Oddly enough, the origin of the name for the device is actually pretty sophomoric:
A cock is a kind of faucet that uses a cross drilled barrel in a housing to regulate flow. In general, they are typically called "stopcocks".
The pet part comes from the days of steam engines. Pet is a French term for a fart. Seriously. A Petcock was used on steam engines to release steam pressure. Of course, back in the day, lots of things were steam powered, not just trains - you had cars, tractors, industrial equipment... all of those things having petcocks for years before the heyday of petrol powered engines -
so the name means "fart faucet"
Given that alternative, I think I'd rather call it a petcock.
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