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baker board – platform board. (See also ‘diving board’).
baloney – cable.
baloney bender - a wireman who works with heavy cable.
banjo – a shovel, straight blade and long handle.
bear grease – Z.L.N. electric contact aid.
becky – a cable sling.
bell – suspension or deadend insulators.
bell wrench – wrench for tightening various square head bolts.
bender – hammer.
bible – the electrician’s code book.
bicycle – a chain drill for boring holes.
boatswain’s chair – a small wooden seat supported by four ropes secured to a ring or tied at a common point above the workman’s head.
booger wire – a neutral wire.
bookie tool – a staple puller.
bookie wheel – a measuring device.
boomer – 1) a lineman who leaves one job to get to the next job. 2) a lineman who always worked on the installation of new transmission lines.
booties – meter clip insulators.
bottles – glass insulators.
box – 1) porcelain enclosed-type cutout.
box – 2) padmounted transformer or switchgear.
broomsticks – phase spacers, used to keep phases from coming into contact with each other at midspan.
buck - to lower or attempt to lower the voltage.
buck arm – two sets of crossarms at 90 degree angles to each other.
bucket truck – an aerial lift truck for raising men high enough to work on lines from the insulated bucket of the truck.
bug – transformer (Northwest U.S. term)
bugs – solderless, usually bolted, connectors.
bug wrench – speed wrench (Fargo box ratchet type) to install bolted connectors (‘bugs’).
bulldog – a “come-a-long” wire grip for holding conductor or strand under tension.
bulldog wrench – an alligator wrench.
bullhorn – Epoxirod bi-unit.
bull line – heavy line for pulling in wires (see also ‘hard line’).
bull pen – where the construction crew gathers before and after work.
bull wheel – a reel device used to hold tension on a transmission conductor during stringing operations.
bundle – multiple strings of conductor.
bust anchor - expanding anchor.
buster – expanding and tamping bar used on expanding anchors.
butterfly – conductor take-up reel.
can – an overhead transformer (see also ‘kettle’).
candlestick – fiberglass downlead bracket.
candy grabbers – channel lock pliers.
cat head – capstan hoist.
cattle guard – a plastic or metal guy guard.
cheaters – channel lock pliers.
cherry picker – bucket truck.
chicken catcher – armsling.
chicken tracks – Epoxirod tri-unit (see also ‘crows foot’).
chicken wing – steel post insulator standoff for distribution construction (see also ‘turkey wing’).
chili bowl – an oversized pin-type insulator.
choker – a nylon sling.
christmas tree – pole mounted auxiliary arm used for lifting conductors.
CLF – abbreviation for current limiting fuse.
climbers – 1) hooks for climbing poles.
clum some – a greenhorn lineman, apprentice, helper.
coffin hoist – a chain hoist of any type.
cold – a de-energized line.
come-a-long - wire grip for holding conductor or strand under tension. Also spelled cum-a-long.
corn cob – thimble adapter pin.
coming up easy – pick up load or increase tension.
crosby clip – wire rope guy wire clip.
crow’s foot – Epoxirod tri-unit (see also ‘chicken tracks’).
C.S.P. – completely self-protected transformer.
C.S.T. – customer subsurface transformer.
C.T. – current transformer, a device used to transfer current from one value to another.
cum-a-long – a wire grip for holding conductor or strand under tension. Also spelled come-a-long.
d.a. bolt – double arming bolt.
dead man – 1) wood pole, with U-bracket fitting for setting poles by hand without a truck. 2) short wood pole section, buried as an anchor. 3) any kind of earth anchor.
diaper – 1) rubber blanket pinned on overhead construction; 2) Seal-A-Conn covering connector.
digging bar – long, round steel bar with 2-in. chisel on one end; (“idiot stick”).
dig pole – a transition pole for going from overhead to underground distribution, (see also ‘Riser Pole’).
disc - suspension or deadend insulator.
diving board – a platform board (see also ‘baker board’).
