Ms. Gokturk

Trends in Literature


Oryx and Crake Vocabulary List



Ersatz: Being an imitation or a substitute, usually an inferior one; artificial

Talisman: An object marked with magic signs and believed to confer on its bearer supernatural powers or protection. / Something that apparently has magic power.

Cache: A hiding place used especially for storing provisions.

Topis : helmet worn for protection against sun and heat

Jute: a plant fiber used in making rope or sacks

Mitigate: To moderate (a quality or condition) in force or intensity; alleviate

Flotsam: Floating refuse or debris

Pedagogue: A schoolteacher; an educator

Soothsayer: One who claims to be able to foretell events or predict the future; a seer

Benevolent: Characterized by or suggestive of doing good.

Griffin: A fabulous beast with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion

Manticore: A legendary monster having the head of a man, the body of a lion, and the tail of a dragon or scorpion.

Dubious: Of questionable character

Basilisk: A legendary serpent or dragon with lethal breath and glance. /Any of various tropical American lizards of the genus Basiliscus, characterized by a crest on the head, back, and tail and the ability to run on the hind legs.

Stealth: The act of moving, proceeding, or acting in a covert way

Elusive: Difficult to define or describe




Feral: Of or suggestive of a wild animal; savage

Tantalize: To excite (another) by exposing something desirable while keeping it out of reach

Mesozoic: Of, belonging to, or designating the era of geologic time that includes the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods and is characterized by the development of flying reptiles, birds, and flowering plants and by the appearance and extinction of dinosaurs

Dissolution: Decomposition into fragments or parts; disintegration

Zenith: The point of culmination; the peak

Condescend: To deal with people in a patronizingly superior manner

Forage: The act of looking or searching for food or provisions

Emulate: To strive to equal or excel, especially through imitation

Conjunction: The state of being joined

Atrophy: A wasting away, deterioration, or diminution

Intrepid: Resolutely courageous; fearless

Hoary: So old as to inspire veneration; ancient/ So old as to inspire veneration; ancient

Maxim: A succinct formulation of a fundamental principle, general truth, or rule of conduct

Deluge: Something that overwhelms as if by a great flood

Sluice: An artificial channel for conducting water, with a valve or gate to regulate the flow

Rivulet: A small brook or stream; a streamlet.

Amble: To walk slowly or leisurely; stroll

Pungent: Affecting the organs of taste or smell with a sharp acrid sensation.

Derelict: Neglectful of duty or obligation; remiss

Repine: To be discontented or low in spirits; complain or fret

Pastiche: A dramatic, literary, or musical piece openly imitating the previous works of other artists, often with satirical intent

Placid: Undisturbed by tumult or disorder; calm or quiet

Portico: A porch or walkway with a roof supported by columns, often leading to the entrance of a building.

Laconic: Using or marked by the use of few words; terse or concise.

Lassitude: A state or feeling of weariness, diminished energy, or listlessness

Drone: To speak in a monotonous tone

Filch: To take (something, especially something of little value) in a furtive manner; snitch

Ilk: Type or kind: can't trust people of that ilk.

Truncheon: A staff carried as a symbol of office or authority; a baton

Norn: Any of the three goddesses of fate in Norse myth

Serendipity: The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.

Pibroch: A series of variations on a martial theme or traditional dirge for the highland bagpipes

Lubricious: Having a slippery or smooth quality/Shifty or tricky /Lewd; wanton/ Sexually stimulating; salacious



Stoic: One who is seemingly indifferent to or unaffected by joy, grief, pleasure, or pain

Contingent: Dependent on conditions or occurrences not yet established


Queue: A line of waiting people or vehicles.

Voluble: easily rolling or turning : ROTATING

Exude: to ooze out

Impetuous: marked by impulsive vehemence or passion

Cretin: a stupid, vulgar, or insensitive person

Pedant: one who makes a show of knowledge b : one who is unimaginative or who unduly emphasizes minutiae in the presentation or use of knowledge

Jujube: an edible drupaceous fruit of any of several trees

Sere: being dried and withered

Rancid: having a rank smell or taste




Vetch: any of a genus (Vicia) of herbaceous twining leguminous plants including some grown for fodder and green manure

Ingenious: showing or calling for intelligence, aptitude, or discernment

Deprave: to make bad : CORRUPT;

Luminescent: the low-temperature emission of light

Liturgy: a customary repertoire of ideas, phrases, or observances

Adulation: to flatter or admire excessively or slavishly

Verdant: green in tint or color

Vigilant: alertly watchful especially to avoid danger

Vestigial: a trace, mark, or visible sign left by something (as an ancient city or a condition or practice) vanished or lost

Mantid: from Mantis any of an order or suborder (Mantodea and especially family Mantidae) of large usually green insects that feed on other insects and clasp their prey in forelimbs held up as if in prayer

Hymenoptera: highly specialized insects with complete metamorphosis that include the bees, wasps, ants, ichneumon flies, sawflies, gall wasps, and related forms, often associate in large colonies with complex social organization

Filigree: ornamental work especially of fine wire of gold, silver, or copper applied chiefly to gold and silver surfaces



Mephitic: a noxious, pestilential, or foul exhalation from the earth; also : STENCH

Metronome: an instrument designed to mark exact time by a regularly repeated tick

Mastitis: inflammation of the breast or udder usually caused by infection

Maudlin: drunk enough to be emotionally silly 2 : weakly and effusively sentimental

Erudite: possessing or displaying erudition : LEARNED

Espalier: plant (as a fruit tree) trained to grow flat against a support (as a wall)

Leitmotif: an associated melodic phrase or figure that accompanies the reappearance of an idea, person, or situation especially in a Wagnerian music drama 2 : a dominant recurring theme

