Vocabulary Builder 22 | John Wesley Powell


In Vocabulary Builder 22 | John Wesley Powell episode, you will learn the words: anonymous, browse, dupe, dynamic, eradicate, frustrate, grim, inimitable, makeshift, marginal, pending, prescribe, preview, prominent, quaint, reluctant, scrimp, snare, utmost, and vengeance.


anonymous(adj) unnamed, without the name of the person involved (writer, composer, etc.); unknown; lacking individuality or character
browse(v.) to nibble, graze; to read casually; to window-shop
dupe(n) a person easily tricked or deceived; (v) to deceive
dynamic(adj.) active, energetic, forceful
eradicate(v.) to root out, get rid of, destroy completely
frustrate(v.) to prevent from accomplishing a purpose or fulfilling a desire; to cause feelings of discouragement
grim(adj.) stern, merciless; fierce, savage, cruel
inimitable(adj.) not capable of being copied or imitated
makeshift(n) a temporary substitute for something else; (adj) crude, flimsy, or temporary
marginal(adj.) in, at, or near the edge or margin; only barely good, large, or important enough for the purpose
pending(adj.) waiting to be settled; (prep.) until
prescribe(v.) to order as a rule or course to be followed; to order for medical purposes
preview(n.) something seen in advance; (v.) to view beforehand
prominent(adj.) standing out so as to be easily seen; important, well-known
quaint(adj.) odd or old-fashioned in a pleasing way; clever, ingenious; skillfully made
reluctant(adj.) unwilling, holding back
scrimp(v.) to handle very economically or stingily; to supply in a way that is small, short, or scanty
snare(v.) to trap, catch; (n.) a trap or entanglement
utmost(adj.) greatest, highest, farthest; (n.) the extreme limit
vengeance(n.) punishment in return for an injury or a wrong; unusual force or violence

Podcast Episode


Disclaimer: I am using an automatic transcript service as it is not possible for me to do it on my own and I cannot afford human transcription at the moment. The service claims to have about 95% accuracy, which means there will still be some mistakes, so my apologies for having a less than perfect transcript, but I hope I can afford human transcription soon and this problem will be solved. However, the service is pretty good and the transcript will prove to be almost perfect.

Welcome to a new episode from English plus podcast in today’s vocabulary builder. We will talk about John Wesley Powell. We will listen to a story about him. We will talk about some of the words in that story. We will focus on these words, but don’t forget that you can find more words. If you take the link, you can find into description of the episode, along with a transcript and a lot of exercises, both interactive, you can do them on the website, or you can download them as a PDF file.

[00:00:37] So now without further ado, let’s hear about John Wesley Powell. The dynamic John Wesley Powell was perhaps the greatest example of the fearless American Explorer of the 19th century Powell maintain that he was neither an attorney Android, nor just an Explorer to Powell. It was the pursuit of science that was of the utmost importance.

[00:01:04] Indeed his exploration of the Colorado river and the grand Canyon actually led to the development of some of the principles of geology. It also prompted the settlement of the American Southwest in 1869. Powell who had lost an arm during the civil war and nine companions set out to explore and map the largely uncharted canyons of the green and Colorado rivers.

[00:01:33] The party had just four flimsy wooden boats and a meager supply of rations. The hazards of the grim journey, challenged the group at every turn. In fact, Powell and his party surprised even the local native Americans who were themselves reluctant to navigate the dangerous grand Canyon river Gorge. Yet Powell would not let anything frustrate his plans for exploration, not even the three reports of his death.

[00:02:04] Fortunately Powell did not die on the river. And the 1000 mile journey was a success as was a second trip. He led two years later. Powells book about the grand Canyon region, as well as the photographs, topographic map diaries and field notes prepared by several other members of his party provided valuable information about the area.

[00:02:29] Soon after his second expedition Powell became a prominent government official involved in the management of arid Western lens. He went on to become the director of the Bureau of ethnology, which collected data about fast disappearing North American Indian groups, and later the director of the us geological survey.

[00:02:51] So that was about the famous Explorer of the 19th century. John Wesley Powell. And now let’s get to it. Let’s talk about it. The words we want to focus on the story of ours. So the first word is actually the, the dynamic John Wesley Powell. When we describe someone as dynamic, do you think that’s a positive thing or a negative thing?

[00:03:12] Obviously we’re talking about a very famous and a very important person. With a lot of accomplishments, a lot of great accomplishments, actually. So obviously it’s a positive adjective and he described someone as dynamic. You approve of them because they are full of energy and full of new and exciting ideas.

