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The Meaning of Swarf

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...

British Slang to Grass Someone

If you watch British police procedurals, you’ll likely come across the term to grass someone, meaning “to inform on someone” or “to rat someone out.” It’s a bit of British rhyming slang that originated with the 19th...

Clopen Shift

Baristas and retail workers are all too familiar with the dreaded clopen shift. You’re assigned to close the shop one night, then turn around and work the opening shift early the next morning. This is part of a complete episode.

Customers, Patrons, and Guests

Jerry from New York City is annoyed that clerks in his local drug store and coffee shop baristas refer to him not as a customer, or a patron, but as a guest. He thinks guest sounds contrived, and should be reserved for hoteliers and the like. Well...