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Characters | Glossary

Characters (in order of mention)
Oliver Twist    an orphan born at the workhouse
Nurse Sally

an old nurse at the workhouse

Mrs Mann a woman who looked after the young orphans from the workhouse
Mr Bumble an official from the workhouse
Mr Sowerberry a coffin maker who takes Oliver as an apprentice; Oliver’s employer
Mrs Sowerberry Mr Sowerberry’s wife
Noah Claypole an apprentice at Mr Sowerberry’s shop who later calls himself Morris Bolter and joins Fagin’s gang
Jack Dawkins = The Artful Dodger  a boy in Fagin’s gang of thieves
Fagin a man who teaches boys how to be thieves; leader of a gang of thieves
Charley Bates

a boy in Fagin’s gang of thieves

Mr Brownlow

a kind, rich gentleman who lives in London

Mrs Bedwin a woman who works for Mr Brownlow, looking after his house  
Mr Bill Sikes  a thief and friend of Fagin’s

a young woman thief who works for Bill Sikes

Mr Grimwig a friend of Mr Brownlow’s  
 Toby Crackit a thief who breaks into houses

a friend of Fagin’s and the half-brother to Oliver

Mr Brittles a servant at Mrs Maylie’s house  
Mr Giles a servant at Mrs Maylie’s house  
Mrs Maylie a kind, rich lady who raised Rose as her niece when Rose was an orphan
Rose Maylie a seventeen-year-old girl who was raised by Mrs Maylie
Dr Losberne

a kind doctor who is a friend of Mrs Maylie and Rose

Detective Blathers a detective from London  
Detective Duff a detective from London  
Mrs Corney matron in charge of the workhouse who later marries Mr Bumble  
Harry Maylie Mrs Maylie’s son  
Charlotte Claypole the wife of Noah Claypole, who is also known as X Mrs Bolter  
Morris Bolter the name Noah Claypole gives himself when he joins Fagin’s gang  

a young woman and Oliver’s mother

Edward Leeford the name of Oliver and Monks’s father  
Chitling a thief in Fagin’s gang  
Kags a thief in Fagin’s gang  
Edwin Leeford the original name of Monks  
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 apprentice someone who works for an employer for an agreed amount of time in order to learn a skill  
arrest if a police officer arrests someone, he or she takes them away because they are believed to be guilty of a crime  
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to hit someone many times with your hand, a stick, etc.

break into

enter a building using force to steal something

broken heart when you are very sad, especially because someone you love has died or left you  
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 cautiously carefully  
 cell a small room in a police station or prison where prisoners are kept  

a room under a house

coach a closed vehicle with four wheels pulled by horses that people in past times travelled in  
complain to say that you are annoyed or not satisfied about something  

a long narrow area between two rows of rooms

creep (past and past part.: crept)  

to move very carefully and quietly so that no one will notice you


someone who is proved guilty of a crime


deliberately making people feel pain or sadness

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having no money, no home, no food etc


to become impossible to see or find

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employer a person or company that pays people to work for them  
 events things that happen, especially something important, interesting or unusual  
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furious very angry  
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generosity when you are happy to give money, time etc to help someone  

a man who is polite and behaves well towards other people; a respectful way to talk about a man

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half-brother a brother who is the child of only one of your parents  
handkerchief a small piece of cloth used for drying your nose or eyes  
 horrified very shocked  
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in charge of a position of having control or being responsible for something  
indeed used to add more information to support a statement  
Industrial Revolution

In England, this was the time from 1750 to 1850 when the way people lived and worked changed greatly because of new machines and industries

informer someone who gives information to the police or other government organisations about people who are involved in illegal activities  

a small hotel, especially one in the countryside

interrupt to stop someone while they are speaking or doing something by suddenly saying something or doing something yourself  
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kidnap to take someone away by force and keep them as your prisoner until people give you money or things you want  
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lady a woman who is polite and behaves well towards other people; a respectful way to talk about a woman  

a piece of jewellery like a small round box, worn on a chain around your neck

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 mad mentally ill  
 magistrate someone who decides if people are guilty of less serious crimes in a court of law  
master an old-fashioned word for a man who is in charge of a place  

making you expect something dangerous or bad


someone who hates spending money and likes to have a lot of it

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worried or frightened about something, and unable to relax

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opportunity a chance to do something  

a child whose parents are dead

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painting a painted picture  
patient (n) someone who is being treated by a doctor, nurse, etc  

in a manner that shows that you are able to wait calmly for a long time or deal with difficult situations without becoming angry


to make someone decide to do something by explaining to them why it is a good idea


a feeling of happiness


when people have very little money

pretend to behave as if something is true when you know it is not  

confused and unable to understand something

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showing good judgement

shawl a large piece of cloth that a woman wears around her shoulders or head  

very surprised

silk a soft cloth made from the threads produced by a silkworm  
slums an area of a city with old buildings in very bad condition, where many poor people live  

to cry noisily and breath quickly and noisily at the same time


a hot liquid food that usually has pieces of meat or vegetables in it


describing someone who has not had enough food for a long time and will die soon if they do not eat

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the movement of the level of the sea up and down the shore

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very unattractive or unpleasant to look at


too painful, unpleasant etc for you to accept or deal with

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West Indies

a group of islands off the east coast of America

 will a legal document in which you say who you want to give your money and property to after you die  
workhouse a place where very poor people could live and work  

very unhappy, unlucky etc

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