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At Large

If a suspect is at large, he is moving about freely. The term at large, which comes to us via French from Latin, refers not to size but to distance. The phrase by and large, meaning “generally” or “on the whole,” derives from...

Towards vs. Toward

Which is correct, toward or towards, meaning in the direction of? If you’re in the United States, the far more common term is toward. This is part of a complete episode.

Chocolate Gravy

Say you have an acquaintance you always see at the dog park or the playground. But one night, you run into them at the movies, and for a moment, it’s confusing. Is there a word for that disorienting sense of someone or something being out of...

schluff

schluff  v.—Gloss: To temporarily dismount a bicycle and use it something like a scooter in a place where bicycle-riding is forbidden or unwelcome. «Sidewalk bike riding is like jaywalking—who among us cannot resist, once in a while or...

desire line

desire line  n.— «Note long ago, a friend told me about an intriguing concept called “desire lines.” It seems that when landscape architects lay out walking paths and trails in parks and other public spaces, they invariably...

whale eye

whale eye  n.— «When a dog turns his head away from you but his eyes are turned as far to the side as possible in your direction, the whites of his eyes take on that crescent shape. When a dog’s eyes take on this appearance, professionals...