One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of an oil or natural gas pipeline: having a large diameter.
1With the and capital initials. A large-diameter oil pipeline running from the Texas oilfields to the industrial north-east of the United States, laid during the Second World War (1939–45).
2Generally Generally. A large-diameter pipeline for oil or natural gas.
1940s; earliest use found in Excavating Engineer. From big + inch.
big inch/ˌbɪɡ ˈɪn(t)ʃ/
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