1. “‘Not so fast,” Mimi Mitchum said. “We’re driving you both to the mailbox and then home. I don’t know what you ruffians are up to, but it’s over for tonight.” (Snicket 148)
2. The structure shows that the word is a noun referring to people, specifically children, that are up to something.
3. Suspicious adolescents known for bad behavior
4. a tough, lawless person; roughneck; bully.
5. Delinquent, hooligan, troublemaker
6. The ruffians are known for outrageous pranks and do not belong in that stuck-up rich neighborhood.
1. “You need only three things to have what it takes to scold. You need time…You need effort… And you need chutzpah…” (Snicket 151)
2. Through context you can tell the word is a noun meaning something that is needed to scold someone, other then time and effort.
3. Something relating to bravery
4. audacity; nerve.
5. Boldness, gall
6. I can’t believe she had the chutzpah to say no when the guy everyone dreamed of going to the dance with asked her.
1. “I thought suddenly of another word for obsequious that was more insulting.”(Snicket 209-210)
2. The word appears to be an adjective describing something that could be insulting.
3. An insult; possibly meaning stupid or ugly
4. Servilely compliant or deferential
5. Servile, slavish, subservient
6. The obsequious butler would cater to his master’s every need without question.
1. “‘Oh yes,’ he said, kowtowing.”(Snicket 210)
2. It must mean the same as obsequious, only much more insulting.
3. Serving obsequiously to the point of worship
4. to act in an obsequious manner; show servile deference.
5. (See obsequious)
6. The slave was forced to serve his master in a kowtowing way.
1.”…Theodora poured out the laudanum that had been in my tea.” (Snicket 231)
2. It must be a noun meaning something that you would not want in your tea.
3. A type of poison that can be put in food.
4. a tincture of opium which is poisonous in large doses
6. Any laudanum can give a soothing effect for the mind when eaten, unless given in large doses in which it is poisonous.
1. “…I could see the insignia on the letter, which matched that of my letter of introduction. (Snicket 39)
2. The structure suggests the word is a noun relating to something that can be seen on a letter.
3. Hand-written writing or a signature
4. a distinguishing mark or sign of anything
5. Mark, ensign, symbol
6. The business stamps every letter they send with their unique insignia of a bald eagle in flight.
1. “‘Your penchant for asking too many questions and for general rudeness makes me reluctant to keep you.’” (Snicket 31)
2. The structure suggests the word is a noun and from experience it appears to mean a habit.
3. A habit or commonly done task of bad connotation
4. a strong inclination, taste, or liking for something
5. Proneness, tendency
6. She has a penchant of chewing gum and is chewing every time you see her.
1. “…I could smell the forest, a brackish scent of fish and soil…” (Snicket 29)
2. The word is an adjective describing a scent of fish and soil.
3. Unpleasant of scent
4. Having a salty or briny flavor or scent
5. Briny, salty
6. I could almost feel the sand between my toes, hear the crashing of the waves and smell the brackish and fishy scent of the sea.
1.”‘Don’t repeat what I say Snicket. You are an apprentice, not a mynah bird.’” (Snicket 23)
2. The word must be a noun, a type of bird, that is repetitive.
3. A bird that can copy sounds repetitively
4. any of several Asian birds, certain species of which have the ability to mimic speech and are kept as pets
6. My grandmother has a pet minah bird that can learn any word you say, like a parrot.
1. “I scowled out the window and asked myself these and other hopeless questions. ‘Your reticence is not appreciated,’” (Snicket 20)
2. The structure suggests the word is a noun relating to someone’s feelings as they might scowl out a window.
3. Silence; lack of talking
4. the state of being reticent, or reserved, especially with regard to speaking freely; restraint
5. Reserve, shyness
6. Everyone was surprised when the quiet, usually reticent, girl yelled in anger.
1. “‘Everything is potent, volatile…!’”
2. Due to structure it is obviously an adjective which has a similar meaning to “potent”
3. Potent, deadly
4. tending or threatening to break out into open violence; explosive
5. Erratic, resilient, unstable
6. The explosives were volatile and likely to burst at any moment.