The Catcher in the Rye By J. D. Salinger Study Help Full Glossary

grool here, an unattractive person.

half gainer a fancy dive in which the diver springs from the board facing forward and does a back flip in the air so as to enter the water headfirst, facing the board.

halitosis bad-smelling breath.

halitosis bad-smelling breath.

hemorrhage the escape of large quantities of blood from a blood vessel; heavy bleeding.

highballs tall glasses of liquor, usually whiskey or brandy, mixed with water, soda water, ginger ale, etc. and served with ice.

Holland Tunnel a passageway connecting lower Manhattan with Jersey City, New Jersey, beneath the Hudson River.

hound's-tooth jacket a jacket featuring a pattern of irregular broken checks.

incognito with true identity unrevealed or disguised; under an assumed name, rank, etc.

inferiority complex any feeling of inferiority, inadequacy, etc.; originally a psychiatric term.

It's a secret between he and I. Mr. Antolini surely knows that this example of poor grammar is one that Holden frequently slips into, using the subjective form of the pronouns instead of the objective. The correct form would be to say, "It's a secret between him and me."

Judas Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus (Matthew 26:14, 48).

Lastex trademarked term for a fine, round, rubber thread wound with cotton, rayon, silk, etc., and woven or knitted into fabric.

Lord Randal My Son refers to an anonymous medieval ballad of northern England or Scotland.

louse a person regarded as mean, contemptible, etc.

lousy with dough here, oversupplied with money.

lousy with rocks here, wearing a good deal of jewelry, possibly diamonds.

the Lunts Alfred Lunt (1893-1977) and Lynn Fontanne (1887-1983), husband and wife, were revered stage actors of the day, often performing together.

Mass the Roman Catholic Eucharistic (communion) rite consisting of prayers and ceremonies centered on the consecration of bread and wine.

matinee a reception or performance, as of a play, held in the afternoon.

Navajo North American Indian people who live in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.

necked kissed, hugged, and caressed passionately.

necking kissing, hugging, and caressing passionately.

nonchalant showing cool lack of concern; casually indifferent.

oiled up here, drunk, intoxicated.

ostracized banished, barred, excluded, etc. by general consent, as from a group or from acceptance by society.

ostracizing banishing, barring, excluding, etc., from a group or from acceptance by society.

pacifist one who is opposed to the use of force under any circumstances; specifically, one who refuses for reasons of conscience to participate in war or any military action.

pedagogical of or characteristic of teachers or of teaching.

Peter Lorre (1904-1964) Hungarian by birth, he was a recognizable character actor and movie star in several countries, including the United States.

pimpy-looking resembling a man who is an agent for a prostitute or prostitutes and lives off their earnings.

polo coat a loose-fitting overcoat made of camel's hair or some such fabric.

prince a fine, generous, helpful fellow.

Princeton a prestigious university in Princeton, New Jersey; part of the Ivy League, a group of colleges in the northeastern United States forming a league for intercollegiate sports and other activities.

prostitute to sell (oneself, one's artistic or moral integrity, etc.) for low or unworthy purposes; here, one who compromises principle for money.

Quaker a member of the Society of Friends, a Christian denomination founded in England (circa 1650) by George Fox; the Friends have no formal creed, rites, liturgy, or priesthood, and reject violence in human relations, including war. The term "Quaker" was originally derisive, aimed at the Friends because of Fox's admonition to "quake" at the word of the Lord.

qualms sudden feelings of uneasiness or doubt; misgivings; twinges of conscience.

racket any dishonest scheme or practice.

Radio City Music Hall a Manhattan theater featuring films and stage shows, including a lavish Christmas pageant.

rake an immoral , corrupt, depraved man.

ratty shabby or run-down.

Ring Lardner (1885-1933) U.S. sports reporter and humorist.

Robert Burns (1759-1796) Scottish poet.

Rockettes dancers at New York City's Radio City Music Hall, known for their chorus-line precision.

rubbering short for rubbernecking, meaning to look at things or gaze about in curiosity.

rubbernecks people who stretch their necks or turn their heads to gaze about in curiosity.

rye a hardy cereal grass, widely grown for its grain and straw.

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

What animals in Central Park does Holden worry about?




Quiz