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A New Year’s Word: Quaaltagh

Here’s a word to use each New Year’s Day: quaaltagh. It’s pronounced QUAL-tok, and comes from the Isle of Man. It means “the first person to show up at your door on the first day of the year” or “the first person...

A Hitch of Work or Service

Alex in Bishop, California, works with an environmental nonprofit that partners with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service. When his team goes out into the field for several days on assignment, they refer to that stretch of time as a...

Dogging a Door

Emily in San Diego, California, wonders about the phrase to dog, meaning “to close and secure” as in to dog a door. In a nautical context, the phrase dog the hatches means to secure them with a bolt or handle designed for that purpose...

Qaaltagh

There’s a word for the first person to walk through your door on New Year’s Day. The word is quaaltagh, and it’s used on the Isle of Man. This Manx term is one of many linguistic delights in a book Martha recommends for word...