The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953 Page: 336
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
oil field jargon. With constant change in men, methods, and
machines, the toolie has become as scarce as cable tools, the
scissor-bill and screw-pipe have all but disappeared from the pipe-
line world, the better financial status of the lease grafter has
made him an oil operator but not necessarily an oil producer,
and the roughneck at thirty cents an hour, twelve hours a day,
seven days a week is now a crewman or rotary helper at $2.oo an
hour plus other benefits. Forty years ago the college man seeking
oil field experience learned that handling a shovel had its fine
points, but today his knife and fork technique at lunch with the
assistant-to-the-president-in-charge-of-employee-relations will per-
haps have greater influence on his career. Necessarily the language
of the industry changed with the times. Scientific terms came with
the technologists, and journalists invented and modified.
A general statement may be made to the effect that the tech-
nologist strives for an exact definition, which the lawyer fears,
while the "practical" man uses anything that gets the day's work
done. Little wonder then that a philologist meets with difficulties
where the actual experienced users are in disagreement. Besides,
the ever-changing American language being what it is adds its
complications. At this moment there is pending, in Canada, an
important lawsuit in which the principal contention is the mean-
ing of the word-of all words-petroleum.
Oil field lingo is loose enough in the give-and-take of the every-
day oil business, but it becomes highly confusing with the out-of-
context nature of many of the definitions in this dictionary.
Reservoir, pool, field and structure, hole, bore and well, drill-
stem, casing, tubing and pipe, cable and rotary, often used without
careful discrimination, convey inexact meanings. There are errors
of the inexcusable variety, such as the definitions of acre-foot,
gas-oil ratio meter, crevice searcher, Slumber Jay, fan shooting,
etc. Under manak (could manjac be meant) Uvalde County is
said to be in California, but in reclaiming it, Texas might re-
linquish Attapulgus to Georgia with the added explanation (and
a free ad) that its clays are well known to drilling-mud engineers
as well as to refiners. Under Big East Texas the Van Field is listed
though forty miles separates them. The author has been led into
many of these errors by quoting from boll weevil authorities.
To the oil fielder who is seriously interested in what makes
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953, periodical, 1953; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101145/m1/382/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.