Well Fracking

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Thu Apr 30 14:42:52 UTC 2009

On Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 10:33:20AM -0400, Bill Palmer wrote:
> I was stopped at a traffic light today behind a service truck belonging to a plumbing company that advertised, inter alia, "Well fracking"
> Can't find that word anywhere.
> Any clues?  No wisecracks please.

Oh, please? Just one?

OED2 has a related sense under _sand-frac(k)ing_, defined as
"A method of stimulating production from an oil field by
forcing fluid containing sand grains into the reservoir rock."
What I assume you saw was _hydrofracking_, which is basically
pumping water under pressure into a well in order to expand
its capacity without having to drill deeper, a more difficult

Jesse Sheidlower

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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