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a comfort

something that makes people feel good, safe and secure

"My friends are a comfort to me."

Paragraph 15: Example 

a goodly number

a lot; a high number

"There are a goodly number of animals on our farm."

Paragraph 468: Example 

a mind to

thinking about doing something

"I have a mind to to go exploring."

Paragraph 164: Example 

baking powder can

a tin can that contained baking powder

"An empty baking powder can makes a great cookie cutter."

Paragraph 29: Example 



"Tomorrow the priest will bestow his blessings on the church."

Paragraph 327: Example 

big roll

backpack; usually clothes and blankets rolled together into a bundle

"The tramper was carrying a big roll on his back."

Paragraph 65: Example 

Black Man

A game played by young children in the early 1900's

"I watched the children outside playing Black Man and I wanted to join them."

Paragraph 61: Example 

blue gingham apron

apron with blue checks

"Sadie McKibben likes to wear her gingham apron with cross stitches on it."

Paragraph 520: Example 

blueing balls

balls of blue powder used to stain water blue in order to dye clothes

"Before we dye the clothes blue I have to put the blueing balls into the hot water."

Paragraph 390: Example 



"The floor was dirty so I gave it a brooming."

Paragraph 125: Example 


a simple building providing beds for more than one person

"After a day of long hard work, the workers return to their bunk-house to rest."

Paragraph 590: Example 

butchering day

killing day; the day an animal is butchered for food

"Today was supposed to be the butchering day of my friend the pig."

Paragraph 172: Example 


heavy milk left over after the butter has been made

"The buttermilk always splashes onto the floor when I make butter."

Paragraph 397: Example 

carry the baby away

In Opal's time there was a fear that large wild animal predators such as bears, mountain lions and cougars would come and take a baby away and eat it. So people had to pay close attention to make sure this didn't happen.

"When it was my turn to watch the baby momma would always tell me to watch closely and see that nothing comes to carry the baby away."

Paragraph 23: Example 

cars of lumbers

train cars carrying lumber

"The train pulled many cars of lumbers loaded with new boards"

Paragraph 234: Example 


a bad tasting thick oil used for medicine

"When I am sick I have to drink Castoria."

Paragraph 359: Example 

chore boy

young man who works on a farm or ranch doing small jobs

"The chore boy is always very mean to the animals."

Paragraph 509: Example 

christening robe

a robe or cloak worn during a christening ceremony

"I made christening robes for all my animal friends to wear when they were given their names in the ceremony."

Paragraph 501: Example 


close friend; buddy

"The tall fir tree is my chum and I can talk to him about anything."

Paragraph 312: Example 


stirring milk or cream hard in order to make butter; the large wooden bucket in which butter is made

"I have to churn the cream for a long time before it makes butter."

"When we make butter the churn is filled with cream."

Paragraph 521: Example 


a small dam used on farms for irrigation purposes

"It would be a big problem if the chute broke because then the house would be flooded with water."

Paragraph 28: Example 


a mound of dirt

"I saw a toad sitting on a clod next to the creek."

Paragraph 32: Example 

clothes-pin dolls

dolls made out of clothes-pins

"We made hair for our clothes-pin dolls out of corn husks."

Paragraph 31: Example 


petroleum or a refined oil prepared from coal

"Coal-oil helps a croup."

Paragraph 185: Example 


a very bad stomach ach

"The baby had colic today and she cried a lot."

Paragraph 24: Example 

color pencils

pencils with different color leads

"I am always in need of new color pencils to do my drawings with."

Paragraph 534: Example 


fenced area on a farm where horses or cows are kept

"I put the cow in the corral."

Paragraph 16: Example 


tracks left in the mud by cows

"When it rains I find cow-tracks in the mud from where the cows walked ."

Paragraph 184: Example 

creamness and brownness

colors of cream and brown

"Both the baby calf and it's mother cow have creamness and brownness on them."

Paragraph 209: Example 



"When somebody has the croup I help to make them feel better with coal oil."

