How Well Do You Know Electrician Lingo?


By: Isadora Teich

5 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Think you know electrician lingo like the back of your hand?  In many professions, they have their own unique slang and way of communicating to make their job easier. These things usually develop over long periods of time between groups of professionals. Diverse professions including truckers, athletes, chefs and more all have a unique vocabulary tied to their profession. It is not uncommon for an outsider to hear two people engaged in technical work talk about their day and have no idea what they are really saying. 

For electricians, much of this slang relates to technical jargon and tools. It is their job to maintain and fix electrical systems, which can often be a challenging and precarious job. Sometimes, it can even be downright dangerous! Electricians combine the know-how of a handyman with advanced knowledge of electrical systems so they can be ready to take care of any problems that arise in homes, stores, offices, theaters and other places. Electricians use slang used by the entire electrical industry, including contractors and more. 

If you think you are ready to shed some light on electrician slang and can handle some high-voltage questions, then flip the switch and give this quiz a shot! 

Juice refers to what?

Juice refers to voltage or power. This is why you may have heard someone working with a mechanical or electrical system say "Give it some juice."


A knife switch is a _________.

A knife switch is a safety switch. These are usually made from brass.


How many prongs does a lobster claw have?

A lobster claw is a two-pronged instrument. It is adjustable.


A floater refers to __________.

Floaters refer to those who will quit in the middle of a job. They walk out and are never heard from again.


If someone is wearing a lid, what do they have on?

Those taking on big electrical jobs need the proper safety equipment. A lid is a hard hat.


Cheaters refer to what?

Channel-lock pliers are called cheaters. This is because they make many jobs easier.


Which of these tools is shaped like a torpedo?

A torpedo level is a 9" level shaped like a torpedo. It often has a magnetic base.


Which of these do some electricians wear?

A gut strap is a nylon or leather belt with hooks. It can support a heavy tool belt.


What does goose grease prevent for metal products?

Goose grease is slang for a few goo-like products that form an airtight seal around the metal components in an electrical connection. This stops them from corroding or rusting.


Which of these is a tool used to cut electric wire?

This tool can cut copper or aluminum electric wire of varying thicknesses. It comes in 4 different varieties.


Which of these is known as an acorn?

A ground rod clamp is a copper mechanical connector that is used to connect wires to a ground rod. It works for a variety of wire types and sizes.


What does a switch guard protect?

Switch guards are important. They prevent toggle switches from accidentally being flicked on or off.


What a sesamee hook?

A sesamee hook is a resettable combination lock. It does not use a key.


What leads to magic smoke?

Magic smoke is a term that's used when a component shorts out and burns out. You don't want it.


Insulators for glass are called:

Glass insulators have a slang name in the electrical industry. They are referred to as bottles.


If an electrician mentions a candlestick on the job, is he literally talking about an old wax candlestick?

Candlesticks refer to fiberglass downlead brackets. They are named for their shape.


What is a dryer cord used for?

Dryer cords refer to pre-molded extension cords. They are meant to be used with clothes dryers.


Which of these can you climb?

Jacob's Ladder is used to refer to rope ladders. These are easy to move and remove as needed.


Eyes are:

Being an electrician can be a dangerous job. This is why wearing safety glasses or eyes is so important.


What are goathorns?

Goathorns refer to guy hooks. These hooks are made of iron.


Which of these do electricians commonly use?

The Greenie is a green-colored wire nut. These are used for grounding and bonding.


What is a hog liver made out of?

A hog liver refers to a flat guy strain insulator. These are made from porcelain.


What is an idiot stick?

Idiot sticks refer to long, round steel bars. They have a 2" chisel on one end.


What is a hot link?

A hot link is an extension link. They are usually of the ball and socket type.


A rubber blanket pinned on overhead construction is called a:

This is a step taken to protect construction that has not yet been finished. The rubber blanket is referred to as a diaper.


What is a meat hook used for?

A meat hook refers to large hooks. These are used to carry and move heavy and bit items.


Nutty putty is used for:

Compound sealing putty is called nutty putty. It is used to seal connectors.


Are outlets male or female?

Outlets refer to mounted female electrical fittings. They contain the live parts of a circuit.


A pigtail is a:

This lamp socket has two leads. It is used for temporary lighting.


Pull caps are used to ______ pipe.

Pull caps are used to cap-off pipes. They are plastic and come in different sizes.


You can attach wiring devices to a:

RS covers attach to wiring devices on one end. The attach to 4/5" boxes on the other.


A squirrel cage is made of:

Squirrel cages refer to steel brackets that are mounted on poles. These support line conductors.


Baby shoes refer to:

In the electrical industry, baby shoes refer to small copper lugs. These take circuit wire sizes.


Which of these is a spoon?

A spoon is a cup shaped shovel. They have long handles.


A two pound is a:

This refers to a popular type of hammer in the business. It weighs two pounds, which is where its name comes from.


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