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Vocabulary Resource

Page history last edited by Béatrice H. Alves 7 years, 4 months ago





Wordle: Air Safety



General resource


Here is a wordlist[http://www.oup.com.br/teachers-pack/esp/english-for-aviation-express-series-teacher-s-pk.html " href="http://bees4work.pbworks.com/Vocabulary-for-Pilots#footnote-1">1] you will find useful if you work with aviation. Click on the aircraft to get it.


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But, if you prefer, you can download a complete dictionary:


or the second edition     .


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or check this Pilot / ATC glossary.

or this one by Air Odissey

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ANACpedia is a database consisting of bilingual glossaries (English-Portuguese / Portuguese-English; Spanish - Portuguese/Portuguese - Spanish) and a list of acronyms, developed by the Department of People Management – SGP of the Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency - ANAC. Glossaries contain aviation terms and abbreviations commonly used in Brazil and abroad. We hope ANACpedia can assist consultants in understanding aviation terminology conveyed in texts written in English, Spanish and Portuguese.  

Information provided for some terms and acronyms result from researches developed by ANAC in partnership with the Brazilian Department of Airspace Control (DECEA). 

Consult the ANACpedia dictionaries here


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Idiomatic expressions in video

Piece of cake? Butterflies in the stomach?


Practical aviation expressions


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Idiomatic expressions related to weather

Any port in a storm

This means that in an emergency any solution will do, even one that would normally be unacceptable.

Blue skies

A overly enthusiastic outlook or disposition. The sales team had blue skies projections for their deals, although not many of those deals were signed.

Bolt from the blue

If something happens unexpectedly and suddenly, it is a bolt from the blue.

Brighten up the day

If something brightens up your day, something happens that makes you feel positive and happy all day long.

Calm before the storm

A calm time immediately before period of violent activity or argument is the calm before the storm.

Chase rainbows

If someone chases rainbows, they try to do something that they will never achieve.

Cloud nine

If you are on cloud nine, you are extremely happy. ('cloud seven' is a less common alternative)

Cloud of suspicion

If a cloud of suspicion hangs over an individual, it means that they are not believed or are distrusted.

Cloud on the horizon

If you can see a problem ahead, you can call it a cloud on the horizon.

Cold light of day

If you see things in the cold light of day, you see them as they really are, not as you might want them to be.

Colder than a witch's tit

If it is colder than a witch's tit, it is extremely cold outside.

Come rain or shine

If I say I'll be at a place come rain or shine, I mean that I can be relied on to turn up; nothing, not even the vagaries of British weather, will deter me or stop me from being there.


If a person is in the doldrums, they are depressed. If a project or something similar is in the doldrums, it isn't making any progress.

Down in the doldrums

If somebody's down in the doldrums, they are depressed and lacking energy.

Dry spell

If something or someone is having a dry spell, they aren't being as successful as they normally are.

Every cloud has a silver lining

People sometimes say that every cloud has a silver lining to comfort somebody who's having problems. They mean that it is always possible to get something positive out of a situation, no matter how unpleasant, difficult or even painful it might seem.

Face like thunder

If someone has a face like thunder, they are clearly very angry or upset about something.

Fairweather friend

A fairweather friend is the type who is always there when times are good but forgets about you when things get difficult or problems crop up.

Get wind of

If you get wind of something, you hear or learn about it, especially if it was meant to be secret.

Go down a storm

To say that something has been enjoyable or successful, you can say that it has gone down a storm. Eg. Last night's party went down a storm, it was incredible.

Greased lightning

If something or someone moves like greased lightning, they move very fast indeed.

Head is in the clouds

If a person has their head in the clouds, they have unrealistic, impractical ideas.

Hit rough weather

If you hit rough weather, you experience difficulties or problems.

In a fog

If you're in a fog, you are confused, dazed or unaware.

Into each life some rain must fall

This means that bad or unfortunate things will happen to everyone at some time.

It never rains but it pours

'It never rains but it pours' means that when things go wrong, they go very wrong.

Jack Frost

If everything has frozen in winter, then Jack Frost has visited.

Know which way the wind blows

This means that you should know how things are developing and be prepared for the future.

Made in the shade

One has an easy time in life or in a given situation. Finding things working to one's benefit.

Quiet before the storm

When you know that something is about to go horribly wrong, but hasn't just yet, then you are in the quiet before the storm.