DOCO – drop-out cutout; open type cutout.
dog bone – 1) special EHV yoke plates, so-called due to their shape; 2) vibration damper.
door – 1) the fuse tube on open type cutouts. 2) actual door on enclosed type cutouts.
drifter - a lineman who wants to see the world.
eagle-eye – leveling crossarms by sight with no measuring instruments.
eels – line hose, temporary cover-up.
egg breaker – a guy strain insulator.
egg sucker – Grip-All stick, hot line tool.
E.H.V. – extra high voltage.
elbow – underground cable terminator.
elephant ear – a high strength strain insulator.
elephant ears – 1) the arc chute on certain types of cutouts for extinguishing the arc while breaking load; 2) a triangular bracket.
EPDM – rubber material used in underground elbow and other connectors (ethylene propylene diene modified).
equalizers – a pair of connectors or club when used in a fight.
eyeball – visual determination without the use of instruments.
fish - a glass strain insulator.
flip-cutout - an open link cutout.
floater – 1) a lineman who would quit in the middle of a job; 2) a conductor that has become untied from an insulator; 3) a conductor, insulator and pin that has separated from the crossarm and is “floating” rather than tied down.
flower pot – universal bushing well, padmount transformer.
finger-line – 1⁄4″ line.
four and a quarter – porcelain dead end insulator.
fuzz box – noisy tester.
gate – an open type cutout’s fusetube.
gin - temporary lifting device; see pole buddy.
goathead – an angle-iron punch.
goathorns – guy hooks, iron.
goat-skin – tarp for covering unfinished work for the night.
gopher – a “go for this, go for that” helper.
goulash – insulating compound.
grasshopper – see flip-cutout.
ground hog – a lineman’s helper (see also ‘grunt’).
grunt – a lineman’s helper (see also ‘ground hog’).
gut – 5 kV rubber line hose.
gut wrench – cant hook.
guy jack – a chain hoist.
half-power – a lineman working off a jag.
hand – a tie stick.
hard head – a lag screw.
hard line – steel bull line for pulling in wires (also see ‘bull line’).
headache – 1) vocal warning of danger. 2) anything falling from above on pole.
high pot – to apply high potential to electrical machine or equipment, normally done during insulation testing.
hog liver – flat porcelain guy strain insulator.
hood – insulator cover.
hooks – climbers, used for climbing poles.
hookstick – insulated disconnect stick.
hose – rubber or plastic cover up equipment (conductor cover).
hot – a live or energized line.
hot arm – extension arm.
hot link – ball and socket link or other types of extension links.
house bracket – a secondary rack.
house knob – a wire holder.
jack – a cutout.
jack straps – small (2-in.) blocks for pulling up small wire secondary.
jacobs ladder – a portable rope ladder.
jiffy deadend – non-compression deadend for copper.
jiggler – a glow light, secondary voltage tester.
johnny-ball – guy strain insulator.
joy jelly – silicone compound for elbow terminators.
jugs – horizontal post insulators.
jumper - a slack electrical connection between two points.
jumper holding stick – wire holding stick.
lady slippers – name applied to present day climbers by old-timers.
leg irons – climbers, hooks.
lead head – 1) nail; 2) pin with threaded lead top for porcelain insulators.
leroy – generator.
lid – hard hat.
limberneck – a groundman.
line gut – conductor cover.
line profile – scaled side view drawing of actual line for engineer’s review.
liners – cloth glove liners or for hard hats in the winter.
lobster claw – an adjustable insulator fork.
luff blocks – small set of rope blocks.
mac – mechanical load pick up jumper.
mack clamps – insulated jumper clamps.
meat hook – hand line hook.
mickey mouse key puller – cotter key puller.
milking stool – a yoke used on the end of a structure for supporting hot line tension tools.
moles – underground line crew.
music stand – a hot line tool rack.
pad – a pad mounted transformer.
