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What's In A Name?

HeatingHelpHeatingHelp Posts: 301
edited June 19 in THE MAIN WALL

What's In A Name?

We have so many names for common things and tools that we use in this business; and because I have way too much time on my hands, I started wondering how those names came to be.

Read the full story here


  • LabenaquiLabenaqui Member Posts: 3
    Up here in Northern New England we plumbers of French-Canadian descent are particularly branded in jest by our Yankee Tradesmen Brethren for our "inventiveness" and peculiar habits. We "Frenchies" have been the brunt of this now for well over a century, but have been relieved of late by "political correctness", actually making life just a bit duller.
    The Duct Crimping Tool for instance has always been known as a "Frenching Tool" and most counter-men of tenure immediately recognize its identity. Don't know how or where it originated, but I learned alternatives such as rotational forming with an axe on a 2 x 4 or slitting and driving it home. Not pretty, but expedient!
    As to our piping prowess the best known is substitution for a Tempering Valve. "What's dat?" Merely bridge your Immersion Coil Supply & Return with a valve and close it. There, it's been "Frenched". Scald a chicken, make tea from the tap, then adjust when there's going to be kids around.
    So, whenever you get a new surprise, just blame it on "Frenchie", he can handle it .....
  • ratioratio Member Posts: 2,428
    Ok, @DanHolohan or @Mark Eatherton, I'm waiting to chuckle… What's "double-d" stand for? I know what it meant in high school, but the professional use has escaped me thus far.
  • DanHolohanDanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 14,987
    @ratio, Donkey ****.
    Retired and loving it.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,896
    I had always thought of the "double D" being a reference to the size of a certain article of feminine under clothing. This was the high school thinking.
    Now decades later both myself and the owners of that clothing would prefer a lower letter of the alphabet. FWIW

    For a friend of ours "blessed" with this letter sizing, I found a birthday card that showed 2 women smiling and proclaiming that "this must be gravity".
  • HomerJSmithHomerJSmith Member Posts: 923
    edited June 18
    When I was a kid, my grandmother had a tool in the '40's that we used to make French Fries. It had a handle and was like a knife with a corrugated blade to cut the potatoes leaving a corrugated look. I can relate to the term Frenching Tool for a Duct Crimping Tool. The French Fries and a crimped duct looked alike.
  • ratioratio Member Posts: 2,428
    Ha! I've heard that name in reference to plumbers' test balloons.
  • EdTheHeaterManEdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 572
    I love these stories, THANKS
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,896
    Some urban legend tale of street 90's.
    It was used on the top tap of a water main under the street to keep the horizontal run as low as possible below the frost line.
    Anyway, that's the way I heard it. :)
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 7,041
    Names and "lingo" can change over a relatively short distance. I am in Western, MA 90 miles from Boston. I go into a supply house down their and it's like speaking a different language. They don't know what I am asking for.
  • EdTheHeaterManEdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 572
    I'm wondering if there will ever be a tool called The Holohan? That might be on the shelf next to the bucket of steam ;)

  • EdTheHeaterManEdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 572
    @Erin Holohan Haskell , Be nice, Father's day is this weekend.
  • psb75psb75 Member Posts: 216
    I know that you can "French" green beans by cutting them thin, lengthwise.
    On another subject: I was discussing the term frost-free"sillcock" with a customer who requested an "outdoor spigot." The prefix "sill" was easy to explain, but...the suffix became complicated. I then pulled-up the term "petcock" and here's a new one I just discovered in the supplyhouse: "cock hole cover." That is one of those chrome caps you use to cover an unused hole on a stainless kitchen sink. Who knew?
    My question is: What do faucets, spigots and taps have to do with ROOSTERS?
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,896
    ROOSTERS deliver the goods. ;)
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