Learn English – Curtiosity and dretful


In The Elephant's Child by Rudyard Kipling he writes

But there was one Elephant–a new Elephant–an Elephant's Child–who
was full of 'satiable curtiosity, and that means he asked ever so many

and then later

'Have I seen a Crocodile?' said the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake, in
a voice of dretful scorn. 'What will you ask me next?'

Are these simply made up words never to be seen again or is there some way of interpreting them?

Best Answer

They're not made up words, but rather made up spellings of the words "curiosity" and "dreadful".

I'm sure the non-standard spellings are deliberate. They're used by Kipling to give a distinctive voice to the narrator, who presumably has an imperfect knowledge of English.