Rain on your parade

If someone rains on your parade, they ruin your pleasure or your plans.

Rainy day

If you save something, especially money, for a rainy day, you save it for some possible problem or trouble in the future.

Right as rain

If things are right as rain, then everything is going well in your life.

Sail close to the wind

If you sail close to the wind, you take risks to do something, going close to the limit of what is allowed or acceptable.

Seven sheets to the wind

If someone is seven sheets to the wind, they are very drunk.

Shoot the breeze

When you shoot the breeze, you chat in a relaxed way.

Silly season

The silly season is midsummer when Parliament is closed and nothing much is happening that is newsworthy, which reduces the press to reporting trivial and stupid stories.

Steal someone's thunder

If someone steals your thunder, they take the credit and praise for something you did.

Stem the tide

If people try to stem the tide, they are trying to stop something unpleasant from getting worse, usually when they don't succeed.

Storm in a teacup

If someone exaggerates a problem or makes a small problem seem far greater than it really is, then they are making a storm in a teacup.

Take a raincheck

If you take a rain check, you decline an offer now, suggesting you will accept it later. ('Raincheck' is also used.)

Take by storm

To take by storm means to captivate- eg. A new play that took New York City by storm.

Tempest in a teapot

If people exaggerate the seriousness of a situation or problem, they are making a tempest in a teapot.

Throw caution to the wind

When people throw caution to the wind, they take a great risk.

Twisting in the wind

If you are twisting in the wind, you are without help or support - you are on your own.

Under a cloud

If someone is suspected of having done something wrong, they are under a cloud.

Under the weather

If you are feeling a bit ill, sad or lack energy, you are under the weather.

Wait for a raindrop in the drought

When someone is waiting for a raindrop in the drought, they are waiting or hoping for something that is extremely unlikely to happen.

Weather a storm

If you weather a storm, you get through a crisis or hard times.

When it rains, it pours

This idiom means that when things go wrong, a lot of things go wrong at the same time.

White as snow

If something or someone is as white as snow, they are perfect or completely uncorrupted and honest.


More idiomatic expressions here.



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Here you will find some flashcards to work on your vocabulary.

Please, let me know if there are any mistakes.



Collocations to give/ask for instructions 

Communication 4 Pilots flashcards from BeaBees on FlashcardDB.


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Parts of an airport

Study the definitions and play with them as much as you can.  The space race is fun and there is no way not to learn.



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Useful sites and Apps

Anki App

Anki App is a cross-platform mobile and desktop flashcard app.

Study flashcards in your downtime. Make flashcards with text, sound, and images, or download pre-made ones. Studying is extra-efficient, thanks to our unique algorithm. Automatically does backups and sync to all your devices, via the cloud.



Lingualy is a free Google Chrome extension designed to help you learn a new language while browsing the web. With Lingualy installed anytime that you come across a new word you can double-click on it to hear it pronounced, read a translation, and read a definition. The words that you double-click are added to your Lingualy account where you can review them in a quiz format. 


English Monstruo


English Monstruo is a free app (iPad and Android versions available) containing eight games designed to help students learn verb conjugation. English Monstruo was developed by researchers at Cambridge University who examined the results of 200,000 exams to determine the words that give Spanish speakers the most difficulty when taking an English exam. The games in the English Monstruo app contain activities ranging from fill-in-the-blank to sorting words to replacing incorrect words with correct words. Each game has a series of levels to work through to earn points and unlock increasingly more difficult levels. To access all eight games a player needs to first earn the maximum points in the first six games in the app.



Phrasalstein, developed at Cambridge University, is a great iPad app and Android app designed to help students learn the meanings of phrasal verbs. The app has a practice mode and a quiz mode. In the practice mode students select a verb and a preposition combination then see a short animation demonstration of the meaning of the chosen phrase. In the quiz mode students see an animation then have to select the matching phrase. Translations of the meanings are available in Spanish, German, Italian, Russian and French.



Duolingo is a free service that aims to help you learn Spanish, French, German, or Portuguese. Duolingo offers mobile apps that allow you to practice a new language anywhere you go. The Duolingo mobile apps and website provide a variety of translation activities to help learn to you read, listen to, and translate words and phrases. The activities include looking at pictures that are representative of words and phrases. After reviewing a couple of pictures students are asked to type translations. The app gives immediate feedback to students.


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