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To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee

A STEP BEYOND

GLOSSARY

AD ASTRA PER ASPERA - Latin for to the stars through difficulties. An ironic choice as a motto for Maycomb County, a place progress has left behind.

DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM - A system for organizing books in libraries devised by Melvil Dewey. Contrary to what Jem tells Scout, this Dewey has nothing to do with John Dewey, a theorist of progressive education.

MORPHODITE - This is what Scout thinks she hears Miss Maudie calling the snowman. Actually, the word Miss Maudie used was probably "hermaphrodite," a person with both male and female characteristics.

NOME - A contraction for "No, Ma'am." Harper Lee uses this spelling because it approximated the pronunciation of Southerners.

NRA- WE DO OUR PART The motto of the National Recovery Administration, whose programs were intended to help the nation recover from the effects of the Great Depression. NRA programs were ruled unconstitutional in 1935 by the U.S. Supreme Court- the "nine old men" Atticus refers to in explaining why the NRA is dead.

"ONE MAN'S FAMILY" - A popular radio serial of the 1930s.

SCUPPERNONGS - A sweet table grape common in the southeastern U.S.


SHINNY A slang name for whiskey.

SMILAX - A vine with glossy leaves, often used for decoration.

SOLICITOR - Another term for a lawyer. The "circuit solicitor" mentioned in the book is a government lawyer who travels from town to town prosecuting cases.

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© Copyright 1985 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
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