Holes Glossary


Tired, physically exhausted. The boys are weary from digging holes all day.


The sound that a rattlesnake makes before it bites you.


To be able to understand another person, to have compassion for them. Stanley's ability to empathize with Zero increases throughout the novel.


A person's morals and values.


Deserving strong condemnation; completely unacceptable.


Very unlikely to occur.


A person responsible for supervising or maintaining order in a place. The Warden is the woman who owns the land around Camp Green Lake and has authority there.


Safety, a place where one can take shelter. God's Thumb is a refuge for Stanley's great-grandfather, and for Stanley and Zero.


To be naive and ignorant of the true state of things.


A person who is on the run, avoiding arrest. Kissin' Kate is a fugitive from justice, and Stanley and Zero become fugitives later in the novel when they run away from Camp Green Lake.


A measure of capacity or volume. Katherine Barlow made her special spiced peaches from bushels of peaches mixed with spices.


To expel someone from a property or a house. Stanley's family is constantly threatened with eviction by their landlord.


An open area usually enclosed by a fence, usually in a prison. Camp Green Lake has no fences or guard towers, as Mr. Sir points out, but it still qualifies as a compound because the boys cannot really escape.


A holder for carrying a gun. Mr. Sir keeps a gun in his holster to use against yellow-spotted lizards.


A medicinal drink that is supposed to restore health or well-being. Sam the onion man sells onion tonics to the townspeople of Green Lake.


A steep rock face or cliff. Stanley and Zero have to face the danger of precipices as they scale God's Thumb.

Rec Room

A room used for entertainment and relaxation. The rec room in Camp Green Lake is so beaten up that the sign has been replaced by one reading "Wreck Room."


Pulsating, beating, as with blood. When Stanley is injured behind his ear with Zigzag's shovel, the wound throbs with his heartbeat.


A person who has committed a crime and remains at large. Kissin' Kate Barlow is a notorious outlaw figure in this novel.


A narrow, often collapsible camp bed. The boys in D tent sleep on cots.