Words of technical meaning will be given that meaning,1 unless the context shows that the ordinary meaning was intended.2

Thus "horsepower" in a contract for the sale of waterpower has been held to mean the efficient, and not the theoretical horsepower.3 The term "shaft" when used in a policy of accident insurance with reference to a part of a bone of the human body, will be regarded as having its technical meaning.4 If a word has both a technical and an ordinary meaning it will not be presumed that the word is used in its technical sense.5

If a word has a definite legal meaning it will be presumed that it is used with such meaning unless the context or the surrounding circumstances show that a different meaning was intended.6 If a word has both an ordinary meaning and a technical legal meaning it will be presumed that it was used in its ordinary meaning unless the context shows that the legal meaning was intended.7 Terms which are technical terms of law are presumed to be employed in such technical sense.8 The words "to wit" in a contract which does not appear to have been drawn with technical accuracy, will not be given the meaning which they would have in a technical pleading.9

13 Washington & O. D. Ry. v. West-inghouse Electric & Manufacturing Co., 120 Va. 620, 89 S. E. 131; Berry v. Humphreys, 76 W. Va. 668, 86 S. . 568.

14 Washington & O. D. Ry. v. West-inghouse Electric & Manufacturing Co., 120 Va. 620, 89 S. E. 131.

1 Alabama. Sloes-Sheffield Steel & Iron Co. v. Payne, 186 Ala. 341, 64 So. 617.

Georgia. Candler v. Georgia Theater Co., 148 Ga. 188, L. R. A. 1918F, 389, 96 S. E. 226.

Iowa. Peterson v. Modern Brotherhood of America, 125 la. 562, 67 L. R. A. 631, 101 N. W. 289.

Kansas. Seymour v. Armstrong, 62 Kan. 720, 64 Pac. 612 [affirming, 10 Kan. App. 10, 61 Pac. 675].

South Carolina. Stewart v. Morris, 84 S. Car. 148, 65 S. E. 1044.

2 Atkinson v. Sinnott, 67 Miss. 502, 7 So. 289; Erickson v. Green, 47 Wash.

613, 92 Pac. 449; Toothman v. Courtney, 62 W. Va. 167, 58 S. E. 915.

The context may also show that some meaning other than the technical meaning or the ordinary meaning was intended. Sawyer v. Churchill, 77 Vt. 273, 107 Am. St. Rep. 762, 59 Atl. 1014; Toothman v. Courtney, 62 W. Va. 167, 58 S. E. 915.

3 Lloyd v. Kehl, 132 Cal. 107, 64 Pac. 125.

4 Peterson v. Modern Brotherhood, 125 Ia. 562, 67 L. R. A. 631, 101 N. W. 289.

5Adams v. Hopkins, 144 Cal. 19, 77 Pac. 712.

6Langley v. Owens, 52 Fla. 302, 42 So. 457; Atlantic & N. C. R. Co. v. Atlantic & N. C. Co., 147 N. Car. 368, 125 Am. St. Rep. 550, 61 S. E. 185; Lathers v. Mutual Fire Ins. Co., 135 Wis. 431, 116 N. W. 1.

7 Alderson v. Houston, 154 Cal. 1, 96 Pac. 884.

It is accordingly proper to introduce evidence to show that certain words in a written contract have a technical meaning and what that meaning is.10 Thus evidence is admissible to show the meaning of "watchmakers' material," 11 "dry goods,"12 "artesian well," 13 "standard oil drill and rig and of tools and equipment," 14 or "levels" as used in plans for building a dam,15 to "reduce" fire insurance,16 "order" in a contract of agency for the sale of books,17 "merchantable timber,"18 or in the sale of horses, the meaning of "good condition,"19 or "safe property,"20 or "burlesque" as used in a theatrical contract,21 or in contracts for the management of railroads, the meaning of "necessary signals and switchmen,"22 or "other similar appliances,"23 or "transportation," "switching," or "transfer,"24 or "cotton season,"25 or "guaranteed basis 70c" in a contract for the sale of flour,26 or "a complete piped well,"27 or a "standard oil drill and rig and * * * tools and equipment consisting of boiler, engine, bits, stems," in order to enable the court to determine whether the casing was included in such terms or not,28 or "wet excavation,"29 or "Improved Chicago Pickling" cucumber seed.30

8 Von Bremen v. Mac Monnies, 200 N. Y. 41, 32 L. R. A. (N.S.) 293, 21 Am. & Eng. Ann. Cas. 423, 93 N. E. 186; Roanoke v. Blair, 107 Va. 639, 60 S. E. 75.

9 Sawyer v. Churchill, 77 Vt. 273, 107 Am. St. Rep. 762, 59 Atl. 1014.

10 Alabama. J. C. Lysle Milling Co. v. North Alabama Grocery Co., - Ala. - , 77 So. 748.

Arkansas. Davis v. Martin Stave Co., 113 Ark. 325, 168 S. W. 553; Morris v. Heliums Co., 131 Ark. 585, 199 S. W. 927.

Iowa. Grasmier v. Wolf (la.), 90 N. W. 813; Becker v. Churdan, 175 la. 159, 157 N. W. 221.

Michigan. Brown v. Bartlett, 201 Mich. 268, 167 N. W. 847.

Montana. Cambers v. Lowry, 21 Mont. 478, 54 Pac. 816.

Minnesota. Griffith v. Dowd, 133 Minn. 305, 158 N. W. 420.

Oklahoma. Eoff v. Lair, - Okla. - , 163 Pac. 515.

Pennsylvania. Hyde & Behman Amusement Co. v. Safe Deposit & Trust Co., 247 Pa. St 146, 93 Atl. 285.

Vermont. Douglass v. Morrisville, 89 Vt 393, 95 Atl. 810.

11Maril v. Ins. Co., 95 Ga. 604, 51 Am. St. Rep. 102, 30 L. R. A. 835, 23 S. E. 463.

12Wood v. Allen, 111 la. 97, 82 N. W. 451.

13 Hattiesburg Plumbing Co. v. Car-michael, 80 Miss. 66, 31 So. 536 (whether this implied that the water must rise to the top).

14 Eoff v. Lair, - Okla. - , 163 Pac. 515.

15 Douglass v. Morrisville, 89 Vt. 393, 95 Atl. 810.

16 Halsey v. Adams, 63 N. J. L. 330, 43 Atl. 708 (equivalent to "cancel").

17 Newhall v. Appleton, 114 N. Y. 140, 3 L. R. A. 859, 21 N. E. 105. (The agent was to receive fifteen dollars for each "order" taken. It was held proper to show that "order" meant at least five volumes of the encyclopedia taken and paid for.)

18Dorris v. King (Tenn. Ch. App.), 54 S. W. 683.

19Elwood v. McDill, 105 la. 437, 75 N. W. 340.

20 Thompson v. Pruden, 18 Ohio C. C. 886, 9 Ohio C. D. 857.

21 Hyde & Behman Amusement Co. v. Safe Deposit & Trust Co., 247 Pa. St. 146, 93 Atl. 285.