[00:03:31] That’s a dynamic person. But you might wonder, can we use dynamic for things as well? Of course, if you describe something as dynamic, you approve of it because it is very active and energetic, so it can be an activity or something else you can use dynamic for people or for things. And you can use dynamic as well to talk about a process.

[00:03:54] A dynamic process is one that constantly changes and progresses. All right. So that was our first word dynamic. And by the way, it is spelled D Y N a M I C dynamic. And now for our next word, utmost, U T M O S T most in the story, we said bowel maintained that he was neither an adventurer nor just an Explorer.

[00:04:24] To Powell. It was the pursuit of science that was of the utmost importance. So we talk about the utmost importance. What are we talking about? Are we talking about something that is moderately important or it is somewhere in the middle? Or are we talking about the maximum importance to maximize the importance of something?

[00:04:46] Well, you can tell from the word itself, it is art most. So we already know we’re talking about the most. You can use utmost to emphasize the importance or seriousness of something, or to emphasize the way that it is done. And here, the utmost importance we are using it to emphasize the importance of science to Powell himself.

[00:05:09] So that was our second word now for our third word, grim. G R I M grim in the story, we said the hazards of the grim journey, challenged the group at every turn. Well, Palin was a great man. What he did was great, but the journey of course, the results of the journey were great, but the journey itself was not easy.

[00:05:32] It was grim, it was difficult. It was painful. It was unpleasant. It was depressing at times. And maybe anybody else would just give up and return, but not Powell of course, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the journey was not easy. So when we talk about a grim place or a grim journey, we’re talking about something that is so difficult.

[00:05:57] Unattractive unwelcoming. It is not like a relaxing journey you take for fun. That was grim. Of course, grim can be used for other meanings as well, a situation or a piece of information that is grim is unpleasant, depressing, and difficult to accept if a person or their behavior is grim. They are very serious usually because they are worried about something.

[00:06:22] So that was grim. Let’s move on to talk about the next word that is reluctant. R E L U C T a N D. Reluctant. In our story. We said, when Powell tried to go and he wanted to take the local native Americans with him, they were themselves reluctant to navigate the dangerous grand Canyon river Gorge, because it was dangerous, obviously.

[00:06:49] So what is the meaning of reluctant? They were reluctant to go to navigate. They didn’t actually want to go. If you are reluctant to do something, you are unwilling to do it and hesitate before doing it or do it slowly and without enthusiasm. Now, in the case of the native Americans, they didn’t want to do it because it was dangerous.

[00:07:12] They knew it was dangerous. So they were unwilling to do it at first, of course later they helped, but at first they were reluctant. So that is the meaning of the word reluctant. And now let’s move on to our next word. First-rate F R U S T R a T E frustrate. In our story. We said it, Powell would not let anything frustrate his plans for exploration, not even the three reports of his own death.

[00:07:45] So what is the meaning of frustrate? Powell would not let anything frustrate his plans. If something frustrates you, it upset or angers you because you are unable to do anything about the problem. It creates. But remember Powell would not let anything frustrate his plans. He did not let anything upset his plans or stump them.

[00:08:09] So that was frustrating. And now let’s move on to the last word we want to focus on in today’s story. And that is prominent. Now we said after his second expedition Powell became a prominent government, official prominent is spelled P R O M I N E N T. Prominent. What is the meaning of prominent? Well, prominent simply important.

[00:08:34] Someone who is prominent is important. And so here, we’re saying that Powell became an important government official and prominent can be used for things as well. Something that is prominent is very noticeable or is an important part of something else. So he’s wore our six words, dynamic, utmost, grim, reluctant, frustrate, and prominent.

[00:08:58] Please, don’t forget that you can find the transcript of this episode in the link you can find in the description and there is more, we have 14 more words to learn. If you follow the link, you can find them on my website and you can find interactive exercises, quizzes. And a downloadable PDF that has word search, crossword puzzle, and many more activities for you to cement the knowledge of these 20 new words.

[00:09:25] You’re going to learn this week from English plus podcast vocabulary builder. This is your host, Danny. Thank you very much for listening to another episode from English plus podcasts. I will see you next time.

Quizlet Interactive Activities

PDF Downloadable Worksheet


English Plus Podcast | Voca… by Danny Ballan




Popular posts from this blog

Grammar: Am/Is/Are being + Adjective

Vocabulary Builder 21 | Cardiff Giant