A sickness especially of children with difficult breathing and a hoarse cough.

Paragraph 126: Example 

Cyr's Reader

A general reading English school book used around 1900

"Every night I have to do reading homework from my Cyr's Reader."

Paragraph 225: Example 



"As I sat next to the river I dabbled my toes in the water."

Paragraph 554: Example 

Deo Gratias, Hosanna in excelsis

Latin for "Thanks be to God, glory (be to God) on high"

It is part of a hymn sung in a Catholic church service.

Paragraph 84: Example 

difficulty of managing

hard time; trouble

"I have had a difficulty of managing all the things I have to do."

Paragraph 413: Example 

dinky engine

small locomotive used in train yards

"dinky engine slowly pulled the very large train"

Paragraph 234: Example  


a metal pail used to carry a meal to school or work

"I like to share the scraps from my dinner-pail with my animal friends."

Paragraph 304: Example 



"I often visit the place where the fir trees dwell."

Paragraph 326: Example 

ears were slapped

As punishment parents would slap both children's ears at the same time with the palms of their hands creating an painful pressure int the head>

"When I got into trouble my ears were slapped very hard."

Paragraph 323: Example 

Elsie's garter

a garment worn by women to keep their stockings up

"Elsie gave me the ribbon off of her garter."

Paragraph 583: Example 


evening time

"This eventide I will go visit my friend."

Paragraph 565: Example 


except; not

"People come here every day of the week, excepting Sundays."

Paragraph 10: Example 


a mythical being usually with magical powers

"The fairies in the woods leave me colored pencils in the moss box."

Paragraph 45: Yellow jackets as fairies

Scene 13: fairies bring pens to Opal Paragraph 255: man with gray neckties believes in fairies



a woman's lightweight head scarf usually of crochet or lace

"Momma put the fascinator on my head before I went out to keep me warm."

Paragraph 236: Example 


To have a fondness for something means that you greatly enjoy it.

I have a fondness for collecting rocks.

Paragraph 253: Example 


the fabric on things such as pants that are starting to unravel

"I can see the fringes on the men's paints where they cut them shorter with a knife."

Paragraph 455: Example 

get a hurry on me

hurry up; do it quickly

"Momma told me to get a hurry on me."

Paragraph 546: Example 


a plain weave fabric usually made of dyed cotton yarn

"Sadie McKibben likes to wear her gingham apron with cross stitches on it."

Paragraph 321: Example 

Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritu Sancto. Hosanna in excelsis

Latin for "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost."

It is part of a hymn sung in a Catholic church service.

Paragraph 81: Example 

gray silk tricot

knitted undershirt

"The baby pussy-willow looked like it was wearing a gray silk tricot."

Paragraph 223: Example 

grind sausage

grinding pig meat through a grinder to be shaped into links of sausage

"Momma made me grind sausage when I got home."

Paragraph 174: Example 


collar; harness for leading animals

"I put a pretty bow on mother pigs halter to make her look pretty."

Paragraph 17: Example 

hazel bush

a bush of the birch family bearing hazel nuts

"On our way to the house I stopped at the hazel bush to rest."

Paragraph 178: Example 


around here

"No one hereabout knows the real names of the animals like I do."

Paragraph 346: Example 

hired men

workers paid to do short jobs such as helping to plant and harvest crops on a farm

"I watched the hired men working in the fields."

Paragraph 12: Example 


Latin for "hallelujah"

It is part of a hymn sung in a Catholic church service.

Paragraph 343: Example 

Its appears

the way it looks

"This house, its appears is not very pretty."

Paragraph 500: Example 


A loose japanese dressing gown or jacket

"Dear Love showed me the kimona that she made for her baby."

Paragraph 594: Example 


small to medium size sticks gathered in the forest for fire wood

"One of my chores is to gather kindling for the fire."

Paragraph 329: Example 


a small bucket or pail used to carry school lunches or water.

