Welding Slang and Terms
Posted .September 02, 2016

Welding Phrases & Names


Golden Arm – A welder with excellent technique and end results.
Bugger – Welder’s helper, cleaning up and prepping weld in advance; it might run additional passes after the weld is completed in advance of visual inspection.
Meat Hand – Derived from the term “bead hand.” A root pass welder on a pipeline job. Usually a good welder that can run slick root passes (stringer beads) in x-ray pipelines in production mode.
Drinking Hand – Welder that drinks alcohol in excess. Not necessarily a bad connotation.
ROMF – Welder whose services are no longer necessary.
Shield Arcer – SMAW welder
Potato Face – welder with flash burned eyes.
Green/Green horn/Rookie – Any welder new to the trade.
Zorro – Welder trying to un-stick the SMAW electrode.

Equipment or Things

Rig – Truck or trailer devoted to hauling a welder’s equipment.
Bird Poop – Cold, supremely ugly, ropey blobs of metal made by a novice failing a weld.
Tombstone Welder – Common AC or AC/DC stick welder that looks like a tombstone in that the dials are on the front and it stands upright.
Dogleg – Two pieces of long run pipe welded together crooked.
Buckshot/Dingle Berry – Welding spatter
Bugholes– Porosity
Alligator Cut – A torch cut done so poorly that the steel looks like it had been chewed through by an alligator.
Cap – Final weld bead in a weld joint. It may be completed in the form of a stringer bead or by a weaving motion back and forth.
Fisheye – The shape of the puddle while welding; sometimes also used to describe the shape of the crater at the end of the weld.
Stiff – Arc that provides a lot of drive into the weld joint. It often is associated with increased spatter.
Soft – Arc that has less drive (dig) and potentially less penetration into the weld joint.
Hot Start – Function used on some SMAW power sources to simplify arc starting when using difficult-to-start electrodes. It works by adding more current to help establish the arc.
Keyhole – The shape of the hole that is formed while welding an open-root joint. Allows for good penetration and tie-in in the completed weld.
Cold Lap – A defect that occurs when there is lack of penetration on one leg of the weld. Also called lack of fusion or incomplete fusion, it most often is caused by travel speeds that are too slow or weaves that are too wide. It also can be caused by lack of heat input, which prevents the weld and base metal from fusing together.
Wagon Tracks – Also called worm tracking, this weld defect is caused by hydrogen that has been trapped by the freezing slag. The defect, typically the result of excessive voltage, appears when a bubble flows into the weld puddle and evaporates into the atmosphere.
Fingernail – The shape of the SMAW electrode as the flux burns off the end.
Cellulosic – SMAW electrodes having organic material, such as paper, as the main component. These electrodes tend to have deep penetrating capabilities.
Wowie – Any weld or material with at least one bend that is not supposed to be there.
Weed Burner – Propane torch usually only used for pre/post heat.
Bubble Gum – Weld with lack of fusion &/or porosity/weld with lumps and bumps.
Quiver – SMAW electrode bag
Chicken Scratch – arc strikes outside weld area.
Fizzle – Welding or carbon arc sparks

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