The Snicket Glossary: First Installment

Posted November 13, 2013 in list / 0 Comments


While reading the Series of Unfortunate Events, by Lemony Snicket, I happened to notice that there were a lot of patterns he used throughout every book that must have been part of his writing style. It fascinated me, and, being an obsessive list-maker, I had to make note of them. The things I noticed occurring most often were the uses of alliteration, the frequent definitions of well-known (and some not so well-known) words, and meanings of the nonsense words/phrases Sunny says. Knowing it would be common, I started noting the alliterations right away. About 5 pages in, I started noting the definitions. It wasn’t until halfway through the book that I thought about Sunny’s nonsense, but that would not have meant a whole lot out of context, so it wasn’t much to omit in my glossary. Anyway, the alliterations and definitions I noticed are all here. I’m not sure they serve any purpose in a glossary, but it was fun keeping track of them. Note: I did not include every single instance of alliteration (that would take forever), only the ones that interested me. And, for brevity’s sake, I will only be including the first three books in this first installment of the glossary. When I do the next bundle book review for them, an accompanying post will contain the next installment.
Also, see my bundle book review for A Series of Unfortunate Events Books 1-3 if you are interested.

Proper Nouns (chronological order):
  1. Bad Beginning
  2. Briny Beach
  3. Doldrum Drive
  4. Fickle Fountain
  5. Fountain of [Victorious] Finance
  6. Mulctuary Money Management
  7. The Marvelous Marriage [or the Menacing Marriage]
  8. Polly Poe
Non-proper Nouns:
  1. baby bites
  2. blushing bride
  3. biting brat
  4. dull dialog
  5. Baudelaires bunched
  6. And this sentence on page 142: Klaus turned his Attention to the Audience to see whether Any of them would notice that something was Afoot, but the way the wart-faced man had Arranged the lights prevented Klaus from seeing the faces in the Auditorium, and he could only make out the dim outlines of the people in the Audience.