Before students had zip lock baggies or even lunch boxes they used small buckets or pails. Often these were left over buckets of lard (grease used in cooking.) Until the 1950ís most kids carried their lunches to school in small buckets and pails.

Paragraph 48: Example

Paragraph 153: Example of "lard-pail"

Paragraph 413: carrying bottles 


a small bucket or pail used to carry school lunches or water.

Before students had zip lock baggies or even lunch boxes they used small buckets or pails. Often these were left over buckets of lard (grease used in cooking.) Until the 1950ís most kids carried their lunches to school in small buckets and pails.

Paragraph 48: Example

Paragraph 153: Example of "lard-pail"

Paragraph 413: carrying bottles 

logging boot

A strong durable boot with metal spikes on the soles for traction worn by loggers

"The logging boot that was given to me is very large and I can carry a lot of thing in it."

Paragraph 580: Example 

logging camp

camp in the woods with tents & cabins for people who working in the lumber mills

"The other logging camp that Opal lived in was called Wendling."

Opal's first home in Oregon was a logging camp near Marcola, Oregon. The camp was called Wendling and employed nearly 900 people doing logging and working in the saw mill. Opal lived for 18 months in Wendling. her family moved to Cottage Grove in December, 1903.

Paragraph 9: Example

Picture: the other logging camp 

logging train

railroad train used to haul logs from the forest to the lumber mill

"Everyday Opal saw the logging train going down the railroad tracks towards the mill."

Opal's family lives very near the railroad track. It was built in 1902 to bring logs from the forest to be sawed into lumber. The train was called the "Old Slow and Easy" because of how slow it went. It's real name was the Oregon Southwestern and Eastern. The railroad was also called the Bohemia Train because it carried men to work in the gold mines near Bohemia Mountain.

Paragraph 244: Example

Picture: the Old Slow and Easy Railroad

Picture: the first Hollywood train wreak 


a strong desire for something

"Opal had a longing to go outside."

Paragraph 503: Example 

lumber shanty

a small house or shack in a lumber camp that was built in a rough and quick way

"The lumber shanty that Opal lived in had only two rooms."

The Whiteley family's small home only had two rooms. One room for the family to sleep in and one room for cooking and sitting in. The "divide" between the two rooms was probably just a sheet or quilt separating the sleeping and eating areas. Lumber shantys were small enough to be hauled from one logging camp to another on the back of railroad cars. They were supposed to be only temporary shelter, but Opal's family lived in a shanty for most of her childhood.

Paragraph 3: Example

Picture: a family's lumber shanty 

machine drawer

a drawer where sewing things were kept

"Momma keeps things like thimbles and safety pins in the machine drawer."

Paragraph 149: Example 


sewing machine

"Momma uses the machine-that-sews to fix the torn clothes."

Paragraph 67: Example 

morning cap

a bonnet worn by women to keep their hair in place

"Jenny Strong has a morning cap with white ruffles on it."

Paragraph 584: Example 


box covered with moss

"The moss box is where I put all my very special things."

Opal uses this box in the woods to keep her special things.

Paragraph 591: Example 


A tool pulled by horses used to cut grass, grain and corn stalks

"Opal is sad that the mowers also cut down the flowers as it cut the grain."

Paragraph 7: Example 


at night

"I sleep during the night-time."

Paragraph 37: Example 



"This noon-timeI was very hungry."

Paragraph 63: Example 

on the morrow


"I will go over to my friend's house on the morrow."

Paragraph 371: Example 

papa's big coat

a man's large trench coat

"Because it was cold outside, I wore my papa's big coat when I went out."

Paragraph 152: Example 


someone who makes paper

"Yellow jackets are paper-makers who use paper to make their nests."

Paragraph 27: Example 

paring knife

a small short-bladed knife used for cutting fruit

"Momma couldn't find the paring knife because it had been put away in the wrong place."

Paragraph 149: Example 


a fenced place where farmers keep their pigs

I let my pet pig Peter Paul Rubens out of the pig-pen this morning."