Affable: being pleasant and at ease in talking to others

Alimentation: the act or process of affording nutriment or nourishment

Vex: to bring trouble, distress, or agitation to



Coterie: an intimate and often exclusive group of persons with a unifying common interest or purpose

Prolific: marked by abundant inventiveness or productivity

Grouse: noun: bird; verb: complain

Cavort: to engage in extravagant behavior

Bereft: to deprive of something

Postulant: a person admitted to a religious order as a probationary candidate for membership

Canker: a source of corruption or debasement

Tectonics: a branch of geology concerned with the structure of the crust of a planet Cantilever: a projecting beam or member supported at only one end: as a : a bracket-shaped member supporting a balcony or a cornice

Dolorous: causing, marked by, or expressing misery or grief

Inchoate: being only partly in existence or operation; especially : imperfectly formed or formulated : FORMLESS

Sage: wise through reflection and experience b

Attrition: sorrow for one's sins that arises from a motive other than that of the love of God2 : the act of rubbing together : FRICTION; also : the act of wearing or grinding down by friction3 : the act of weakening or exhausting by constant harassment, abuse, or attack4 : a reduction in numbers usually as a result of resignation, retirement, or death

Chiaroscuro: the quality of being veiled or partly in shadow

Poultice: soft usually heated and sometimes medicated mass spread on cloth and applied to sores or other lesions

Aureole: a radiant light around the head or body of a representation of a sacred personage

Crepuscular: of, relating to, or resembling twilight : DIM



Gestalt: a structure, configuration, or pattern of physical, biological, or psychological phenomena so integrated as to constitute a functional unit with properties not derivable by summation of its parts

Saturnine: cold and steady in mood : slow to act or change

Adamant: unshakable or immovable especially in opposition : UNYIELDING

Lodestone: 1 : magnetite possessing polarity 2 : something that strongly attracts

Troglodyte: a member of a primitive people dwelling in caves

Malaise: a vague sense of mental or moral ill-being

Intrusive: characterized by intrusion b : intruding where one is not welcome or invited



Fissure: a narrow opening or crack of considerable length and depth usually occurring from some breaking or parting 2 a : a natural cleft between body parts or in the substance of an organ b : a break or slit in tissue usually at the junction of skin and mucous membrane 3 : a separation or disagreement in thought or viewpoint

Festoon: a carved, molded, or painted ornament representing a decorative chain

Carrion: dead and putrefying flesh; also : flesh unfit for food


Harangue: a ranting speech or writing

Oblique: not straightforward : INDIRECT; also : OBSCURE b : DEVIOUS, UNDERHANDED

Synesthesia: a concomitant sensation; especially : a subjective sensation or image of a sense (as of color) other than the one (as of sound) being stimulated

Ardent: characterized by warmth of feeling typically expressed in eager zealous support or activity

Carp: to find fault or complain querulously


Helo: by shortening & alteration: HELICOPTER

Cudgel: a short heavy club

Extol: to praise highly : GLORIFY

Carte blanche: full discretionary power



Mercenary: one that serves merely for wages; especially : a soldier hired into foreign service

Dibble: a small hand implement used to make holes in the ground for plants, seeds, or bulbs

Aphasia loss or impairment of the power to use or comprehend words usually resulting from brain damage

Enigma: something hard to understand or explain

Gat: archaic past of GET

Knell: to ring especially for a death, funeral, or disaster : TOLL to sound in an ominous manner or with an ominous effect

Kern: a light-armed foot soldier of medieval Ireland or Scotland 2 : YOKEL

Alack: used to express sorrow or regret

Torque: a usually metal collar or neck chain worn by the ancient Gauls, Germans, and Britons: a native or subject of Great Britain



Priapism: Persistent, usually painful erection of the penis, especially as a consequence of disease and not related to sexual arousal

Jackal: One who performs menial tasks for another.

Docile: easily led or managed : TRACTABLE

Aberration: unsoundness or disorder of the mind

Abject: sunk to or existing in a low state or condition

Sanctimonious: affecting piousness : hypocritically devout; also : indicative of affected piousness

Unguent: a soothing or healing salve : OINTMENT

Unctuous: FATTY, OILY b : smooth and greasy in texture or appearance

Sumptuous: extremely costly, rich, luxurious, or magnificent

Salacious: arousing or appealing to sexual desire or imagination : LASCIVIOUS



Suttee: the act or custom of a Hindu widow willingly being cremated on the funeral pyre of her husband as an indication of her devotion to him; also : a woman cremated in this way

Immolate: to offer in sacrifice; especially : to kill as a sacrificial victim 2 : to kill or destroy often by fire

Rogue: VAGRANT, TRAMP 2 : a dishonest or worthless person : SCOUNDREL 3 : a mischievous person : SCAMP

Pullulate: GERMINATE, SPROUT b : to breed or produce freely

Pistic: Pure; genuine

Cerement : a shroud for the dead.


Prattle: to utter or make meaningless sounds suggestive of the chatter of children : BABBLE

Opsimath: a person who becomes a student or learner late in life

Concatenation: to link together in a series or chain

Grutch: obsolete : BEGRUDGE

Windlestraw: straw British : a dry thin stalk of grass

Laryngeal: of, relating to, or used on the larynx

Banshee: a female spirit in Gaelic folklore whose appearance or wailing warns a family that one of them will soon die

Woad: a European herb (Isatis tinctoria) of the mustard family formerly grown for the blue dyestuff yielded by its leaves

Masticate: grind or crush (food) with or as if with the teeth in preparation for swallowing : CHEW

Purblind: lacking in vision, insight, or understanding : OBTUSE

Frass: Etymology: German, insect damage, literally, eating away, from Old High German vrAz food, from frezzan to devour -- more at FRET : debris or excrement produced by insects

Morphology: a branch of biology that deals with the form and structure of animals and plants