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Joke Tag

In the metal-detecting world, a joke tag is a piece of metal inscribed with the jokester’s initials and buried in an area where other detectorists are searching to prank fellow hobbyists. This is part of a complete episode.

Pax, a Truce Term

A man who grew up in Nairobi, Kenya, says that when he and his friends were playing a game of tag and wanted to take a break they would call “Pax!” This Latin word for peace used in this way is what’s called a truce term. Other non...

Too Yet

A woman who grew up in south central Minnesota grew up using the phrase too yet, which can have various meanings at the end of a sentence, usually with some negative sense. An article by Peter Veltman in American Speech suggests that the tag too yet...

Fifth Wheel vs. Third Wheel

If you’re single but tagging along on someone else’s date, you might be described as a “fifth wheel,” a term that goes back to Thomas Jefferson’s day. Not until much later, after the bicycle had been invented, the term...

Including the Scandinavian

Why can’t you tear the tag off a mattress? And why do old books say that the right of translation into foreign languages, including the Scandinavian, is reserved? These bits of jargon, not necessarily intended for the consumer, have seeped...

Street Art Slang

It takes some work for a writer to go all-city— a graffiti writer, that is. An art supplies dealer from Dallas shares some vocabulary from the world of street art. For example, the old act of photographing trains from benches gave birth to the term...