Paragraph 328: Example 

plug out that swings the gate open

A type of gate latch that consists of a wooden or metal rod stuck into the ground. This type of gate latch helped support the gate in the middle where it opened. It also allowed one side of the gate to be open while the other side remained shut.

"To get the field gate open you have to pull the plug out that swings the gate open"

Paragraph 572: Example 

plump wiggles

larva: worm-like insects

"Before they become grown, beetles are plump wiggles."

Paragraph 222: Example 

Plymouth Rock hen

a type of chicken raised for both its fine meat and eggs.

"We raised Plymouth Rock hens on our farm."

Paragraph 460: Example 

pulling logs

in 1905 horses pulled logs out of the forest after they had been cut

"Everyday William Shakespeare the horse went to do his work pulling logs in the forest."

Paragraph 87: Example 


A device that extracts water from underground wells by pumping a handle

"To get water for the working men, Opal got water from the pump."

Paragraph 462: Example 

pump handle

the handle on a pump that must be pumped up and down in order to start the water flowing

"I held onto the pump handle very hard as I pumped it up and down."

Paragraph 185: Example 

put water in the pump

In 1905 people had to use hand pumps to get their water out of a well. A well was a deep hole dug into the earth to find water. Often you had to put water into the pump to get the air out of the water line before the pump would work. This is called "priming the pump".

Paragraph 12: Example 

quinine boxes

a salt like substance that comes in small boxes and is used as a pain killer

"Sometimes I carry the small quinine boxes in my sunbonnet."

Paragraph 544: Example 

rail fence

A wooden plank used as a railing for a fence

"To sneak my pig out of the pig pen I take the rail fence down where it is weak."

Paragraph 396: Example 


a large wooden barrel used to catch rain water in before people had indoor plumbing. The rain water was used for washing clothes

"The rain-barrel is a good place to catch mosquitoes to fed to the bats."

Paragraph 174: Example 

renching the clothes

dying the clothes by dunking them into colored water over and over again

"Renching the clothes is hard word and momma makes me do it a lot."

Paragraph 389: Example 

right proper

properly, correctly

"When Opal jumps off the tree she makes sure she lands right proper so to not hurt herself."

Paragraph 15: Example 

rumblings of distress

sounds of trouble

"Outside all of a sudden I heard rumblings of distress."

Paragraph 383: Example 


holy; important

"Everybody noticed the sacredness of the occasion."

Paragraph 326: Example 


a hard lump of salt fed to animals

"Because the baby cow is so young she only needs one salt-lump a day."

Paragraph 415: Example 

salt-sack towel

A sack made out of a thick white sheet that when empty was used as a towel

"I use the soft salt-sack towel to dry off my animal friends after their baths."

Paragraph 414: Example 

Sanctus, sanetus, sanctus, Dominus Deus

Latin for "Holy, holy, holy Lord God of hosts,

It is part of a hymn sung in a Catholic church service.

Paragraph 81: Example 


climbed quickly

"I scooted up the tree."

Paragraph 14: Example 

shaked into butter

churned; made into butter

"My arms get very tired when there is lots of cream to be shaked into butter."

Butter was made by shaking cream for long periods of time until a lump of butter would form at the bottom of the barrel.

Paragraph 332: Example 


a mug filled with water used to rinse off a shaving blade between strokes

"I used pappa's shaving-mug to carry water out to the plants."

Paragraph 397: Example 


a square shaped fabric garment used as a covering for the head or shoulders

"Momma made sure I wore my shawl when I went out today because it was cold."

Paragraph 582: Example 


slid; moved

"As I climbed into the window I sidled over to the bed."

Paragraph 200: Example 


a small chalk board tablet used by students for writing on because paper was too expensive for everyday use

"I got my slate out of my desk to do math on."

Paragraph 225: Example 


a large wooden box in which soap was kept

"I love to prop my feet up on the soap-box when I'm sitting in the rocking chair."

