No, That’s Not a Kitchen in Your Engine

No, That’s Not a Kitchen in Your Engine

Every now and then the question comes up if the proper term for engine oil passages is “galley” or “gallery.” Truck technicians seem to use these terms interchangeably. To determine which of the two words is correct to use for truck and engine repair information, I researched both words.

Here’s what I found out. A look at the definitions of “galley” and “gallery” is enough to suggest the answer to the question. A “galley” is the kitchen or service area on a vessel or aircraft, whereas a “gallery” is a long, narrow passage, a corridor or a channel.

In relation to truck engines, the oil passages are obviously long and narrow. They are impossible to prepare a meal in and also impossible to sail. Therefore, in relation to our truck and engine repair scenario, the logical proper term is “gallery.”

After a further search on the Internet, I discovered that someone with a PhD in literature at the University of California also agrees with me that “gallery is the real word.”

Below are the definitions that validate the point:

gal·ley noun ˈga-lē 

  • the kitchen of a ship or airplane
  • a long, low ship that was moved by oars and sails and that was used in ancient times by the Egyptians, Greeks, and others

gal·lery noun ˈga-lə-rē, ˈgal-rē 

  • a long and narrow passage, apartment, or corridor
  • corridor
  • a subterranean passageway in a cave or military mining system; also, a working drift or level in mining
  • An underground passage made by a mole or ant or a passage made in wood by an insect (as a beetle)

Ok, now that we’ve cleared that up you can get back to work on the oil gallery. And then maybe grab a snack from the galley.

Here are some other blog posts about engine oil: