Mark in Bostonia, California, works in a machine shop where a sign warned: Beware of coolant and swarf. The word swarf refers to filings or dust created from machine work. Swarf can also function as a verb meaning “to cover with dust or grit or powder.” It comes from an Old English word meaning “to rub” or “to scour,” the source also of English swerve. This is part of a complete episode.

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