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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...

Grab a Root and Growl

The exhortation grab a root and growl is a way of telling someone to buck up and do what must be done. The sense of grabbing and growling here suggests the kind of tenacity you might see in a terrier sinking his teeth into something and refusing to...

To a “T” vs. To the Teeth

The expression “to a T” comes from a shortening of tittle, a word meaning a little of something. The word tittle even shows up in the bible. There’s also an idiom “to the teeth,” as in dressed to the teeth, or fully...

Expressions from the Bible

What’s the common thread that connects the phrases pour out your heart, from time to time, fell flat on his face, the skin of my teeth, and the root of the matter? They all come from or were popularized by the King James Bible, first published...

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...