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Carter’s Lost Note to the Tooth Fairy

After our conversation about long-forgotten items left in books, a volunteer at the Norman Williams Public Library in Woodstock, Vermont, writes to say that he found an old letter to the Tooth Fairy tucked inside a donated book. The letter is from...

What Does “Snaggletooth” Mean?

Max from La Jolla, California, named his beloved rescue dog Snaggletooth. A snaggletooth is “a broken tooth” or “a tooth projects beyond the mouth.” It’s from the same linguistic root as snag, originally “a tree...

Prophylactic

Anna from Alden, Michigan, recalls as a child looking up the word prophylactic in the dictionary. It goes back to the Greek word phylax, which means “guard.” To guard against tooth decay, you can get dental prophylaxis, also known as...

Long In The Tooth

If someone’s getting long in the tooth, it means they’re getting old, or too old for their behavior. The metaphor of long teeth comes from horses. If you look at a horse’s teeth and the extent to which their gums have receded, you...