Locksmith jargon-buster – some of the common words & phrases we use (Part Two)

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An emergency locksmith is often one of the first people you will call when you run into an issue with your keys, locks or security.

We can help you to get back into your property if you’ve been locked out, cut a replacement set of keys if you lose yours, or even board up in the event of a break-in.

We can also help you install a host of preventative security measures to make your premises more safe and secure.

However, when you call out a locksmith, there may be some words or phrases that leave you scratching your head.

Although we always try to give out advice in plain and simple English, there may still be some words you hear which are difficult to understand.

Here, we bring you the second part of our locksmith jargon-buster, featuring our glossary of some of the most common words and phrases you might hear.


The hole cut into the edge of a door to receive a mortice lock.

Mortice Key

A key which operates a mortice lever lock.

Mortice lock

A lock or latch which is let into the thickness of the door.


A rim or mortice lock with a bevelled bolt, which can be withdrawn by key on one side and a knob or handle on the other.

One-sided lock

Also known as a single-entry lock, this has a keyhole on one side, so can be operated with a key on one side only.

One-way action

A lock which will only turn one way

Panel grilles

Internal windows grilles which provide additional security.

Pin tumbler mechanism

The mechanism used in certain types of cylinder locks and padlocks.


The part of a cylinder or disc tumbler mechanism which the key enters and turns to operate it.

Rack Bolt

A toothed door bolt that can be operated by a pinion.


An electronically operated lock strike.

Rim Cylinder

A lock which comprises a cylinder, plug, rose, connecting bar, connecting screws and keys.

Rim lock

A lock or latch that is fitted to the inside face of the door.


The metal disc which surrounds the outer face of a cylinder lock.

Sash lock

An upright mortice lock. 


The hinged loop of a padlock.

Shear Line

The circumference of the plug in the bore of cylinder.


The outward movement of a lock bolt.

Side Wards

Notches cut into the sides of keys to enable them to turn.


The fitting on the jamb of a door which the bolt shoots into.

Stop knob

A feature of some locks and latches which holds the retracted bolt in place when the door is closed.

Striking plate

The flat metal plate in the door frame into which the bolt shoots.

Thumb turn

The fitting on the inside of a mortice lock which operates the deadbolt.

Give Grays Locksmiths Nottingham a call  

We hope you’ve enjoyed part two of this jargon-buster and it’s given you a better understanding of some of the terms and phrases that a professional locksmith may use.

At Grays Locksmiths Nottingham, we’re here to help. As a member of the Master Locksmiths Association, we’re highly regulated, fully accredited and dedicated to providing a simple, straightforward service to all our customers.

So, if you are having problems with your doors, locks or security, either at home or at work, give us a call. We’ll help you understand your problem and what you need to do to fix it, without bamboozling you with trade jargon that you don’t understand.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for security advice for a bit of peace of mind, give us a call on 01332 404 255, even if it’s just to ask us a question or talk about any security concerns you may have. We’d love to hear from you.