Tag Archives: word #9


Maudlin (adjective) – weakly and effusively sentimental

Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/maudlin

From “You In America” by Amanda Ngozi Adichie

I came across this word while reading “You In America” by Amanda Ngozi Adichie. It appears around the middle of the reading, as the author illustrates an interection with a man and the kind of conversation you have with him. It caught my interest because it’s a word I don’t hear quite often and didn’t know it’s meaning, so i’m curious as to how it ties in with the sentence and the author’s overall point.

“After your shift of that day, he was waiting outside, leaning by a pole, asking you to go out with him because your name ryhmed with hakuna matata and The Lion King was the only maudlin movie he’d ever liked.” (Adichie).

After reading the definition of the word I better understand the context of how the author was using it in that part of the text. As seen in the quote, the author is discribing how the man views the movie The Lion King and what it means to him.


Tumult (noun) – disorderly agitation or milling about of a crowd usually with uproar and confusion of voices.

Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tumult

From “The Complete Fiction of Nella Larson” by Nella Larsen, “Quicksand” Chapter 20 Page 142

“About her the tumult and the shouting continued, but in a lesser degree.”

The word tumult is used to describe how the disturbing loud commotion gradually became lower.


Flaunting (verb) – to display or obtrude oneself to public notice: a great flaunting crow – Charles Dickens.


Quicksand: chapter 13, page 99

“Left alone, Helga began to wonder. She was dubious, too, and not a little resentful. Certainly, she loved the color with a passion that perhaps only Negroes and Gypsies know. But she had a deep in the perfection of her own taste, and no mind to be bedecked in flaunting flashy things. Still- she had to admit that Fru Dahl was right about the dressing down. It did suit her. Perhaps an evening dress. And she knew that she had lovely shoulders, and her feet were nice.”

Helga has her own taste and she knows what suits her better, however, Fru Dahl recommended to were the dress as a “display” he picked for her for the evening at first, she was kind of upset but later she began to realize that Fru was right about how a dress looks good on her and her body was perfect for a dress.




Tonic, noun: one that invigorates, restores, refreshes, or stimulates; medicinal

Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tonic

We read this word in chapter 9 of Quicksand. Helga uses it in the context of needing something to cure her malaise with New York and how she begins to hate it.

“As the days multiplied, her need of something, something vaguely familiar, but which she could not put a name to and hold for definite examination, became almost intolerable. She went through moments of overwhelming anguish. She felt shut in, trapped. “Perhaps I’m tired, need a tonic or something,” she reflected. So she consulted a physician, who, after a long, solemn examination, said that there was nothing wrong, nothing at all. “A change of scene, perhaps for a week or so, or a few days away from work,” would put her straight most likely.”