Animal Farm New Words – William, Grade 9


Ignorant of One’s Ignorance

Guessing the meaning of unfamiliar words from context is a strategy that is often misused by students.  The strategy should only be applied to facilitate and speed up the reading process during the first reading of any paragraph. However, once students have applied the strategy as a reading technique to independently extract the meaning of a paragraph, regardless of the success rate of their guesses, they need to revisit the paragraph in order to look up the unfamiliar words. Otherwise, they may never notice the exact meaning, connotation, or use of the word. That is, they may remain ignorant of their ignorance.

The following list of challenging words of the novella Animal Farm by Goerge Orwell is created by one of my grade 9 students.


Animal Farm Vocabulary

  1. Popholes: a small open door in the side of the housing for poultry, normally connected to the ground via a ramp
  2. Ensconce: establish or settle in a comfortable, secret, or safe place
  3. Benevolent: well-meaning and kindly
  4. Tush: person’s rear end
  5. Foal: young horse or related animal
  6. Cynical: concerning with one’s own interests and typically disregarding appropriate standards to reach them
  7. Paddock: small field or enclosure where horses are kept or exercised
  8. Plaited: braided
  9. Spur: a device with a spike on a rider’s heel used to urge a horse forward
  10. Mangel: a beet of a variety with a large root, cultivated as feed for livestock
  11. Wurzels: mangels
  12. Toil: work extremely hard
  13. Shirk: avoid or neglect, typically a duty or responsibility
  14. Seclusion: state of being private and away from others
  15. Flogging: beat with a whip or stick as punishment or torture
  16. Posthumously: after the death of the originator
  17. Pretext: a reason in justification of a course of action that is not the real reason
  18. Blithely: in a happy or carefree manner
  19. Acreage: an area of land, typically used for agricultural purposes, but not necessarily measured in acres
  20. Canvassing: try to obtain; request
  21. Dynamo: a machine for converting mechanical energy into electrical energy
  22. Chaff: the husks of corn or other seed separated by threshing
  23. Incubator: an apparatus used to hatch eggs or grow microorganisms under controlled conditions
  24. Contemplate: look thoughtfully for a long time at
  25. Procure: obtain, especially with care or effort
  26. Restive: (of a horse) refusing to advance, stubbornly standing still or moving backward or sideways
  27. Advocate: publicly recommend or support
  28. Sordid: arousing moral distaste and contempt
  29. Harrow: an implement consisting of a heavy frame set with teeth or tines that is dragged over plowed land to break up clods, remove weeds, and cover the seed
  30. Spurt: gush out in a sudden and forceful stream
  31. Preside: be in the position of authority in a meeting or gathering
  32. Forelock: the part of the mane (of a horse or similar animal) that grows from the poll and hangs down over the forehead
  33. Reverent: feeling or showing deep and solemn respect
  34. Cockerel: a young domestic rooster
  35. Paraffin: kerosene
  36. Repose: a state of rest, sleep, or tranquility
  37. Impose: force something usually unwanted to be accepted or put in place
  38. Malignity: intention to cause harm or evil
  39. Ignominious: deserving or causing public disgrace or shame
  40. Bushel: a unit of measure
  41. Embolden: give the courage or confidence to do something or to behave in a certain way
  42. Infanticide: the crime of killing a child within a year of birth
  43. Hitherto: until now or until the point in time under discussion
  44. Coccidiosis: a disease of birds and mammals that chiefly affects the intestines
  45. Tumult: a loud, confused noise, especially caused by a large mass of people
  46. Knoll: a small hill or mound
  47. Gander: a look or glance
  48. Ecstasy: an overwhelming feeling of great happiness or joyful excitement
  49. Hullabaloo: a commotion
  50. Conciliatory: intended or likely to make less angry
  51. Sally: make a military attack using a line of defense
  52. Chinks: narrow openings or cracks
  53. Contemptible: despicable
  54. Heed: pay attention to; take notice of
  55. Baying: bark or howl loudly
  56. Hearse: a vehicle for conveying the coffin at a funeral
  57. Confer: grant or bestow
  58. Lamentation: the passionate expression of grief or sorrow
  59. Contrived: deliberately created rather than arising naturally or spontaneously
  60. Poultices: a soft, moist mass of material, typically of plant material or flour, applied to the body to relieve soreness and inflammation and kept in place with a cloth
  61. Pensions: a regular payment made by the government to people of or above the official retirement age
  62. Superannuated: out of date
  63. Piebald: (of a horse) having irregular patches of two colors, typically black and white
  64. Tureen: a deep covered dish from which soup is served
  65. Precincts: an area in a town designated for special purposes
  66. Unanimously: without opposition
  67. Stratagem: a plan or scheme, especially one used to outwit an opponent or achieve an end
  68. Knacker: a person whose business is the disposal of dead or unwanted animals, especially those whose flesh is not fit for human consumption
  69. Oration: a formal speech, especially one given on a ceremonial occasion
  70. Interment: the burial of a corpse in a grave or tomb, typically with funeral sites
  71. Maxims: a short, pithy statement expressing a general truth or rule of conduct
  72. Inebriate: drunk; intoxicated
  73. Mare: female of a horse
  74. Rheumy: watery
  75. Morose: sullen and ill-tempered
  76. Taciturn: saying little
  77. Filial: of or due from a son or daughter
  78. Insoluble: impossible to solve
  79. Incumbent: necessary for someone as a duty or responsibility
  80. Pampering: indulge with every attention, comfort, and kindness; spoil
  81. Prosperity: the state of being affluent