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Surveyor Slang Database

Its important for surveyors to be able to read each other's notes.  Add your Surveying Slang to this Database for easy referencing anywhere on earth. Start a new discussion to add new slang to the community globally crowdsourced Surveying Terms Dictionary.  Land Surveyors in the future will appreciate your contributions

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Latest Activity: Nov 14

Surveyor Slanguage Database

Surveyors who have been in the field for a while may at times talk in a language only recognizable by their local peers.  Every region has its own slang terms which can indicate and reference truly important aspects of a professional survey.  Tell us the slang terms you use in your surveying life by starting a new discussion and tell us the terms used in your area, what they mean and indicate the area which you work.

Related Note:  Surveying Dictionary

This is a global experiment to build the most comprehensive surveyor slang database on earth.  Any term not found on the following document is your word to claim on Land Surveyors United Surveyor Slang Database!


Land Surveyor Forum - Community Discussions

Bum Shot

Started by Midland Survey. Last reply by ⚡Survenator⌁ Aug 4. 1 Reply

Simple one:Bum shot - A 'shot' or measurement recorded on an instrument that is wrong in one way or another.Read more →

Tags: survey, land, building, measured, shot

Triangulation \Tri*an`gu*la"tion\

Started by SurveyEarthinaDay. Last reply by ⚡Survenator⌁ Aug 4. 1 Reply

Triangulation \Tri*an`gu*la"tion\, n. [Cf. F. triangulation.] (Surv.) The series or network of triangles into which the face of a country, or any portion of it, is divided in a trigonometrical…Read more →

Tags: earth, slang, measurement, Survey Earth in a Day, triangulation

Rock the Rod

Started by Scott D. Warner, PLS. Last reply by Billy Brooks Mar 22, 2016. 15 Replies

Rock the Rod, meaning the swaying of a level rod to and from level instrument, is a way for a survey crew to increase precision in differential leveling.  The process is based on pure geometry.  If…Read more →

Tags: rock the level rod, rocking the rod, rock the rod

Burn one

Started by ePalmetto. Last reply by tom adams Aug 8, 2014. 2 Replies

I ran across some surveyor slang that I thought indicated something other than what it is intended (let your…Read more →

Tags: measurement, surveying, surveyors, slang, burn one

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Reply by Billy Brooks on March 4, 2016 at 12:40am


Reply by ePalmetto on February 10, 2012 at 2:28pm

nice one Antonie.....would you mind posting it as a new discussion so that it can be added to the database?

Reply by Antonie Kruger on February 10, 2012 at 2:26pm

Hi Fellas, This is language bound(Afrikaans), but worth sharing - once you have placed your chainman on the spot you instruct him to "moer hom". Roughly it translates to: knock him. It's short and sweet and with 11 languages in RSA, nobody have any doubt what you ment.

Another is "son trek water". Translated is meens the sun is drawing towards the water - its late and the jobs needs to get done. Very effective.

Another is "spot on" when checking and the results are good - Nothing else needed, assistant moves on.


Kevin, we have a lot of electric fencing - not to keep something in, but to keep mostly out. I've negotiated a few of these in topo and boundry surveys, and never called them HOTWIRE. Many other things, but not that. I'll have to remember that one, thanks mate.

I think the most common used term when a blunder is discovered is : Aaaahhh, man here's a f.....up.

Reply by Scott D. Warner, PLS on January 4, 2012 at 7:51pm

Guys, please use the above "Add a New Surveying Discussion" to post new slang terms.  Add a New Surveying Discussion to this Category  That's the only way it will make it in the database.  Comments are for opinions about the database itself, etc., but a new word = a new discussion.  Many thanks and keep 'em rolling in!

Reply by Paul Kunkel on January 3, 2012 at 10:58pm

Shake up -- To disturb a level instrument and relevel near the same position. The procedure is often used in order to turn through a benchmark and begin a return run.


I used the phrase freely in points west, but when I first said it in Massachusetts, the gunner tilted his head and squinted. There they said, "Break a leg."

Reply by Phil Fedor on January 3, 2012 at 11:29am

Arizona - Throwing a chain

I learned this term & technique in college because we used two-chain tapes and K&E transits at the NYS Ranger School for the bulk of our lab work.

At the end of every day we had to clean and oil the chains, then coil & "throw" them before turing them back in.

Its still a hand skill to  have if your steel chain reel or the chain itself breaks.  That way it can be easily stowed until repairs can be made.

Reply by Scott D. Warner, PLS on December 29, 2011 at 8:59pm

Absolutely, Kevin.  Great Idea! Everybody from now on should identify his location. Thanks, Kevin.  And no more using the Comment Wall (thanks Justin)

Reply by Jaybird on December 29, 2011 at 8:56pm

PLEASE Start a NEW discussion topic above when adding new entries to this group...a new discussion for each submission so that you can add your location as Kevin suggested and so other members can comment on your slang terms.

Reply by Kevin Barry on December 29, 2011 at 8:53pm

Can we announce where we are from with these posts....i'm interested, are you? Saves looking at everyones personal details. Happy Days.

Reply by Scott D. Warner, PLS on December 29, 2011 at 7:13pm

Pincushion.  A property corner with multiple monuments representing the same corner.  Many pincushion corners have 4 steel pipes, bars, etc. within a foot or two of each other.  Wisconsin, U.S.A.


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