We were having so much fun compiling the list of linemen slang that we couldn’t fit it all into one post! Check out part one here.

Lineman have used slang terms for decades in the electric utility industry. Some of these terms are outdated, while many are still used to communicate quickly and effectively. There are multiple versions of the Lineman’s Slang Dictionary, but we have compiled a few from around the nation for your information and entertainment! Enjoy!

  • Old Man transformer—A pad-mounted transformer
  • C.B— Power circuit breaker; opens the current under fault or overload condition. Polychorinated biphenyl chemical.
  • T.O—Power take off
  • Pen and Pencil Set—Digging bar and spoon
  • Persuader—A hammer
  • Phase—One single conductor
  • Pickle Fork—Two or three prong tie stick
  • Pickles—Wire connectors
  • Pig—Cover ups
  • Pig-tail—Spiral disconnect or spiral link stick
  • Pineapple—A spool insulator
  • Pistol grip—Elbow terminator
  • Pogo stick—Telescoping tools
  • Pot—Potential transformer. Pole-top transformer
  • Rake—Tie stick
  • Red head jumper— Insulated jumper clamp
  • Reptile / Snake— Insulating line hose
  • Ridge pin—Pole top pin
  • 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
  • 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
  • Squirrel cage— A “squirrel cage” is a steel bracket mounted on a pole to support line conductors
  • Tagline— Rope used to tie off line or to control load being lifted
  • Tag-out— Link stick
  • Three-phase set— Three shovels; a spoon, a spade, and a shovel; all three are of different design for different uses
  • Thru-bolt— A machine bolt
  • Toilet seat—A fork suspension tool attachment OR an insulator retainer for trolley poles
  • Traveling chain—A movable grounding device
  • Traveling chair—A fabricated aluminum
  • Tupperware—A plastic protective cover
  • Two pound—A lineman’s hammer
  • R.D.—Underground residential distribution
  • Walking crab—A lever lift
  • Waterfall—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— Hooks, standard climbers for old-type Wester Union.
  • Widow—Cable grip
  • Wiggle— A glow light, secondary voltage tester
  • Wiggle wire—Any king of formed wire used for securing conductors to insulators
  • Window pole— A disconnect stick

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