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Free Barron's Booknotes-Light in August by William Faulkner-Free Notes
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AVATAR - Person embodying some entity or concept much larger than himself.

BEALE STREET - Memphis street famous as the center of the city's bars and brothels.

BELIKE - Perhaps, probably.

BIG HOUSE - Main house, where the owners of a plantation live.

BOOTLEGGER - Transporter and seller of illegal liquor during the years when the U.S. government prohibited such activities (1919-33).

BUCKBOARD - Light, four-wheeled carriage. The name comes from the seat's being mounted on a long board that connects the front and rear wheels.

BY ORDINARY - Ordinarily.

CAP-AND-BALL REVOLVER - Most common handgun of the Civil War period. It was loaded from the front with both bullets and powder. A hammer detonated a percussion cap, which then ignited the powder.

CAPTAIN - Term of respect.

CARPETBAGGER - Northerner who went South after the Civil War to make money under the Northern-imposed Reconstruction regime.

CHANCESO - Accident.

CHAP - Child.

CIRCUIT RIDER - Preacher who circulates among country churches and preaches at a different one each Sunday.

CLUMB - Climbed.

COTTON HOUSE - Small house in which cotton is stored between picking and ginning. It is usually about ten feet square.

CRITTER - Any creature, including a person.

CULTIVATOR - Mule-or tractor-drawn implement for loosening the soil around growing plants.

DRAW TIME - To be paid for time worked.

FIELD PEAS - Pea often planted with corn and usually cooked with molasses.

FIRE SIREN - Large steam whistle installed at the power plant and used as a general community alarm.

FITTEN - Suitable.

FUR PIECE - Far piece, that is, a long way.

HALVERS - Half share.

HEIFER - Young cow.

HIRAM - Hiram Hayseed was a contemptuous term for a farmer.

JOHN JACOB ASTOR - German-born fur trader and capitalist (1763-1848) thought of as a symbol of big-city wealth.

MIZ - Mrs.

MOTTSTOWN - Fictionalization of Water Valley, Mississippi, a town about twenty miles south-southwest of Oxford. Faulkner even uses the correct Water Valley-Oxford timetables for the train between Mottstown and Jefferson.

MOUGHT - Might. It is pronounced to rhyme with "out."

PALM LEAF FAN - Fan made from dried palm leaves. Palm trees do not grow in Mississippi, and the fan was bought in stores.

PLANNING MILL - Place where logs are sawed into lumber. The Jefferson mill was based on a real mill a mile south of Oxford.

MEMPHIS - City in southwest Tennessee. It is 75 miles north-northwest of Oxford and is the main urban center for northwestern Mississippi.

RIGHT SMART - Larger number or amount.


WASH-STAND - Table with a basin used for washing and shaving in a house without plumbing.

YANKEE - Union soldier in the Civil War, or, by extension, any Northerner.

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Free Barron's Booknotes-Light in August by William Faulkner-Free Summary

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