Monday, November 21, 2011

The Bill Dookie

Thanks to everyone who participated in the little "Name it" game about the shovel.

This is what we have:

This shovel is from the Spade family and the universal name is the Sharpshooter. This is my go-to name when the guys do not know what a Bill Dookie is.

The name Bill Dookie was used for this shovel by plumbers for the obvious reason, to dig Dookie ditches.
It is what my Dad always called it and it is what my kids call it.

Through your responses I have now learned other names for it as well. Here is a list of the different names,
  • Sharpshooter
  • Trenching Shovel
  • Trenching Spade
  • Drain Spade
  • Bill Dookie (Dukie)
  • Gardening Spade
  • Thor's Tomahawk
  • Post Hole Shovel
  • Tile Spade
  • Cam Digger
  • Skinny Shovel
  • Hot Shot
  • Peat Spade
  • Spade
  • Clam Gun
  • Number 2 Pointed Shovel
  • Manhole Opening Shovel
  • Spud Spade
18 names in total for one shovel and I bet there many more out there.
I can understand the confusion. I also call a Spade an Sharp Point and a Square shovel a Flat Point.

The idea for this post started when I told a guy to get me a monkey wrench and he came back with the wrong type of wrench.
Even my kids know to bring back at least four different types of anything I ask them to get because I guess it all depends on the day is what it will be called.


  1. We always called it a sharpshooter, but those other names are pretty interesting as well!

    I guess that as long as the helpers are on the same page, it can be called just about anything!

    You have a great day!

  2. When I was working in the oilfields, we called it a sharpshoter, but I do like Bill Dookie. Have a good one.

  3. HermitJim - Being on the same page is sometimes hard to do when the turnover rate for hired hands are so high. When I was in the water business it was hard to send the help for tools and parts. You had to draw out what the part looked like because they did not know. Plus one crew would call the tools or parts different names so we ended up just calling everytinhg as it was in the catalog and giving them a copy in their new hire package so they would know.

  4. It just rolls out a lot better plus it makes you smile after saying it.

  5. I like the fact that you demonstrated how a situation can become confused with all different names an object can have.

  6. Thanks Matt. I know for me it is frustrating at times but I have to just think of something else to call the tool so the person will know what I am talking about.

  7. when i need something - i never remember what the name is. so i just say "babe...can you get me that doo-hickie" or "babe - i need that thingamajig".

    got to say - it's pretty funny watching jambaloney run around trying to figure out what i want. teehee!

    your friend,

  8. Kymber, I believe that is most women's names for everything. My wife assumes I automatically knows what she is babbling on about.

    But I am thankful that women are pretty (for the most part)

  9. Or the dreaded "Hey babe, can you run down to the barn and get my blah blah blah"
    Yeah sure dad.
    *Returns thirty minutes later after endlessly searching
    *Sigh from dad. "Not that one"
    *Hangs head in shame :)

  10. Call me anything you want, but please call me with its time to Get Out Of Dodge. Our Dr used to say "1 xray 11 Drs, 11 different opinions."

  11. BEB, I have been there so many times, now i just take the wheel barrow down to the barn and load everything that I can imagine that he may need....
    Mrs. MDR

  12. Oh now BEB, it was not that bad, sometimes.

    That's the truth Rob.

    Now Mrs. MDR, you have been around me enough to know that I will finally just go get it myself.

  13. My dad always called the duck bill shovel either bill dookie or sharpshooter. Luckily, he usually said that with a pointing finger and something like "hand me that bill dookie." Often on the railroad, they used narrow shovels to did the gravel/chipped rock out from under the rails. They then put their jacks and sometimes a pan under the jack so that the rail could be jacked up into the air. Once elevated, the rock/gravel would tend to fall over under the elevated crossties. The worker would then trip the jack release and allow the rail and ties to drop back down to now a little higher than before. It was called "shooting" the track. A "sharpshooter" was a common name for the shovel that they used to shoot the track. This was a fast way to raise a low spot in the track.

    1. Anony, this right here is why I get up in the mornings. I learn something new every day. Thank you for sharing that bit of knowledge.

  14. To add to the list: Poboy's dragline. I'm actually replacing another reference to nationality with Poboy in order to be PC. However, I've seen some pretty amazing work done with this tool by people that didn't have anything mechanical.

    1. That's a first for me Anony, I have never heard that one before.

  15. Well where I come from it was called billdoogie- I have been told by ole Texicans from around the Dallas area that it was originally a large knife-life instrument that was used by Texas boys in th War between the States. My understanding was that it was either Spanish or French type knife and I don't know the original spelling. This is what my kinfolk have told me.

    1. Anony, that is the first time I have ever heard it refereed to as a knife.
      Thanks for the comment.

  16. At the water supply company I work for we call it a mechanical back hoe compared to the regular back hoe.

    1. Thanks for the comment Anony. I have head it called a Mexican backhoe before.

  17. Momma calls it a sharp shooter. Most of the time, Daddy called it a Bill Dookie. So funny all the different names!

  18. I have one of these that we used to dig for razor clams at our cabin in Grayland Washington my grandpa built in the late 1950s. As a kid in the late 1960s and the early 1970s we used to to dig for clams, I forget now how I ended up with it, think my dad kept it and he gave it to me years and years ago. Fun times! I just brought it out of storage today and displaying it in my own cabin on the wall.

  19. I must he a redneck since that is what I called my whole life. That's what my dad called it too.

  20. Im a 5th generation Texan and we have always called it a bill dookie.