Easy as ABC

Twords are, according to designer and illustrator Mr Gresty, words ‘that contain two others’, each with a different meaning to the original word.

So – to use his example – ‘breakfast’ also contains the very different words, ‘break’ and ‘fast.’

Twords cover
Twords cover

This charming yet alarmingly simple proposition is spelled out in beautiful illustrations and cutesy captions across Mr Gresty’s first book, An A to Z of Twords.


Flicking vainly to the ‘e’ section of this beautiful tome, we discover, er, earwig – ‘a creepy crawly with large pincers on its bum.’ And so ear – ‘the flappy thing on the side of your head’- and wig – ‘artificial hair you can wear’ – are its totally unrelated components.

Meanwhile, the ‘g’ pages are graced with a very pretty goose nibbling a sprig of berries. Gooseberry, geddit?


Mr Gresty began compiling the book in January, having realised though compiling pieces for illustration and typography exhibitions that wordplay is central to his work.

He says, ‘So many a-z books out there take 26 seconds to get through. This would make kids stop and move on – it makes you realise that not everything in front of you can be taken at face value.’

He says that although it hadn’t been his initial intention, the book has been a hit among primary school teacher friends, who note that the way the book breaks words into separate entities is a particularly useful tool for dyslexic children.

‘It’s so visual, it can get the point across straight away,’ says Mr Gresty. ‘It’s a visual, fun book – it could appeal to people in their twenties or thirties, it’s not just an education tool.’


The book is the first of a series of three – and is due to be followed by the wonderfully titled That is That and This is This, hopefully later this year.

An A to z of Twords is available to pre-order from MrGresty’s website and as of 22 July on Amazon, priced  £12.99

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