Skip to main content

Lord of the Flies: Vocabulary & British Slang Terms

A - G

aloft: in air

antiphonal: responses alternating from one group to a second

assimilating: forcing something/someone to be a part of a group

balm: a healing oil or cream

barmy: (British) crazy

befouled: made foul or disgusting, ruined

bloody: cursed, damned

bogie: imaginary evil spirit

bolting: out of control

brandishing: waving about in a threatening manner

bravado: foolhardiness

brine:  sea salt

capering: playful leaping or dancing

castanet: percussion instrument clicked in the hand

cessation: stop

chasm: deep clefts or gores

chastisement: punishment

clambering: climbing, scrambling

communion: unity

composite: something made up of distinct parts

constrainedly: with restraint

contrite: sincerely sorry for shortcomings

converts: thickets where animals can hide

cordon: a line of people set up to prevent passage through an area

corpulent: with a large, bulky body

creepers: entangled vines

crepitating: crackling

crooks: curves behind the knees  

crooning: singing softly

daunting: dismaying

dazzle paint: camouflage

declivities: descending slopes

decorous: proper and in good taste

defiles: gorges, ravines

demented: insane

demoniac: fiendish

demure: modest

derisive: ridiculing, sarcastic

detritus: debris; garbage

diddle:  fool, confuse

diffidently: with hesitation and respect

discursive: rambling, wandering

disinclination: mild preference for avoiding something

distended: swollen from internal pressure

do us: kill us

drill: durable cotton twill used for military uniforms

dun: cheerless

ebullience: liveliness

eccentric: odd

effigy:  representation, model

efflorescence: blooming

effulgence: brilliance

elephantine: clumsy, intent movement

embossed: raised

embroiled: involved in conflict

enmity: ill-will

enormity: great wickedness

ensconce: conceal

epaulettes: shoulder ornaments on a military uniform

errant: disobedient

exulting: joyful

fervor: intensity

festooned: decorated

fibrous: with fibers or threadlike characteristics

footling: useless; pointless

fronds: large leaves with many divisions

furrowing: creating trenches in something

furtive: sly, devious

garter: a band worn to hold up a stocking

generic: without distinction; in general

gibbering: babbling

give him a fourpenny one: hit him on his jaw

glamour: magic spell; enchantment

glowered: look angrily

gouts: collections of fluid

grotesque:  disgusting, gross

guano: excrement of sea birds (bird feces)

gyration: revolving motion

H - P

ha'porth: contraction for halfpenny worth: a tiny amount

hambone frill: a collar frill, resembling that put on bake ham

hayrick: a large pile of hay

hiatus: break in time

illumination:  the process of clarifying or explaining something intellectual or spiritual enlightenment

immured: walled in

impalpable: not capable of being felt

impenetrable: unable to be entered

impervious: without feeling or response

inarticulate: unable to speak

incantation: formula of words with the power of a spell

incredulous: unbelieving: skeptical

incursion: a breakthrough into enemy territory

indignantly: angrily

indigo: deep reddish blue

induced: persuaded

inimical: unfriendly; hostile

inscrutable: not easily understood

interminable: seemingly without end

interposed: intruded: got between

interspersed: interwoven; with something at intervals in between

intricacies: details

jeeringly:  mockingly

lamentation:  weeping, crying

lashing: (chiefly British) large amounts

leeward: facing the same direction that the wind is blowing

leviathan: a great sea monster defeated by God in the Old Testament Book of Job

littluns: younger children

lodgments: resting places  

lolled: lounged; hung around

looming: dark, indistinct, and deceptively large

ludicrous: ridiculous

ludicrous:   ridiculous, absurd

luminous: glowing

malevolently: with hostility or hatred

martyred: suffering

matins: morning prayer

moors:  (British) grasslands unusable for farmland; boggy areas

mortification: shame; humiliation

motif: single or repeated design

mucking about: wasting time

multitudinous: consisting of innumerable parts

mutinously: rebelliously

myopia: near-sightedness

myriad: innumerable; many

node: knot, lump

obscurely: mysteriously

obscurity: state of being unknown

officious: too eager to serve or advise

one for his nob: hit him on his head

opalescence: reflecting rainbow-colored light

opaque:  light can't pass through

palled: grew uninteresting

pallidly/pallid: without liveliness

pallor: paleness

parried: stopped a physical attack

paunched: gutted (cut into) a potbelly

pendant: hanging

phosphorescence: ongoing emission of light

pinch:  steal

pinnacles: peaks; spires

pliant: pliable; flexible

plonking/plonk: plunking

polyp: invertebrate animals including jellyfish

precentor: choir lead

prefect: student monitor in a private school

proffer: offer  

propitiating: appealingly; in order to regain favor

purged: cleaned; freed

Q - Z

quavered: trembled

queer: different, odd, peculiar, eccentric

rapt: completely absorbed

ravenously: with greed

recrimination: an accusation made in retaliation

reverence: respect; honor  

rugger (British) slang for rugby

runnels: little streams

sabers: curved swords

sagely: wisely

sanctity: holiness; inviolability

sauntered: strolled  "Jack rose from the log that was his throne and sauntered to the edge of the grass."

scar:  a rip in the forest caused by the plane crash

scurfy: with a surface deposit

sepals: modified leaves at the base of a flower's petals

sheered off: left the course

shied: started suddenly (past tense of shy)

sidelong: in a sideways manner

skewed: slanting

smashing: magnificent

sniggers: snickers; laughs

sod you: (chiefly British, vulgar) damn you

specs: eyeglasses

specious: deceptive

strident: harsh and loud

succulent: juicy  

suffusion: flush; blush, color

surged: rolled forward like a wave

susurration: murmur

swarthiness: darkness (of skin)

swathes: areas similar to rows left by a mower

swathing: engulfing

taboo: rule that makes something forbidden

tacit: unstated

taken short: informal phrase for having diarrhea

talisman: object considered to be a charm against evil

tempestuously: like a tempest; stormily

tendril:  slender, cold, hanging plant structure

theological: relating to the study of God

togs: clothes for a specific use

tottery: unbalanced

tow: pale; straw-colored

traces: straps of an animal’s harness (used here metaphorically)

tremulously: timidly

truculently: with aggressive savagery

tumult: an uproar

twining: twine: meandering; curving

ululation: howling

unendurable: not bearable

unquenchable: unstoppable; can't be satisfied

vicissitudes: difficulties or hardships

wacco /wizzo: excellent

waxy: in a rage

whelming:  engulfing, covering

windward: facing the direction from which the wind is coming.

windy: (slang: short for idiom "Got the wind up") "We're being fools."

wubber: blubber: cry