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Plat Neighborhood

Dan from Atlantic Beach, Florida, grew up in southwestern Ohio, where he and his friends and family referred to their neighborhoods as plats, as in “What plat do you live in?” To plat a place is jargon for the process of making a...

The Light Oath “Criminently”

Megan in Denver, Colorado, wonders about an exclamation she’s used all her life, which she suspects is spelled criminiddly. It’s another variant of that mild oath criminently, also rendered as criminetly, criminitlies, crimenightie...

Close But No Tomato

Lucy, a middle-school student in San Diego, California, is puzzled by a phrase her mother uses when something is not quite up to snuff or falls short of the mark: close, but no tomato. It appears to be a variant of close, but no cigar, a phrase...