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Engineering Sayings


master brummie
Starting work at the tender age of 14 and being subjected to many of, the now, unacceptable initiation practices in the motor trade could have damaged you for life, but like many others, who went before, you were more than happy to dish out the same when you became one of the men. Dunking in the large waste oil tank and being left suspended by your overalls from the engine lifting block and tackle were just a couple of the milder tortures of your initiation.

Brassed Off

master brummie
I found it was never a precise measure, some 'gnats knackers' were bigger than others. ;)
A gnats Knacker was a tenth of a thou. The company I worked for had dealing with a tubing company, one of their products was to manufacture a tube for the insemination of gnats (research?) the bore of the said tube was one tenth of a thou'.
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knowlegable brummie
I recall a couple of sayings from my GKN apprenticeship in the 60’s

When making a bush for a shaft which I made oversize, the foreman said “that’s no “B” good, it’s like a sausage up an entry”, which made me laugh which was the wrong thing to do.

Another time working in the GKN Heath Street training school, forging a chisel on the anvil, Joe Harris a great man from the Black Country said “come on get a move on, you ain’t got time to send it a postcard”

When I visited a foundry, a foreman was berating a moulder for bad work, “call yourself a moulder, you couldn’t leave you’re ar*e print in the sand when you go on your holidays”

Big Gee

master brummie
I was actually trained as an industrial chemist, but in the course of my work had to visit lots of engineering companies, and especially foundries in the Black Country, where I heard the following said:

1) "Goo on, gie it a cog-ayver!" Meaning, hit something very hard with a lump-ommer. What a 'cog-heaver' is or was, I never found out. Does anyone on here know?

2) "That's orl roight, just loike a bit of egg, that is!" Meaning, spot on. Why a 'bit of egg'?

3) "Yo dunno if yome a*** is bored, punched or reamed!" Meaning rather obvious.

Happy days.



Ex-pat Brummie
An ex-shopfitter who worked for my woodworking business in the 1970s always used to say "If it isn't square, bash it square".

Maurice :cool:


master brummie
When I started in the Motor Trade I was sent to a place in Corporation St to get a bubble for a spirit level.The man said we've just sold the last one but we'll have some more in ,in 2 days time