rathole

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rathole

[′rat‚hōl]
(mining engineering)
A shallow, small-diameter, auxiliary hole alongside the main borehole, drilled at an angle to the main hole; after core drilling is completed, the rathole is reamed out and the larger-size hole is advanced, usually by some noncoring method.
References in periodicals archive ?
When the beautiful dome of theory is broken, most people retreat into ratholes of nostalgia, anxiously repeating some version of a myth about themselves--in this case, it's endless pronouncements about "the genius of the Slavs.
The workroom was full of rat stories, some funny, some horrible, as I sat through that day frenetically clipping out ratholes.