P.C.B. – 1) power circuit breaker; opens the current under fault or overload condition. 2) polychlorinated biphenyl chemical.
pen and pencil set – digging bar and spoon.
persuader – a hammer (see also ‘bender’).
phase – one (single) conductor.
pickle-fork – two or three prong tie stick.
pickles – wire connectors.
pig – cover ups.
pig livers – special yokes used on EHV lines or dead ends.
pig-tail – spiral disconnect or spiral link stick.
pigtail – the leader or cable on fuselinks.
pineapple – a spool insulator.
pistol – elbow terminator.
pistol grip – elbow terminator.
pizza plate – a fork suspension attachment.
pogo stick – telescoping tools.
pole buddy – a transformer gin.
pole crab – wire tong saddle.
pork chop – a “come-a-long”; wire grip for holding conductor or strand under tension.
pot – 1) potential transformer; 2) pole-top transformer.
pole stub – pole reinforcer.
potato hook – fixed prong tie stick.
pothead - 1) a point where separate or overhead electrical conductors come together and continue as cable. 2) the termination device used on end of an underground cable.
pouch – a tool bag.
P.T.O. – power take off.
rake – tie stick.
red head jumper – insulated jumper clamp.
red one – an extremely short distance.
reptile – insulating line hose (see also ‘snake’).
ridge pin – pole top pin.
riser pole – a transition pole going from overhead to underground distribution (see also ‘dip pole’).
rough neck – a trouble chaser.
saddle pin – a crossarm type pin, fits like a saddle.
sav-a-climb - universal fitting for laying lines over crossarms and through trees with a stick.
saw dust machine – a brace and bit or drill.
saw dust pump – a brace and bit, hand drill.
service drop – the conductor between pole and terminal on a building.
sharp shooter – a shovel with long narrow blade for digging holes in ground like clay.
sheaves – any type of rope block.
shoe-fly – a temporary line built to bypass a construction area.
short hook-up – cord and clips for electric drill.
shot gun stick – a Grip-All stick.
single jack – a heavy hammer.
sinker – pin pushed down through crossarm and insulator rests on crossarm.
sister eye – eyebolt or anchor rod eye for guy strand or insulator.
skywire – a ground wire on top of poles and towers to protect the lines from lightning.
slave market – an employment agency’s office.
sleeve – a splice.
slip stick – a Grip-All stick.
slug – a solid blade on open type cutouts.
snake – an insulating line hose.
spool bolt – an upset bolt used to support spool insulators.
spoon – a shovel; cup-shaped with long handle.
squeeze on – a compression fitting (connectors).
squeeze wrench – hand compression or cutting wrenches.
squirrel cage – a steel bracket mounted on a pole to support line conductors.
staking – to survey and mark location for each new line pole.
stinger - 1) wire from cutout to transformer. 2) a boom extension.
strong arm – a chain or strap hoist for pulling wire.
switch stick – a disconnect stick.
tag line – rope used to tie off line or to control load being lifted.
tag-out – link stick.
tap clamp - a hot line clamp.
three-phase set – three shovels; a spoon, a spade, and a shovel; all three are of different design for different uses.
thumper – underground fault locator.
thru-bolt – a machine bolt.
toilet seat – 1) insulator retainer for trolley pole. A fork suspension tool attachment.
tongs – 1) usually refer to pole tongs, used for controlling pole when setting 2) insulated wire tongs used for supporting or moving energized conductor.
transformer ‘bank’ – two or three transformers at same location connected to the same circuit.
traveling chain – a movable grounding device.
traveling chair – a fabricated aluminum two-wheel trolley with an attached chain.
traveling ladder – wooden ladder with fiber rollers generally used when work or inspection has to be done on transmission hardware or conductor.
tub - pole type transformer (see also ‘kettle’).
tube – cable in conduit.
tupperware – plastic protective cover.
turkey wing – steel post insulator standoff for distribution construction (see also ‘chicken wing’).
two pound – a lineman’s hammer.
walking crab - a lever lift.
waterfall – a triple drum puller.
weatherhead – the top of the conduit that contains the customer service conductors, constructed so it will resist the action of rain, sun, etc.
westerns – also hooks, standard climbers for old-type Western Union.
wire twister – an inside electrician (see also ‘narrow back’).
widow – a cable grip.
wiggle – a glow light, secondary voltage tester.
wiggle wire – any kind of formed wire used for securing conductors to insulators.
wildcat connection – three-phase four wire delta.
wildcat leg – center tap connection on three-phase four wire delta.
wire bender cutout – an open link cutout (see also ‘flip cutout’).
window pole – a disconnect stick.