Monday, August 29, 2011

Learning new vocabulary

It's been a long time since I've had to sit with a dictionary by my side when I read, but Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird gave me a few challenges.

What on earth is a scuppernong1? And what's so special about Lane cake2? Why, the shinny3 it contains, of course.

I guess if I had much knowledge of the US deep south I might have done better, but my familiarity is limited to the north, and the north east at that. (My grandad was born in Connecticut)

At last I know where the Boo Radleys4 got their name and even good old Lily the Pink5 gets a mention.


1. scuppernong     A type of large white grape

2. Lane cake     Rich layer cake, doused in bourbon and covered in creamy white icing.

3. shinny     Bourbon

4. Boo Radley  Reclusive character who plays a signficant role in the book without appearing more than once.

5. Lily the Pink 1960s song by The Scaffold

I even had the audacity to review it.


Katie Gates said...

Hello Morning AJ. I linked over here from the Campaigners list, and this post made me smile. I remember, in 9th grade, when we were reading To Kill A Mockingbird for English class, that scuppernong was one of our vocabulary words. Of course, I'd since forgotten the meaning, as it just doesn't come up very much in conversation.

Your post also made me smile because I included references to To Kill A Mockingbird in my novel, The Somebody Who, and at one point I realized that I was being presumptuous in assuming that everyone knew the story line. So, I had the fun challenge of having one character describe it to another during a telephone conversation.

I look forward to reading more of your posts and Campaigning with you!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Anne .. well you've told me something .. interesting how words are part of different areas and don't spread .. such fun reading this - thanks. I love the song Lily the Pink! Cheers Hilary

snafu said...

A famous quote about Britain and America concerns the differences in language and says 'Two Great Nations, divided by a single language.' This is quite true, we had some difficulty making ourselves understood many times on our recent trip, even though, due to Hollywood, we understood them perfectly.

Margaret said...

Awesome book and you get an A+ for effort!

Shannon Lawrence said...

It's a great book, but it's amazing how hard it can be to understand the same language from a different area, isn't it? Fascinating how language develops like a game of telephone.

Heather Justesen said...

I admit, those all stumped me! I'm also not from anywhere near the South so these were cultural references that totally escaped me. Thanks for sharing!

Jes said...

Confession time: I have yet to finish this book. No idea why; what I've read of it, I liked. Ho hum. Guess it's back on the reading list, lol.

I knew Lane Cake (yumohyum), but that was it.

Hi and G'Bye from a Campaigner! Happy writing and reading..