plug vs male socket

traduttoretradittore

Senior Member
Poland
Hi,
I'm translating tech specs and have a problem:


Is there any difference between plug and male socket?

Is there any specific name of the pins in the male socket?

What is the semantic relationship between plug/male socket and connector?

Thanks a lot,
TT
 
  • Majorbloodnock

    Senior Member
    British English
    There is no such thing as a male socket, since "socket" is specifically used to describe what something goes into rather than what goes in. If you're talking about electrical cables, the socket is what sits on the wall and has holes in it, whilst the plug is the bit on the end of the cable that has pins which are inserted into the socket on the wall.

    Oh, and the pins are called pins, so in the UK you would talk about a three-pin plug and everyone would know exactly what you meant.
     

    Grayzee

    Member
    English - south of England
    You are obviously writing about electrics! Around the world, most sockets are female (usually found on internal walls near ground level) and plugs (usually on electrical appliances) are male. (But the latter are called plugs, not male sockets.) But you can have both male and female sockets, often found on extension cables, and frequently found on connectors linking peripherals to computors, for example. A further confusion comes because "plug" is both a noun and a verb. So, for example, on an extension cable, you would plug the male and female sockets together. I hope this helps but I'm sure there are others with better electrical knowledge.
     

    Majorbloodnock

    Senior Member
    British English
    Ah, OK. That's because it's still a "hole" into which something fits, so it is a socket. However, since it has pins inside it, I can see how it would be called "male".

    I'll modify what I said earlier about "no such thing as a male socket", since what you've linked to shows clearly how it can be possible.

    As a rule of thumb, though, a socket is a hole and a plug is something that "plugs" that hole. A male connector has pins or sticky-out bits, whilst a female connector has holes to receive those pins.

    Does that make sense?
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    It is a specific item that is "transgender" - often such connectors that have male on each end or female on each end are called "gender changers" - because they can change a plug into a socket or vice versa.
     

    Grayzee

    Member
    English - south of England
    I have looked at your link and can see your problem. These products look similar to what I've mentioned about extension cables having male and female sockets, so I would refer to them in the same manner.
     

    traduttoretradittore

    Senior Member
    Poland
    Ok, so male socket is sth between plug & socket.

    How do you think...

    The socket is a boy :) (or ok it's a bi) than is this better to write:

    "to insert the socket into the port" or "insert the plug into the port"

    Can a native English speaker easily associate a plug with a male socket?
    (It's user's manual)

    Thanks
     

    Majorbloodnock

    Senior Member
    British English
    Whatever you're inserting is likely to be the plug and whatever you're inserting it into is likely to be the socket. If there is any confusion, or if the connection is made in a different manner, you're better off calling it a connector (male connector with pins, female connector with holes).
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I would call it an adapter - that is what it actually does - it is not a socket because nothing can be plugged into it.

    Edit, after seeing the Major's post : I considered connector but thought adapter might be "richer in information content" Connector would still work, however.
     
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