Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. this sense?) (US, colloquial) A gadget or unspecified device as used in various industries.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A weight which is dropped into a bore, as of an oil well, to explode a cartridge previously lowered.
  • n. 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. A rough sled or dray used for dragging logs, hauling stone, etc.

from The 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.
  • 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.

Etymologies

From go + devil. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • 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.

    Welcome to the feeding frenzy

  • Toward the end of the second day, Arapaho Brown began preparing a “go-devil” to finish off the Regulators.

    THE AMERICAN WEST

  • 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.

    Insights and Heresies Pertaining to the Evolution of the Soul

  • The final arrangements were made, and then all was in readiness for dropping the "go-devil," as it is termed.

    Jack Ranger's Western Trip Or, from Boarding School to Ranch and Range

  • "The day isn't over," was the answer, "and I've got two big holes to drop the go-devil down."

    Jack Ranger's Western Trip Or, from Boarding School to Ranch and Range

  • "Well, this is running your westing down if anybody should ride up in a go-devil and ask you."

    Chapter 40

  • 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.

    Pardners

  • He saw that steam was up in the boiler which operated the "go-devil," although the contrivance itself was stationary.

    The Iron Trail

  • 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.

    The Iron Trail

  • 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.

    Laramie Holds the Range

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