Paragraph 257: Example 


baking soda: a ingredient used frequently in cooking

"We went to the store to buy some more soda because we were almost out at home."

Paragraph 497: Example 


dunked; pushed

"After momma soused me in the cold water I felt much better."

Paragraph 462: Example 


a knit close-fitting covering for the foot and leg

"My stockings got very dirty from me splashing in the mud puddles."

Paragraph 245: Example 


A wood burning stove used to cook and to heat the house.

"It was cold in the morning because the fire in the stove had gone out. "

The little house where Opal and her family lived did not have electricity or running water. Their only heat was from the wood burning cook stove.

Picture: Wood buring stove

Paragraph 29: cooking on the stove

Paragraph 183: making the room warm  


right away; directly

"I went straightway to the house because I was in a hurry to get home."

Paragraph 415: Example 


the hard fat around the kidneys and loins of beef and sheep

"I like to feed the baby birds the left over suet from dinner."

Paragraph 248: Example 

T'is a folly to fret; grief's no comfort

It is foolish to worry because it won't make you feel any better

"I always say to my self T'is a folly to fret; grief's no comfort to make my self feel better."

Paragraph 495: Example 

talcum powder

a perfumed white powder made from talc

"To make him clean and smell good I washed the pig in talcum powder."

Paragraph 325: Example 


a tight fitting Scottish cap or braided bonnet, sometimes having a pompom, tassel or feather on top

"Today I saw a little girl wearing a tam-o'-shanter on her head and it was pretty."

Paragraph 236: Example 


take care of

"When momma is away it is my job to tend the baby and the house."

Paragraph 166: Example 



I wrapped the tidy around the baby."

Paragraph 131: Example 


horizontal wooden supports in the middle of the railroad tracks that hold the tracks straight

"I watched the man walk along the ties towards me."

Paragraph 221: Example 

took up

began; started

"I took up singing lessons when I was 10 years old."

Paragraph 45: Example 


a homeless person

"When I saw a very hungry tramper I gave him some of my food."

Paragraph 103: Example 


large round metal tubs in which people poured heated water to bathe because they did not have running water in houses

"After our baths, I emptied the tubs out onto the yard."

Paragraph 315: Example 



I walked over unto

the house of Sadie McKibben."

Paragraph 426: Example 


different colored

"My dog has variegated eyes, one is brown and the other is blue."

Paragraph 319/a>: Example 


a wooden four wheeled horse drawn carriage used to transport goods and people

"Opal's family moved to the new town in a wagon."

Opal's family traveled in a horse drawn wagon from Wendling to Cottage Grove- a distance of about 40 miles.

Paragraph 236: Example

Picture: moving day 

wagon wheels

Large wooden wheels on a horse drawn wagon. The wheels were about three feet high, with wooden spokes, and a wooden rim

"The wagon wheels make deep ruts in the roads."

Paragraph 38: Example 


a wheel with cups that scoop the water up as it is turned by the water's current

"I have my own toy waterwheel that I play with in the creek."

Paragraph 298: Example 

willow whistle

a whistle made out of a willow tree branch

"When I left the house today I took my willow whistle with me."

Paragraph 579: Example 


a small storage shed for fire wood and other tools

I sat on a log in the woodshed writing my journal

Paragraph 134: Example 


a basket for needlework and sewing supplies

"There are many colorful scrap pieces of cloth in momma's work-basket ."

Paragraph 365: Example 

wring the clothes out

squeezing the water out of wet clothes by twisting them hard

"To help dry them dry I have to wring the clothes out."

Paragraph 89: Example 


over there; out there

"I had to take eggs over to the people who live yonder."

Paragraph 543: Example 

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Characters  |   Place Names  |   Historical People  |   French Words  |  Period Words  |   General Words  |  Opalisms  |  Plants  |  Animals 

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Project Intersect

Copyright ©1999-2002 Center for Electronic Studying, University of Oregon.
Please contact us at: [Project INTERSECT Email]
Last updated: February 7, 2002