What do builders use to check if something is level?
December 12, 2003 2:25 AM   Subscribe

What the hell is that thing that builders use for checking something is level called? The ones with the yellow liquid, and the bubble that has to be between the lines. I can't for the life of me remember.
posted by Orange Goblin to Technology (21 answers total)
 
A "Level"
posted by banished at 2:32 AM on December 12, 2003


(appropriately enough)
posted by banished at 2:32 AM on December 12, 2003


Is it really that simple? Isn't it called a fluid level measurer...or something? :D
posted by Orange Goblin at 2:33 AM on December 12, 2003


Here, look
posted by planetkyoto at 2:34 AM on December 12, 2003


spirit level in the UK
posted by biffa at 2:40 AM on December 12, 2003


I call it a 'Spirit Level'.
posted by crayfish at 2:42 AM on December 12, 2003


Spirit level! Thats it. Cheers.
posted by Orange Goblin at 2:54 AM on December 12, 2003


Excellent example of why there are no stupid questions on Ask Metafilter. I even learned something new.
posted by banished at 3:11 AM on December 12, 2003


Yeah, I was getting ready to call him an idiot, but that's remarkable.

A spirit level.. interesting..
posted by ajpresto at 3:14 AM on December 12, 2003


I could be wrong, but I think that one of the (real) characters in Stephenson's Quicksilver invented the spirit level, and showed it to the Royal Society.
posted by adrianhon at 4:08 AM on December 12, 2003


In spanish it's "nivel de burbuja", literally "bubble level".
posted by signal at 5:02 AM on December 12, 2003


I, too, was preparing a mildly snarky comment along the lines of "Err... I suspect the word you're looking for is 'level.'" And now I know how to say it in Ukranian or whatever they speak in UK, Spanish, and not really Dutch.

Ask is a very, very good thing.
posted by majick at 5:49 AM on December 12, 2003


Aha, it is a "Waterpas" in Dutch.
posted by sebas at 5:56 AM on December 12, 2003


When I worked for a DIY chain who will remaind nameless (*cough*doitall*cough*) we were plagued by people who thought it was funny to come in and ask for a replacement bubble for their spirit level. So my boss wrote to Stanley tools and they sent him a box full of the glass tubes of liquid. Soon killed that joke. ;)
posted by twine42 at 6:27 AM on December 12, 2003


Isn't this where the phrase "on the bubble" comes from, in re: things that are right on the margin and could go one way or the other (such as b-ball teams in the NCAAs)
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:52 AM on December 12, 2003


I've never heard the phrase "on the bubble" in my life, but I suspect this is where the phrase "on the level" comes from.
posted by majick at 7:43 AM on December 12, 2003


It's also the basis of an insult: half a bubble off plumb
posted by stefanie at 8:36 AM on December 12, 2003


Isn't this where the phrase "on the bubble" comes from, in re: things that are right on the margin and could go one way or the other (such as b-ball teams in the NCAAs)

I've only heard it used for features that are being pushed back to an unspecified future version of the software. I.e., you have a list of the features that are going to be in the version you're working on now, a list of features you've pushed back to the next version, and a list of features "on the bubble" that you want to put in there sometime but aren't even ready to think about exactly when yet. I don't see how this could be related to spirit levels, I always assumed it came from a visualization of software as an ever-expanding bundle of features.
posted by kindall at 9:37 AM on December 12, 2003


From this Racing Dictionary:

ON THE BUBBLE: After the race field is full but qualifying hasn't ended, the slowest qualifier, the one who could be bumped from the field, is on the bubble.

In other words, the most likely to go if something must go.
posted by Danelope at 9:50 AM on December 12, 2003


OK, well, then, somebody from the UK explain "bubble and squeak"...
posted by wendell at 2:29 PM on December 12, 2003


Bubble and Squeek is onomatapoeic.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 4:29 PM on December 12, 2003


« Older Are Tablet PCs a passing gimmick or an emerging...   |   Safari. CSS rendering issue. Help! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.