Dear Matthew Alice: When coinage was made of gold or silver, unscrupulous individuals used to “clip" or “shave” off small amounts, pass the coin as legal currency, then sell the accumulated shavings for a profit. Was there a name for this illegal enterprise? — Charles Graham, Mission Hills
Typical American get-over-on-’em enterprise, I’d call it. “Clipping,” the feds called it, interesting only because it gave us a still-useful term for a store where you just know you’re going to get screwed — a clip joint.