I have a couple of networking components in my rack that take giant AC adapters ("power bricks") that don't fit neatly into my rackmount PDU.

I have one "thingy" that is shown below, and I need to buy a few more. But I have no idea what I'm searching for because I don't know what the "thingy" is called.

My Terrible Drawing

Yes, this drawing is terrible. I would ask my 4-year-old to draw it for me because she's a better artist, but she's taking a nap.

  • 79
    +1 for the nice drawing + post-it – splattne Feb 4 '11 at 14:53
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    +1 for "thingy" – squillman Feb 4 '11 at 15:07
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    +1 the sockets look like strange faces ('.') – o0'. Feb 4 '11 at 16:27
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    I freaking love that this got a silver badge :) – squillman Feb 4 '11 at 19:54
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    It was a better title to begin with :) – Tom O'Connor Feb 6 '11 at 18:57

14 Answers 14


I would just call it a "very short extension cord", and in fact a Google search for "short extension cord" turns up lots of results of exactly what you're looking for. E.g., these, which have a pass-through plug.

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    Wow. Extension cord. I would like to apologize to Planet Earth for the fact I required 12 people to tell me something that obvious. Score: Portman 0, ServerFault 92. – Portman Feb 4 '11 at 18:21
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    Score one for awesome, though, because this is now both your top-rated question and @larsks's top-rated answer. – mattdm Feb 4 '11 at 18:27
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    Oh, ServerFault, you are a silly place. – larsks Feb 4 '11 at 18:31
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    @Portman: apology accepted ;D – sova Feb 4 '11 at 20:09
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    @Portman -- the drawing more than makes up for any weakness in the actual question. There's an artist in New York who makes very detailed sketches (in black-and-white) of US currency and then "spends" them at face value. The Secret Service is always hounding him, calling his hand-made bills "counterfeiting", but art dealers call it art and pay thousands for examples of the work. You could be the serverfault equivalent of that guy, posting questions like "What is this [whimsical drawing of a keyboard]?" – Malvolio Feb 5 '11 at 13:36

"pigtail" is a common term for these (actually any 6" to 1' power cord) in the datacenter environments I've worked in.

  • pigtail is currently most commonly used to describe SMA <> U.FL cables (needed for connecting Wi-Fi antennas to Mini PCIe cards) – anx Oct 13 '17 at 15:38

You can also get short Y power cords.

Power Extension / Splitter "Y" Adaptor Powercord Cable

These cables (including the single variety) are sometimes called "outlet savers".

I also love the 90° rotating plug variety for some applications. The cord goes flat against a wall.

12" Power Cord Adapter with Rotating Plug

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    Just to join the party, I'll see your Y-power cord and raise you 3 more sockets - powersquid.com/powersquid-c-66.html – Michael Levy Feb 4 '11 at 18:25
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    amazon.com/Ziotek-ZT1212518-Liberator-Through-5-Pack/dp/… I absolutely love this type of extension cord. No matter what, if you have one outlet, you can plug what you need in. Has saved me arguments many MANY times – WernerCD Feb 4 '11 at 18:41
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    @WernerCD: That is the most awesome power-related product I have ever seen. +1 because I just bought a 5-pack. – josh3736 Feb 4 '11 at 19:32
  • I spent some time in the military... and there are times where there was a line of people needing power, with 2 outlets. Not a problem for me. Two of those and my laptop and gameboy is getting charged no matter how many people are hustling for the outlet. – WernerCD Feb 4 '11 at 19:40
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    @kinjal: If it's a 90 degree plug that doesn't rotate then it needs to have the cord exit at a 45 degree angle (they make them that do). Otherwise the cords get in each others' way and negates the benefit of being flat to the wall. This is needed on over-and-under wall outlets, but not usually on power strips. – Dennis Williamson Feb 6 '11 at 18:14

I think the official name is "Power Strip Liberator".

Google image check: http://www.google.com/images?q=power+strip+liberator


Sorry, I think that's a product's name (trademark), not the common name for the "thingy." But I looks like that the product is the "Coke" amongst power extension cords. :)

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    Liberate your power strip!! Free it from the heavy burdens of excessively large and bloated a/c adapters! Away with the tyranny of space sucking bricks! To arms! To arms! – squillman Feb 4 '11 at 15:09
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    PS: Interesting results on Google Image if you search for "liberator" alone. :) – splattne Feb 4 '11 at 16:48
  • @splattne my guess is that there should be a NSFW warning along with that suggestion! – Peter Feb 4 '11 at 17:18
  • Mmmmmm.... Liberator! – Dennis Williamson Feb 4 '11 at 17:35
  • @Peter Oops, sorry! I'm already at home in weekend mode (Europe). TGIF! – splattne Feb 4 '11 at 17:38

It is called a pigtail extension cord. http://www.mockett.com/pt1-90.html

  • I usually think of "pigtail" as meaning that there are bare wires on one end. Apparently, people mean different things by it. – Dennis Williamson Feb 4 '11 at 17:37
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    pigtail was the first thing I tought of as well. +1 – Moose Feb 6 '11 at 3:00

It's just a short extension cord, like this one from Startech.com.


it is called: 1ft Power Extension Cord.

I found same here: http://www.cablewholesale.com/specs/power-cable/10w1-04201.htm


Its called a "Wall wart remover".

  • i never heard it before, but it's nice pigtail can be one upped. – Nathan Feger Feb 4 '11 at 21:33

'Very short A/C Extension' ? That's what I Googled and came up with this

EDIT: 6 inch version at Radioshack


Um, an extension cord? (Needed 8 more characters for valid answer)


Power strip liberators... http://www.cyberguys.com/product-listings/?categoryid=588

(No worries about your drawing... I have an art degree and probably wouldn't have done much better on a quick sketch!)

  • +1 for bringing art to serverfault and +1 for not being able to draw despite of this. – Samuel Herzog Feb 5 '11 at 0:54
  • @Sam: -1 for leaving a comment in the wrong place. ;) – Dennis Williamson Feb 5 '11 at 16:02
  • Erin is the artist who can't draw, it was directly related to him, so where to comment instead? – Samuel Herzog Feb 6 '11 at 3:52
  • @Sam: Erin may be the artist who can't draw, but it was Portman who brought the art to SF. – Dennis Williamson Feb 6 '11 at 20:50
  • okay, thats bad phrasing from me, but the question got a +1 too, so it isnt as bad as it sounds :) – Samuel Herzog Feb 6 '11 at 20:55

A short extension cord?

When in doubt, go with the obvious.


Not really an answer, but if you need several of these things, you might want to look into the Power Squid (a semi-genericized trademark, but there's a good example here) instead.


Working in data centers for the past decade, I've always referred to these as Pigtails.

  • 1
    Pigtails to me, are the ends of fibre on a splicetray. – Tom O'Connor Feb 23 '11 at 16:46

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