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Origin of the terms "live" and "hot"

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by [email protected], May 12, 2005.

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  1. Guest

    I'm curious as to how the term "live" came to refer to an energized
    circuit. It is somewhat of a contradiction, as touching a live wire has
    the potential of making someone dead! I can however, see how the term
    expresses the idea that the circuit has a certain quality of "life" to
    it. I've tried checking etymological sources but the most mentioned is
    that the term came about around 1890, which would make sense.

    Thanks! :)
  2. colin

    colin Guest

    I gues the opposite is when you 'kill' the power.

    Colin =^.^=
  3. Dmitri

    Dmitri Guest

    Well, I think it's got something to do with the early experiments with
    electricity whereby a DEAD frog’s leg would move as if it was ALIVE when
    shocked with electrical current. It would then be early 1800s you'd need
    to look at if you want to find out when did the term come about.

    Dmitri Abaimov, RCDD
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  4. Eric R Snow

    Eric R Snow Guest

    Maybe because when you grab the Live wire you may flail around in a
    lively manner. I imagine Hot comes from how hot something (like your
    body) gets when connected to the Hot wire. I have heard electricians
    say they were were all "Het up" when they touched the wrong wire.
  5. When voltage is going through it, it can do something. It's live.

    If there's no voltage, it can't do anything. It's dead.

  6. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Guest

    I always prevent my voltage from going through my circuits...
    I find it easier to measure voltage when it is across a circuit.
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