What does the word "mejum" mean? ("I shall be mejum.")
In Chapter 38, Anne says, "As 'Josiah Allen's wife,' says, 'I shall be mejum'" in response to Mrs. Lynde's comment that Anne is "going to kill herself." Anne says that she is not going to overdo things and that she'll have plenty of free time in the evenings. "Mejum" means "in the middle, medium." Josiah Allen's wife was a pseudonym for Marietta Holley (1836-1926), a humorist from upstate New York who wrote in the style of country "cracker-barrel philosophers." Her well-known work was My Opinion and Betsy Bobbet's of 1873, which contained women's humor. The book includes stories about Samantha, Josiah Allen's wife, who was a fictional proponent of women's rights. Marietta Holley wrote many works on prohibition and women's rights and was friends with leading suffragettes of her time, including Susan B. Anthony. She was often referred to as the female Mark Twain.
When Anne quotes Josiah Allen's wife, she says that she will be "'mejum.'" This means that she will be medium, or balanced in her life.
Anne has recently told Marilla that she will turn down her scholarship and instead work as a schoolteacher nearby. She will continue her studies through correspondence courses. Mrs. Rachel Lynde comes to visit and Anne tells the neighbor lady of her plans. Anne explains that she will take her college courses at home, which include "'Latin and Greek,'" which Rachel does not believe in. Rachel is appalled, and she thinks that Anne will become overwhelmed with taking college coursework and teaching school at the same time. Anne reassures Rachel that she will not "'overdo things.'" It is during this conversation that Anne says that she will be "'mejum,'" and live a balanced life.