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An individual who repairs transmission lines, including telephones, cable TV and electric lines. Typically outdoor work, the lineman's job started in the mid-1800s with the telegraph. In the U.K., the term is "linesman." See lineman's handset.

lineman's handset

A portable telephone used by telephone repair people that connects to a telephone line with two alligator clips. Used to make or monitor calls, the clips can pierce the insulation of the wires if necessary; however, the clips are typically attached to bare wires, punch blocks or wiring terminals. Also commonly called a "butt set" for two reasons: the lineman can "butt in" on a conversation, and it often clips to a belt and hangs over the person's rear end. See lineman.

The Butt Set
The lineman's handset is primarily a telephone that connects via alligator clips rather than a standard RJ-11 telephone plug.

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