Hello. Have you ever wanted to speak like a highly skilled tradesperson but could never quite find the right words? Conversational Tradespeak 101 will help you talk-the-talk with no trades experience necessary. Each week we will look at some common, and not so common, trade terms. We will define the term before putting it to use in everyday conversation. We will also misuse the term for no particular reason other than a mild form of entertainment.
Definition: A small handheld tool with a flat, pointed blade, used to apply and spread mortar or plaster.
Proper Usage: John keeps losing his trowel on job sites, so he’s chained it to his pants to save time from constantly looking for it.
Improper Usage: After 4 rounds, Eddie ‘Fast Feet’ O’Conner was KO’d. He did get up after a minute but his coach threw in the trowel.
Definition: It is a low wall built around a terrace in the case of buildings with flat roofs. It is intended primarily to act as a fence wall.
Proper Usage: “It’s a good thing the roof had a parapet or that party could have ended badly. There were so many people disco dancing up there.”
Improper Usage: “I demand my money back. This parapet doesn’t talk at all. It just sleeps all day in his cage laying eggs. I think you sold me a damn chicken!”
Term: Butt Fusion
Definition: Butt fusion is a thermos-fusion process which involves the simultaneous heating of the ends of two pipe/fitting components which are to be joined until a molten state is attained on each contact surface.
Proper Usage: The resulting joint after butt fusion, if it has been properly made, is as strong as the original pipe.
Improper Usage: Thomas slowly began to appreciate butt fusion as one of the more enjoyable forms of hip-hop.
Term: Dirt Pocket
Definition: A short piece of pipe and a cap in which scale, dirt or any other foreign matter may gather and which prevents their entry into an automatic control, usually a steam trap.
Proper Usage: “It sounds like the inspectors want you to install a dirt pocket at the appliance.”
Improper Usage: “Every time I check his dirt pockets I find about 10 guitar picks and a few pennies. If I don’t check they end up at the bottom of the washing machine or in the damn dryer.”
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