VMC LogoFrom Camp to Community: Cowichan Forest Life

Logging Lingo

Axle Grease: butter

Barking spud: used to limb logs and peel bark

Bait Can: lunch bucket

Bean Burner: a bad cook

Big Wheel: two large iron wheels with a metal link used to pull logs out of the bush with a team of oxen

Bone Butcher: a doctor

Bone Yard: a place for worn out machinery

Brains: bosses or owners

Buckers: these men cut the tree into specific lengths once the tree has been cut down

Bucking Saw: a kind of cross-cut saw used to cut the trees into lengths once it had been chopped down. These saws were more rigid, straighter across the back, had a longer handle and shorter than the crosscut saws used to fall trees.

Buckwheater: newcomer to the woods

Bull of the Woods: a superintendent or foreman

Bull Bucker: boss of fallers or buckers

Bull Cook: man who make beds, chops wood and does other odd jobs around the camp

Bunch It: to quit

Bunkhouse: camp logger's home

Bush Ape: a logger

By the Face: being in charge

Cackleberries: eggs

Candy-side: the best logging site possible

Cat: tractor

Catty: the ultimate compliment for a rigging man - means quick on his feet and good on the job

Caulk Boots: pronounced, "cork". Boots with short, heavy spikes in the soles and heels to give loggers sure footing while walking on logs.

Chaser: he unhooks the chokers from logs at spar tree, generally required to be a good cable splicer

Choker: steel cables with hook end to put on logs. It works like a noose to hold the log tight.

Chokerman: the one who fastens the chokers around the logs. He "sets" the chokers.

Chunk Out: means to clean something, get rid of something

Copenhagen: Chewing tobacco

Crosscut Saws: hand saw that needed 2 men to operate it. It cut across the tree and was used to both fall trees and cut the tree into specific lengths once it had been cut down.

Crummy: the truck or railroad car used to haul the crew to and from work

Dentist: a saw filer

Donkey: a portable machine with drums used to pull logs out of the bush. The donkey engine is usually mounted on a sled that can be moved from place to place.

Donkey Doctor: mechanic

Donkey Puncher: the man that operates the donkey engine

Draw Day: payday

Fallers: loggers who cut down the trees

Falling Saw: particular type of crosscut saw used to fall trees

Family Camp: logging camp with houses for families

Flunkey: the person who served the meals in the logging camp

Fly Bread: raisin bread

Galloping Goose: any small stream or diesel engine not running smoothly

Gas Fake: a donkey powered by gas, the name was coined by loggers used to working with steam, and who were skeptical of any other kind of power.

Gear Stripper/Jammer: truck driver

Guthammer: dinner gong

Gyppo: a small logging outfit that was usually poor

Hand Faller: the person who fells trees using hand tools such as an axe and a crosscut saw

Hardtack Outfit: a logging operation that sets a poor table

Hashhouse: the cookhouse

Hash Rassler: a flunkey or cookee

Hay Burners: horses

Hooking: hooktender - he is in charge of the whole operation of getting logs from the woods to landing at the spar tree

Inkslinger: a person who works in an office

Jewelry: Truck chains, hooks, blocks, cables, etc.

Jobshark: employment agency

Jungle: name for logging camps and woods (the deep woods)

Kitchen Mechanic: the dishwasher

Lilly Pad Splitter: used for splitting blocks and preparing logs for the chipper

Locie: a logging locomotive

Log Brand: ownership marks hammered in log butt ends to prevent theft

Logger's can opener: an axe

Meat on the Hooks, Pick up the Slacks: means that the rigger is ready to come down on the passline, and is a signal for the engineer to tighten the passline and take the rigger's weight on the line - then the rigger will free his rope from the tree and come down the line.

Misery Whip: a poorly sharpened cross-cut saw, which made more work for the loggers

Monkey Blankets: pancakes

Muck Stick: shovel

Mud: coffee

Mug Up: having a cup of coffee

Mulligan Mixer: cook

Nose Bag: cold lunch eaten in the woods

Open-Slash: logged off country

Overland Trout: bacon

Pass the 44's: Pass the beans

Pencil Pusher: timekeeper, office worker

Pull the pin: quitting


Push: camp foreman

Queen's Palace: separate bunkhouses for female cook employees

Ranchers: greenhorns

Rár of Snooze: a gob of snooze. There was an art to chewing tobacco which separated the 'dudes' from the real loggers

Scissor-Bill: a dull or stupid person

Skid Grease: butter

Snoose: chewing tobacco

Soup: the superintendent of the camp

Springboards: a board with a steel show on one end inserted into a notch in the tree, used by fallers as a platform

Stake: saved up wages

Stanfields: long wool underwear (true loggers wear their underwear over their clothing)

Steam Donkey: the engines that yarded or pulled the logs to the landing

Sunshine Loggers: loggers who only like to work in good weather

Swedish fiddle: a crosscut saw

Take the Long Sleep: refers to the winter closure of a logging site

Tar: really bad coffee

Timberrr!: this used to be yelled out to warn others that a tree is about to fall

Tin Hat: hard hat (made of aluminum or plastic, not made out of tin)

Tin Pants: heavy, water-repellent trousers. Tin pants were also called stag pants. These pants had no cuffs.

Trackside: a logging setting where the spar tree is located at the road, or trackside

Undercut: notch cut out of the base of the tree which regulated the direction of the three's fall

Whiffletree: a wooden crossbar used to cleave two trees

Whistle Bug: used by the whistle punk to sound whistle signals from the donkey

Whistle Punk: the person who operates a steam whistle or horn as a means of communication in the woods

Widowmaker: a loose limb hanging high in a tree (could seriously hurt a logger if it fell)

Wooding them Down: loading a truck or vehicle to capacity