forgiven or pardoned; not seriously wrong, as a sin
145 arnica a tincture of the flowers of A. montana, of Europe, and other species of Arnica, formerly used as an external application in sprains and bruises
147 chrematistic of wealth
150 hieratically like a priest
153 epithalamicide killing of the epithalmus (the dorsal area of the diencephalon containing a habenula and the pineal gland)
158 lapidary the art of cutting, polishing, and engraving precious stones; characterized by an exactitude and extreme refinement that suggests gem cutting
158 holograph wholly written by the person in whose name it appears
159 errant deviating from the regular or proper course; erring; straying; journeying or travelling, as a medieval knight in quest of adventure; roving adventurously; moving in an aimless or lightly changing manner: an errant breeze.
163 chitlings the small intestine of swine, esp. when prepared as food
168 corpus delicti the basic element or fact of a crime, as, in murder, the death of the murdered person; the object, as the body of a murdered person, upon which a crime has been committed and that serves as evidence proving that the crime was committed
177 oneiric of or pertaining to dreams
179 phlegmatic not easily excited to action or display of emotion; apathetic; sluggish
190 infantilism the persistence in an adult of markedly childish anatomical, physiological, or psychological characteristics
199 captious apt to notice and make much of trivial faults or defects; faultfinding; difficult to please; apt or designed to ensnare or perplex, esp. in argument: captious questions
202 exophthalmic of protrusion of the eyeball from the orbit, caused by disease, esp. hyperthyroidism, or injury
208 archiepiscopal of or pertaining to an archbishop or to the office of an archbishop
208 vicuña (vicugna) camel-like animal
209 hetaera any woman who uses her beauty and charm to obtain wealth or social position
213 scapular two small pieces of woolen cloth, joined by strings passing over the shoulders, worn under the ordinary clothing as a badge of affiliation with a religious order, a token of devotion, etc.
220 casuist an oversubtle or disingenuous reasoner, esp. in questions of morality; a person who studies and resolves moral problems of judgment or conduct arising in specific situations
221 paropsis ?
221 rachitis inflammation of the spine
225 apocopes loss or omission of the last letter, syllable, or part of a word
226 cynosure something that strongly attracts attention by its brilliance, interest, etc.: the cynosure of all eyes; something serving for guidance or direction
228 huachafo (slang) Of or pertaining to a person or object resulting from poor taste, not fashionable, bad personal manners or bad habits
232 walleyed having eyes in which there is an abnormal amount of the white showing, because of divergent strabismus; having large, staring eyes, as some fishes; marked by excited or agitated staring of the eyes, as in fear, rage, frenzy, or the like: He stood there in walleyed astonishment
237 satyriasis (also “Don Juanism”) a syndrome, occurring in males, of excessive preoccupation with sexual gratification or conquest and leading to persistently transient and sometimes exploitative relationships
237 coprolalia the obsessive use of scatological language
240 chichi Ostentatiously stylish; deliberately chic
246 greenhorn an untrained or inexperienced person; a naive or gullible person; someone who is easily tricked or swindled; a newly arrived immigrant; newcomer
249 catechism an elementary book containing a summary of the principles of the Christian religion, esp. as maintained by a particular church, in the form of questions and answers
251 Mercurochrome a brand of merbromin: an iridescent green, water-soluble powder, C20H8Br2HgNa2O6, that forms a red solution when dissolved in water: used as an antiseptic and as a germicide
271 saw a sententious saying; maxim; proverb
276 pignoration the act of pledging or pawning
279 lymphatic having the characteristics, as flabbiness or sluggishness, formerly believed to be due to an excess of lymph in the system
279 abnegating refusing or denying oneself (some rights, conveniences, etc.); rejecting; renouncing
280 ontological the branch of metaphysics that studies the nature of existence or being as such
280 Brahmanic related to being a priest?
281 teratological of the science or study of monstrosities or abnormal formations in organisms
288 scabrous having a rough surface because of minute points or projections; indecent or scandalous; risqué; obscene
295 beatifically bestowing bliss, blessings, happiness; blissful; saintly
314 mestizo a person of racially mixed ancestry, esp., in Latin America, of mixed American Indian and European, usually Spanish or Portuguese, ancestry, or, in the Philippines, of mixed native and foreign ancestry
329 niveous resembling snow, esp. in whiteness; snowy
343 deliquescence to become liquid by absorbing moisture from the air, as certain salts; to melt away
361 forensic pertaining to, connected with, or used in courts of law or public discussion and debate; adapted or suited to argumentation; rhetorical
373 lèse culture defaming or insulting a culture
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About icfematerials

I am an EFL teacher in Moscow, Russia. I'm blogging about ICFE materials. I am in no way affiliated with Cambridge ESOL. My views are not those of my school or of Cambridge ESOL.
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2 Responses to Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter

  1. Pingback: Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa – A Son of the Rock -- Jack Deighton

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