Every type of business and every craft has developed a unique slang specific to the work they do, the processes they employ, and the tools they use. Often, terms used “in the field” mean nothing near what you might suspect upon first hearing them. Following are a few terms used by electricians on a regular basis.
Asshole in the Wire: An unwanted loop or tangle in wire you are trying to pull into a conduit.
Birddog: A supervisor who is always lurking around to see what you are doing.
Bone Pile: Scraps of conduit, including cut ends and mis-bends.
Butt Splice: An in-line compression splice for conductors (where two ends butt together).
Dog Leg: A misaligned offset bend in conduit.
Let the Smoke Out: When you mis-wire equipment and burn it up upon applying power.
No-Dog: A type of level used specifically for producing aligned offset bends in conduit.
Peckerhead: The termination box attached to an electrical motor for connecting circuit conductors to the factory motor windings. (This term often lands electricians in trouble, but the origins are likely not close to what you might guess. The origins of this term have to do with an early style of termination head that, when removed, exposed connection contacts that looked like a chicken’s beak.)
Rabbit: Scrap wire.
Rabbit Gun: Wire snippers for large conductors.
Smoke Test: Energize equipment for the first time.
Soap: Wire pulling lubricant.