• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • A- A, as a prefix to English words, is derived from various sources. (1) It frequently signifies on or infrom an a forms of AS. on), denoting a state, as in afoot, on foot, abed, amiss, asleep, aground, aloft, away (AS. onweg), and analogically, ablaze, atremble, etc. (2) AS. of off, from, as in adown (AS. ofdūne off the dun or hill). (3) AS. ā- (Goth. us- ur-, Ger. er-), usually giving an intensive force, and sometimes the sense of away on back, as in arise, abide, ago. (4) Old English y- or i-corrupted from the AS. inseparable particle ge-, cognate with OHG. ga- gi-, Goth. ga-), which, as a prefix, made no essential addition to the meaning, as in aware. (5) French àL. ad to), as in abase, achieve. (6) L. a ab abs, from, as in avert. (7) Greek insep. prefix α without, or privative, not, as in abyss, atheist; akin to E. un-.Besides these, there are other sources from which the prefix a takes its origin.
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:



  • W. C. Fields
    “Show me a great actor and I'll show you a lousy husband. Show me a great actress, and you've seen the devil.”
  • Robert Half
    Robert Half
    “Acting on a good idea is better than just having a good idea.”
  • Daryl Hannah
    Daryl Hannah
    “A movie camera is like having someone you have a crush on watching you from afar -- you pretend it's not there.”
  • William Hazlitt
    “They are the only honest hypocrites, their life is a voluntary dream, a studied madness.”
  • Katharine Hepburn
    “It's a business you go into because you're an egocentric. It's a very embarrassing profession.”
  • William Shakespeare
    “Oh! it offends me to the soul to hear a robust periwig-pated fellow, tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings.”


A bit much - If something is excessive or annoying, it is a bit much.
A bridge too far - A bridge too far is an act of overreaching- going too far and getting into trouble or failing.
A chain is no stronger than its weakest link - This means that processes, organisations, etc, are vulnerable because the weakest person or part can always damage or break them.
A day late and a dollar short - (USA) If something is a day late and a dollar short, it is too little, too late.
A fool and his money are soon parted - This idiom means that people who aren't careful with their money spend it quickly. 'A fool and his money are easily parted' is an alternative form of the idiom.
A fool at 40 is a fool forever - If someone hasn't matured by the time they reach forty, they never will.
A fresh pair of eyes - A person who is brought in to examine something carefully is a fresh pair of eyes.
A hitch in your giddy-up - If you have a hitch in your giddy-up, you're not feeling well. ('A hitch in your gittie-up' is also used.)
A lick and a promise - If you give something a lick and a promise, you do it hurriedly, most often incompletely, intending to return to it later.
A light purse is a heavy curse - Life is difficult when you don't have much money.
A List - Prominent and influential people who comprise the most desirable guests at a social function or gathering.
A little bird told me - If someone doesn't want to say where they got some information from, they can say that a little bird told them.
A little learning is a dangerous thing - A small amount of knowledge can cause people to think they are more expert than they really are.eg. he said he'd done a course on home electrics, but when he tried to mend my table lamp, he fused all the lights! I think a little learning is a dangerous thing
A long row to hoe - Something that is a long row to hoe is a difficult task that takes a long time.
A lost ball in the high weeds - A lost ball in the high weeds is someone who does not know what they are doing, where they are or how to do something.


In literature:

A tawdry pantomime was life, a pouring of blood, a grappling with shadows, a digging of graves.
"Erik Dorn" by Ben Hecht
With wages at four shillings a day a man could collect about one-third of a pound of latex a day.
"Across Unknown South America" by Arnold Henry Savage Landor
The Governor disclaimed being a merchant, a lecturer, a minister, or a teacher.
"A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3" by DeAlva Stanwood Alexander
Part of all this was a reality; part was a dream, a dream that bore some resemblance to the horrors of a first intoxication.
"The Scalp Hunters" by Mayne Reid
But to get a little needed capital he hired out to a manufacturer of woolen cloth at Hempstead, Long Island, for a dollar and a half a day.
"Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 11 (of 14)" by Elbert Hubbard
A little girl came out of an alley way with a peculiar jerky movement, like a hop and a skip, while she kept one hand on her knee.
"A Little Girl of Long Ago" by Amanda Millie Douglas
A word, a look, a certain quickness of quiet laughter, would pierce her with recollection.
"The History of Sir Richard Calmady" by Lucas Malet
Then he found her a low chair, and poked the kitchen fire, putting on a pine log to make a nice blaze.
"A Little Girl in Old Boston" by Amanda Millie Douglas
It was said, a few years ago, that a Plantagenet was a butcher in a suburb of London.
"Folkways" by William Graham Sumner
Of a sudden there was a moan, a snarl, a shuffle; he had taken fright, he was off!
"Chatterbox, 1906" by Various

In poetry:

Does he drink small beer from a silver jug?
Or a bowl? or a glass? or a cup? or a mug?
or a POT,
The Akond of Swat?
"The Akond of Swat" by Edward Lear
My life's a pleasure and a pain;
A real loss, a real gain;
A glorious paradise of joys;
A grievous prison of annoys.
"The Believer's Riddle; or, the Mystery of Faith" by Ralph Erskine
His lies i' the dip o' a muir
Wi' a twa three elder trees,
A lanely cot wi' a sough o' win',
An' a simmer bum o' bees;
"Hame" by George MacDonald
A loaf of bread, a lofty hill;
A wasp, a cruel leopard;
And specks of sale as bright to see
As lambkins to a shepherd.
"The Fly" by Walter de la Mare
Three pund a week,
A varra good house,
Niver a clout from him,
Niver a curse;
There's mony a lass
Might have done worse.
"Moorland Wife" by Dorothy Una Ratcliffe
A little dreaming by the way,
A little toiling day by day;
A little pain, a little strife,
A little joy,--and that is life.
"The Sum" by Paul Laurence Dunbar

In news:

Bruce rides a Quarter horse, teaching it to cut a cow out of a herd as cowboys once did to get the animal to a vet, move it to a different pen or take it to a stockyard.
Caney Creek Road saw a wreck involving a horse-drawn buggy and a car on Wednesday morning at approximately 8:40 a.m. Photo/GCSD A Caney Creek Road collision on Wednesday between a vehicle and a horse-drawn buggy caused no injuries.
A combination of images shows a security guard demonstrating a body scanner at Heathrow Airport and a computer screen showing a scan of a security guard with a gun in his possession.
O n a humid afternoon a couple of weeks ago, John Friend comes to the door of his home in the Woodlands, Texas, a suburb 30 miles outside Houston, wearing a loose-fitting blue shirt, a pair of jeans, and a wide grin.
Chris Harrison, a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University and a former intern at Microsoft Research, has developed a working prototype of a system called Skinput that turns a person's hand and forearm into a keyboard and screen.
Whatever you might want to say about the tennis season, you can't say it doesn't go out with a bang—or a tear, or a song, or a dance, or a shaved head, or a torn shirt with something that looks like a lion on it.
Having been nurtured on nature shows, tourists to Africa typically relish a good kill: a cheetah chasing down a gazelle, a jackal devouring the carcass of a wildebeest, a lion pouncing on a squirming oryx.
For any decent-sized national team, playing against one of the game's minnows —an Andorra or a Cook Islands or a Macau—is a bit like receiving a Facebook friend request from a former significant other when you're in a committed relationship.
It's just a flat aluminum bar with a loop on one end, yet it can be used to clamp a mitered frame, a workpiece on a drill press, the sides of a mitered cabinet and more.
Scope 1.1 Method A of this test method defines a procedure that will detect and locate a leak equal or greater than a channel formed by a 50 m wire in a nonporous package edge seals.
Hunters arrived at this puzzle site to find an auctioneer selling off a number of items: a race car, a Civic, a kayak, a carpenter's level and a pile of poop.
A shot and a beer isn't an obvious pairing to highlight bartender creativity in a cocktail menu — and no, we're never, ever going to count a drink where a shot glass gets dropped into a pint of beer.
This is a review of a movie about a man writing a book about a man who takes credit for a book written by another man.
While the Easy A actress is known more as a comedic sweetheart than a sultry sexpot, a close insider says Emma, 24, has a wild streak that has culminated itself in the form of a homemade sex romp on video.
Ladies, if the thought of showing up at a party or a picnic with a box of wine seems a little gauche, there's now a product for you: Vernissage's "bag-in-a-bag" of wine.

In science:

We have a natural algebra homomorphism i : A → #(C, A), i(a)(c) = εC (c)a, and we have, for all a ∈ A and f : C → A: (i(a)#f )(c) = aψ f (cψ ) and (f #i(a))(c) = f (c)a.
Galois corings from the descent theory point of view
The Moyal bracket of these functions is defined by [f (a, a∗), g (a, a∗)] = f (a, a∗) ⋆ g (a, a∗) − g (a, a∗) ⋆ f (a, a∗ ).
Moyal Quantization on Fuzzy Sphere
We define ♦A (i.e., the diamond principle for A ) as the following assertion: there exists a sequence hua : a ∈ A i, such that ua ⊆ a for any a ∈ A , and for every B ′ ⊆ B the set {a ∈ A : B ′ ∩ a = ua} is stationary in [B ′ ]<κ .
Reflection implies the SCH
For a ∈ A let (δ(a), ε(a)) be such that a ∈ A ε(a) δ(a) hence δ(a) = sup(a), otp(a) ≤ ε(a).
Reflection implies the SCH
Let g : A ⊗ A ⊗ A → A ∧ A ∧ A ⊂ A ⊗ A ⊗ A be the skew-symmetrizing (−1)σ σ , where S3 is the permutation group on the three-element set and pro jection given by g = Pσ∈S3 (−1)σ gives the sign of a permutation σ (the determinant as a permutation matrix).
A Hopf algebra quantizing a necklace Lie algebra canonically associated to a quiver