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Click to visit www.railroad.net  Railroad Slanguage Glossary Click to read this article 
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   The boomers spoke a language of their own, and many of the terms these imaginative and romantic travelers invented still remain in railway parlance. The following is an attempt to establish a glossary of the terms used. It is by no means complete.
   This glossary first appeared in the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh employee magazine, Railway Life in 1931. Note that seven decades later, many of the terms are still part of our everyday “slanguage.”
Click to read this article   Railroad Slanguage Glossary   Click to read this article
Any Railroad employee Rail
Boomer A railroader who restlessly changes jobs.
Brakeman Roughneck, Shack, Ground hog, Smokestack, Fielder, Car catcher, stinger
Car Inspector
Car whacker
Paper weight, Pin head, Pencil pusher
Conductor Big O, The brains, The skipper, Bake head
Engineer Hog Head, Fog Eater, Hogger, Eagle eye, Speed gager, Throttle puller, Positive block
Enginehouse foreman Madhouse
Extra gang laborer
Gandy Dancer
Diamond Pusher, Smoke Agent, Tallow pot, Fire boy, Coal heaver
General manager Whiskers
Master Mechanic Master maniac
Non-union employee Short tail
Railway Policeman
Gum shoe, Cinder dick
Section Foreman King Snipe
Section Laborer
Jerry, Snipe
Superintendent Old man
Snake, Dolly Flapper
Telegraph Operator Lightning slinger, Brass pounder, Ham, Owls (3rd), Op.
Yard Clerk Number grabber
Dinger, Switch hog

Rolling Equipment
Any car
Wagon, Buggy
Box car
Side door Pullman
Business car
Drone cage, Brain box
Crumb box, Dog house, Hut, Crummery
Coal car
Gon, Hopper
Empty coach
Bull fighter
Locomotive Hog, Mill, Kettle, Lion, Teapot
Locomotive with large drivers
High boy
Locomotive with small drivers
Ground hog
Mallet Locomotive
Sacred ox
Observation car
Passenger car
Varnish box
Pay car
Band wagon, Family disturber
Pullman Car
Refrigerator cars
Freezers, Reefers
Steel car
Whale belly
Switching locomotive
Switching locomotive with sloping tender
Bob tail
Tank car
Trouble car

Miscellaneous Equipment
Hop toad
Heated journal water car
Impact register
Damn liar
Journal brass
Semaphore light
Red eye, Green eye
Semaphore signal
Paddle, Bug, Board
Telegraph instrument
Telegraph wires
Tool box under caboose
Possum belly
Guns, caps
Train order
Flimsey, Tissue
Mill, Threshing machine

Emigrant train Zulu
Employees' Train Modoc
Extra fare train Due train
Fats freight train Hot shot, Red ball
Freight train Rattler
Relief train The hook
Slow freight train drag
Slow passenger train plug

Anyone riding on a pass Deadhead
Arrival Blow in
Boasting Blowing smoke
Commuter's train Jit
Crew working 16 hours Caught by the monkey
Emergency air application Big hole
L.C.L Less than carload freight
Making a good run Hitting the ball
Meal ticket Pie book
Miss a meal Fly light
Proceed signal Highball
Relieving a crew after 16 hours Dog-catching
Run without orders Run on smoke
Rush telegram Pink
Sixteen hour law Bear
Third trick Graveyard watch
Throw a switch Bend the iron
To be disciplined Called on the carpet
To cool a hotbox Freeze a hub
To die Join the birds
To leave the service Pull the pin
Trip pass Monkey money
Work train Mud hen
Yardmaster's office Knowledge box
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