Mango Street Vocabulary


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Mango Street Vocabulary

  1. 1. CUMULUS• That up there, that’s cumulus, and everybody looks up.• White, fluffy clouds with a flat base
  2. 2. MARIMBAS• Or like marimbas only with funny little plucked sound to it like if you were running your fingers across the teeth of a metal comb.• A wooden, xylophone-like instrument
  3. 3. NIMBUS• And don’t forget nimbus the rain cloud, I add, that’s something.• A low, dark rain cloud
  4. 4. DESCENDED• The mother’s feet, plump and polite, descended like white pigeons from the sea of the pillow…• Went down
  5. 5. NAPHTHA• She is the color of a bar of naphtha laundry soap, she is like the little brown piece left at the end of the wash, the hard little bone, my sister.• A kind of soap
  6. 6. SLANT• It is wooden. Inside the floors slant. Some rooms uphill. Some down.• Sloped; make diagonal
  7. 7. CANTEEN• The special kids, the ones who wear keys around their necks, get to eat in the canteen.• A small cafeteria or snack bar
  8. 8. FLECKS• She is the one who told us… if you can count the white flecks on your fingernails you can know how many boys are thinking of you and lots of other things I can’t remember now.• Tiny spots
  9. 9. ANEMIC• I’m no Spartan and hold up an anemic wrist to prove it.• Weak; without much energy
  10. 10. SLATS• Didn’t even stop Refugia from getting her head stuck between two slats in the back gate and nobody looked up…• Narrow strips of wood or metal
  11. 11. TWANGY• And I was glad because I couldn’t listen anymore to his wild screaming at night, the twangy yakkety-yak of the people who owned him.• A sharp, vibrating sound
  12. 12. BAZAAR• She met a marshmallow salesman at a school bazaar, and married him in another state.• A fair or sale
  13. 13. TRUDGED• I say, “and so she trudged up the wooden stairs, her sad brown shoes taking her to the house she never liked.”• Walked in a heavy-footed way; plodded
  14. 14. SPANISH WORDS• CHANCLAS: worn-out shoes; flip flop• FRIJOLES: beans• ABUELITO: (affectionate term for) grandfather• MUERTO: dead• LOS ESPIRITUS: the spirits• BRAZER/BRACERO: temporary immigrant worker
  15. 15. SPANISH WORDS• MAMACITA: small mother• MAMASOTA: large mother• CUANDO: When?• AY, CARAY: Good Heavens!• COMADRES: friends, neighbors• MERENGUE: a rapid dance• TEMBLEQUE!: a dance; a hair ornament