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Pelay, Piler in Lousiana French

Growing up in Thibodaux, Louisiana, Ashlie was accustomed to using many Cajun terms, such as sha bébé, a version of cher bébé meaning “poor baby,” ya mom ‘n’ ’em for “your family and circle of friends,” and lagniappe, meaning...

Latin Palindrome Riddle

“In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni” is a Latin palindrome doubling as a riddle. It’s variously translated as “We enter the circle at night and are consumed by fire” or “We turn in circles in the night and are...

Cootie Shots and ’Uku Shots

Elizabeth in Suffolk, Virginia, spent her early childhood in Hawaii, then moved to Indiana and found that kids had a different playground game that involved pretending to use a cootie shot to inoculate someone against imagined infection from cooties...

Circle the Wagons

A chemist who spent years working in the pharmaceutical industry sent us an amusing sendup of corporatespeak that begins, “It is what it is, so let’s all reach out and circle the wagons…” Although his jargon-laden riff wonderfully...

circle time

circle time  n.— «He gave the example of what is called “circle time” in primary schools, which, he said, used to be a chance for pupils to sit down at the end of the school day and talk about what they had learned. Now...

bust on someone

bust on someone  v. phr.— «I knew the rumors existed. But there are nothing to the accusations. I just thought people were busting on me. I had no idea they had gone beyond the football circle.» —“McElreavy Is Under Fire; Assistant...