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Answers to the previous page

There is no accounting for taste

To be caught in the act

Actions speak louder than words

You wouldn’t know him from Adam

Much ado about nothing

Vanish into thin air

To have them rolling in the aisles

She was the apple of his eye

He kept her at arms’ length


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A book of places – atlas

A book of stamps or photos – album  

A book of facts regarding days of the year – almanac   

A study of the stars in the sky – astronomy  

Physical exercise of stretching and movement often to music – aerobics  

Skimming down a cliff face with ropes – abseiling  

Looks like a deer – antelope

A sort of lama known for its wool - alpaca

Like a crocodile – alligator

Word Play: Some more A

Lets continue with the letter ‘A  (now, from the previous page, what’s wrong with that)

Some more Tricky Spellings

Absorb – note the use of the ‘b’ – meaning

- To swallow up or incorporate  – his was bought up and absorbed into the network of nationwide stores by that name.

Absorption – note the change from the ‘b’ to the ‘p’ – meaning

- The act of being incorporated into something else – the absorption of his small company into the giant corporation left him feeling sad.

Same word but different meaning


- to take a summary or element from a larger document - she abstracted the key points from the contract

- the part taken – the solicitor handed over the abstract of the deed

- considered apart from material or concrete matter – the abstract world of ideas

Same word but different part of speech


- A noun (the, a) – instead of paying for the goods, the grocer let her put the items on her account    [the account, an account]

- A verb (doing) – she had to account for her whereabouts to the police to provide an alibi for herself  [to account]


- A noun (the, a) – as the highest male voice he was automatically designated as the alto in the choir.

- Adjective (describes) – she played the alto sax in the band


This refers to a word or phrase that is old fashioned or obsolete, such as

     alack = an expression of regret,     anon = at once,     aye = yes,    betwixt = between     forsooth = indeed,    

            forthwith =  immediately, gadzooks = a mild expression of surprise       methinks = I think

Often used in poetry, e.g.

It is an ancient Mariner,
And he
 stoppeth one of three.
 thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
 wherefore stopp’st thou me?

(from the The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by S.T Coleridge)


Alliteration is derived from Latin’s “Latira” and means “letters of alphabet”. It is when a number of words, having the same first consonant sound, occur close together in a series.

Consider the following examples:

The brown beagle bounded up to the girl.

The green grass grew gradually

Often used commercially:

Dunkin’ Donuts



American Airlines

Phrases often make use of alliteration, e.g.

Busy as a bee

Dead as a doornail

Give up the ghost

Good as gold

Mad as a March hare

Make a mountain out of a molehill

Pleased as punch


For General Interest: some ‘a’ words recently added to the Oxford the free online dictionary:

al desko, adv. & adj.: while working at one’s desk in an office (with reference to the consumption of food or meals)

algorithmic trading, n.: automated Stock Exchange trading by computers which are programmed to take certain actions in response to varying market data

arancini, pl. n.: an Italian dish consisting of small balls of rice stuffed with a savoury filling, coated in breadcrumbs and fried