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.
Trade: Mechanical Engineering
Definition: A pinion is a round gear used in several applications. Ex. usually the smaller gear in a gear drive train, the smaller gear that drives in a 90-degree angle towards a crown gear in a differential drive, the small front sprocket on a chain driven motorcycle.
Proper usage: In the case of radio-controlled cars with an engine a pinion gear can be referred to as a clutch bell.
Improper usage: “I’ll have a large double cheese pizza with sausage, triple bacon, anchovies on half, double pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, double crust but NO PINIONS. They give me wicked gas.”
Term: Vitreous china
Definition: Vitreous china is an enamel coating that is applied to ceramics, particularly porcelain after they’ve been fired, though the name can also refer to the finished piece as a whole. The coating makes the porcelain tougher, denser, and shinier, and it is a common choice for things like toilets and sink basins.
Proper usage: “Alan, your toilet looks amazing. God, that vitreous china coating is way better than just wood.”
Improper usage: “Honey, set out the vitreous china for four. My boss and his wife will be here in six minutes for supper.”
Definition: ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), a stiff black plastic pipe and fittings used for drain, waste, and vent lines.
Proper usage: ABS is characterized by resistance to chemicals, heat and impact.
Improper usage: “My abs are super fabulous. I have a twelve pack. Go head. Punch me in my Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene. You’ll break your hand.”