American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A logging sled.
- n. A railway handcar.
- n. A jointed tool for cleaning an oil pipeline and disengaging obstructions.
- n. An iron dart dropped into an oil well to explode a charge of dynamite.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A device for exploding a dynamite cartridge in an oil-well. See the extract.
- n. A movable-jointed contractible apparatus, with interior springs secured to iron plates in overlapping sections, something like an elongated cartridge in shape and about three feet long, introduced into a pipe-line for the purpose of freeing it from obstructions. The motion of the oil carries it along, and its flexibility allows of its turning sharp angles and going through narrow spaces.
- n. A rough sled used for holding one end of a log in hauling it out of the woods, etc., the other end dragging on the snow or ice. Also called tieboy.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Local, U. S., Local, U. S. A weight which is dropped into a bore, as of an oil well, to explode a cartridge previously lowered.
- n. Local, U. S., Local, U. S. A device, as a loosely fitted plug, which is driven through a pipe by the pressure of the contents behind the plug to clear away obstructions.
- n. Local, U. S. A rough sled or dray used for dragging logs, hauling stone, etc.
- From go + devil. (Wiktionary)
“It's little more than the military version of a putt-putt buggy and no reason imaginable exists for the go-devil venturing off-base.”
“Toward the end of the second day, Arapaho Brown began preparing a “go-devil” to finish off the Regulators.”
“Long before the first nitro-glycerine "go-devil" was sent down, down, to the uttermost depths, to shatter the oil-bearing rock, and set free the wonderful deposit that was destined to mark a new era in the affairs of men, rang out the Biblical mandate: "Let there be light," and in due time the whole world was illuminated.”
“The final arrangements were made, and then all was in readiness for dropping the "go-devil," as it is termed.”
“The day isn't over," was the answer, "and I've got two big holes to drop the go-devil down.”
“Well, this is running your westing down if anybody should ride up in a go-devil and ask you.”
“Returning at bed time he found his partner webbing a pair of snow-shoes by the light of a stinking "go-devil," consisting of a string suspended in a can of molten grease.”
“He saw that steam was up in the boiler which operated the "go-devil," although the contrivance itself was stationary.”
“Gordon had laid several hundred yards of light rails upon his grade, and on these he had mounted a device in the nature of a "go-devil" or skip, which he shunted back and forth by means of a donkey-engine and steel cable.”
“When the bustling, contradicting and confusion finally subsided, the wagon was stealthily pushed over the ridge, the hay fired and the blazing outfit, christened a go-devil, was started with a shout down the slope.”
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Just like it says on the tin. I'll grant a little leeway for spurious things like gravity, air currents and whatnot to lend a hand.
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