Proper Nouns (chronological order):
  1. Reptile Room
  2. Hazy Harbor
  3. Lousy Lane
  4. Monty’s Mongolian Meansnake
  5. Stephano Snake
  6. Swarthy Swamp
Non-proper Nouns:
  1. large lizards
  2. Sunny survives (partially proper)
  3. Peruvian plants (partially proper)
  4. car collision
  5. cracker crumbs
  6. slippery substance
  7. This sentence: Olaf followed closely behind them and the three children could Smell his Stale breath as they brought the Suitcase indoors and Set it on the carpet beneath the painting of the entwined Snakes. (page 48)
  8. And this one: Snake-shaped hedges began to cast long, Skinny Shadows in the Setting Sun. (page 57)
Proper Nouns (chronological order):
  1. Wide Window
  2. Damocles Dock
  3. Fickle Ferry
  4. Lake Lachrymose
  5. Hurricane Herman
  6. Pretty Penny
  7. Lachrymose Leeches
  8. Curdled Cave
  9. Carp Cove
  10. Cloudy Cliffs
  11. Lavender Lighthouse
  12. Wicked Whirlpool
  13. Rancorous Rocks
Non-proper Nouns:
  1. pinpoint of pale purple [light]
  2. This sentence: “…Anxious Clown, Captain Sham had been unable to Conceal his excitement at having the Children almost in his Clutches” (page 97)
  3. Later, Cold-blooded, Chameleon, and Chameleonic were used in the same paragraph.
Page numbers provided in parentheses.
  1. Rickety (2): unsteady, likely to collapse
  2. Perished (8): killed
  3. Blanched (13): boiled
  4. Briskly (18): quickly, so as to get the Baudelaire children to leave the house
  5. Simmered (44): cooked over low heat
  6. Revulsion (50): an unpleasant mixture of horror and disgust
  7. Literally (68): actually happening
  8. Figuratively (68): feels like it’s happening
  9. Standoffish (74): reluctant to associate with others
  10. Fitfully (94): with much tossing and turning
  11. Smirked (95): smiled in an unfriendly, phony way
  12. Nuptial (96): relating to marriage
  13. Faking (109): feigning
  14. Relinquished (110): gave to [Count Olaf] even though he didn’t want to
  15. ‘casing the joint’ (114): observing a particular location in order to formulate a plan
  16. Adroit (121): skillful
  17. Incurring (127): bringing about
  18. Deplorable (128): not at all enjoyable
  19. ‘of two minds’ (133): felt two different ways at the same time
  20. Pandemonium (138): actors and stagehands running around attending to last-minute details
  21. ‘break a leg’ (139-40): good luck on tonight’s performance
  22. Insipid (141): dull and foolish
  23. Testily (150): in an extremely annoyed tone
  24. Aberrant (162): very, very wrong, and causing much grief
  25. Also note that definitions for garlic, anchovies, capers, and tomatoes are also provided, but that might be going a bit far.
  1. ‘take the cake’ (2): more horrible things have happened to them than just about anybody
  2. Ridicule (7): tease
  3. ‘cloud over’ (11): took on a slightly gloomy expression as Uncle Monty thought about his bad luck
  4. Flourish (26): a sweeping gesture, often used to show off
  5. Misnomer (29): a very wrong name
  6. Alcove (34): a very, very small nook just perfect for sitting and reading
  7. Segue (36): let the conversation veer off
  8. Giddy (37): dizzy and excited
  9. Nemesis (45): the worst enemy you could imagine
  10. ‘constant surveillance’ (62): kept watching them so they couldn’t possibly talk to Uncle Monty alone and reveal that [Stephano] was really Count Olaf
  11. Vainglorious (69): braggy
  12. Oblivious (79): not aware that Stephano was really Count Olaf and thus being in a great deal of danger
  13. Generic (84): when one is unable to think of anything else to say
  14. Dumbly (86): without speaking
  15. [irony was going to] ‘come to fruition’ (89): the Baudelaires were finally to learn of it
  16. Brummagem (91): fake
  17. ‘to add insult to injury’ (94): forcing somebody to do an unpleasant task when they’re already very upset
  18. Admonished (101): reprimanded Klaus even though he was interrupting for a very good reason
  19. Transpired (124): happened and made everybody sad
  20. Hackneyed (127): used by so, so many writers that by the time Lemony Snicket uses it, it is a tiresome cliche
  21. Inner Sanctum (131): filthy room in which evil plans are devised
  22. Entertaining (135): thinking
  23. Insipid (141): not worth reading to someone
  24. Crude (153): roughly made at the last minute
  25. come clean (166): admit he’s really Count Olaf
  26. ‘perpetuate his deception’ (166): lie, lie, lie
  27. Ruffians (181): horrible people
  1. ‘break out in hives’ (3): be covered in red, itchy rashes for a few hours
  2. Surreptitiously (34): when Aunt Josephine wasn’t looking
  3. ‘keeping things in perspective’ (37): making yourself feel better by comparing the things that are happening to you right now against other things that have happened at a different time, or to different people
  4. ‘groaned inwardly’ (42): said nothing but felt disappointed at the prospect of another chilly dinner
  5. ‘slipped a notch’ (47): grown less confident as he waited to see if Aunt Josephine realized he was really Count Olaf in disguise
  6. Futile (49): filled with futility
  7. Impertinent (56): pointing out that I’m wrong, which annoys me
  8. Forgery (77): writing something yourself and pretending someone else wrote it
  9. ‘with great gusto’ (91): in a way which produced a great deal of phlegm
  10. Chameleonic (97): able to blend in with any situation
  11. Utmost (101): most
  12. Garish (105): filled with balloons, neon lights, and obnoxious waiters
  13. Copious (110): lots of
  14. Resolutely (133): as if she believed it, even though she wasn’t so sure
  15. Brobdingnagian (141): unbelievably husky
  16. ‘minimal pain’ (141): no pain at all
  17. Mollify (145): to get them to stop tearing their hair out in worry
  18. Broke (150): ended
  19. Phantasmagorical (152): all the creepy, scary words you can think of put together
  20. Precariously (168): in a way which almost threw Aunt Josephine and the Baudelaire youngsters to their doom
  21. Wunderkind (174): one who is able to quickly climb up masts on boats being attacked by leeches
  22. Abhorrent (180): what Count Olaf used to do when he was about your age


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