Bud, Not Buddy Vocabulary

Instructor: Shelley Vessels

Shelley has taught at the middle school level for 10 years and has a master's degree in teaching English.

As with any novel, 'Bud, Not Buddy' may have some words that are unfamiliar to you. Take a peek at this lesson to help you get the most out of this most interesting adventure story!

Get the Most Out of What You Read!

When you're reading a novel, it's not uncommon to come across words that you aren't familiar with. When this happens, you may miss the meaning of a passage all together! In order to prevent this, there are a couple strategies you can use.

1. You can use context clues. When you use context clues, you piece together information by looking at the more familiar words surrounding the word you don't know in order to come up with the meaning of the whole passage. It's like making an educated guess using the information you do know.

2. Another way to combat the battle of the unknown word is to preview an advanced word list before you tackle each chapter. That's exactly what we're doing here! Before you start on the Bud Caldwell adventure, preview each chapter's vocabulary words so you don't miss a moment.

Vocabulary in Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Chapter 1

  • Depression (noun, as in the Great Depression): a period of a great economic crisis in the United States, starting in 1929 and lasting through much of the 1930s
  • Commence (verb): to begin
  • Engagement (noun): an arrangement

Chapter 2

  • Lavatory (noun): bathroom
  • Ingratitude (noun): being unthankful
  • Ilk (noun): family or kind
  • Vermin (noun): disgusting animals that are small and difficult to control, like mice, rats, or bugs

Chapter 3

  • Rev (verb): to accelerate quickly

Chapter 4

  • Spigot (noun): something that controls the flow of liquid from a container or pipe

Chapter 5

  • Fumble (verb): to grope about
  • Horrid (adjective): extremely unpleasant

Chapter 6

  • Raggedy (adjective): dressed in tattered clothes

Chapter 7

  • Whiff (noun): a smell or an odor
  • Matrimonial (adjective): relating to marriage
  • Gait (noun): a way of walking or stepping

Chapter 8

  • Hoodlum (noun): a street gangster or thug
  • Kin (noun): a person's relatives

Chapter 9

  • Ignorant (adjective): lacking in knowledge or understanding

Chapter 10

  • Ventriloquist (noun): person who performs by pretending to speak through a doll, or a wooden dummy

Chapter 11

  • Conscience (noun): one's ability to determine right from wrong

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