Many slang terms, often considered offensive, exist for police officers. These terms are rarely used by the police themselves and instead are used by criminals, prisoners or even by the general public.
Police services also have their own internal slang and jargon; some of it relatively widespread geographically and some very localised.
US, police officers and/or a warning that police are approaching. Derived from the original television series Hawaii Five-O, which depicted an elite state-police unit/task force in the 50th State. Alternate theories hold that the term derives from the Ford Crown Victoria with the 5.0 litre Interceptor police package (but this theory has little or no verification), or from the fact that police used to drive Ford Mustang "5.0"'s.
New York City Police. Police follow-up Form DD-5, which is a standard report filed by detectives during active cases.
Police Officers, and a warning that police officers are approaching. A synonym of 5-0. Possibly[original research?] originates in the southeast U.S.– specifically Atlanta (East Atlanta/Dekalb County). The term often occurs in drug dealing contexts as a warning of the approach of police.
6 (six )
Police Officers, and a warning that police officers are approaching. A synonym of 5-0. Possibly[original research?] originates in the Downtown, San Fransico.
Iranian, Policeman. Introduced in Persian language from French agent in mid 1900. Pronounced [ɑːʒn]
Swedish, the police. From the Turkish Aynasız. Used in a derogatory way, usually in socially exposed neighborhoods.
UK, a police constable's personal equipment. At signing-on parade, the procedure was to give the order "show your appointments", at which the constables would produce their handcuffs, truncheons, whistles and notebooks for inspection. This was common practice up to the early 1990s. As officers now carry more equipment for their protection, having every officer produce this at the beginning of a shift would be impractical. Up until the introduction of police radios officers carried a whistle, (to signal to officers that they required assistance, and to attract the attention of the public) and 3 Old Pence so that, whilst on patrol, the officer could ring the police station from a public phone kiosk. (This amount would, of course, have varied according to the minimum cost of a call from a phone-box.)
Asfalt Kovboyu (Asphalt Cowboy)
Turkish, police officers. Police officers are related to cowboys in Turkey due to their lawless acts.
Aynasız (Plural Aynasızlar)
Turkish, address to a police officer. The word literally means "mirrorless" and its attribution to a police officer suggests that a cop is perceived as someone who constantly accuses others of vice, whereas he himself has no mirror to see his own vice. It is roughly equivalent in usage to the English word pig and is commonly used when translating English-spoken movies into Turkish.
Term used by mainly Spanish speaking people that originated in prison to let others know an officer is near; believed to originate from "floor's wet".
US. A police officer's duty belt with equipment. A reference to Batman.
Greece, (singular: Batsos, in Greek: Μπάτσος). Derogatory, but the most common slang word for Greek police officers. The term comes from the word batsa ("slap") alluding to police brutality, often in relation to minors, by giving them slaps in order to intimidate and frighten them and especially when they used to serve oppressive and authoritarian governments in the recent past. "Batsos" is a common term given to police officers who use violence. The most common anti-police slogan is: Batsi, gourounia, dolofoni (cops, pigs, killers), shouted en masse at many demonstrations.
UK (Liverpool), police van or minibus used to carry a number of officers to the scene of an incident and a similar vehicle used to carry prisoners.
Batty Squad Bike
UK (London), derogatory, police motorcyclists.
US, slang term for Eastern Long Islanders. Derived from the Bay Constable and it is used when someone thinks it's a cop, but it's just the Constable.
US, police officer. Short for Smokey Bear, in reference to the hats worn by some law enforcement officers similar to the ranger hat worn by Smokey Bear. "Bear bait" is a reference to speeders, who may draw the attention of the police and allow slightly slower traffic to exceed the speed limit in their wake. "Bear in the Air" is a police aircraft. "Bear in a plain brown wrapper" is an unmarked patrol car.. "Care Bear" is a patrol officer in the vicinity of a construction zone with lights on to encourage motorist to slow down. "Full Grown Bear" is a state patrol officer exclusively, where the term bear can refer to any police officer. Use of the word "bear" to refer to cops is from slang used by truck drivers communicating with CB radios in the 1970s and early 80s. It may now be archaic.
Swedish, the police. Originally an old Swedish word for devil, from Romanibeng with the same meaning.
Slang term for Ukrainian riot police
Big Blue Machine
Ontario, Ontario Provincial Police or any other large regional police service assuming policing duties and taking on the staff and resources of smaller police services. The OPP and other services thus extend the ribbing in various jokes derived from the fictional Borg of Star Trek.
see Old Bill "The Bill" is the title of two decades of TV soap opera in the UK, based in a fictional London borough.
Common Liverpool slang term for the police, it was invented as the police were always too "busy" to help. Also that the police are seen as "busy-bodies" i.e. that they ask too many questions.
a slang term for a (UK) traffic officer. Based on the idea that traffic officers will happily prosecute other officers if caught breaking the law. Similarly to the way a black rat will eat its own young.
Blue Collar Taxi
Australian security officers slang for "a ride to the watch house".
Related to a breed of dog, the Australian Cattle Dog, this term was used for the Australian police drama series Blue Heelers, but it has little if any historical or current broader usage.
UK, an archaic derogatory term for policeman that may have derived from Cockney rhyming slang and from the action of police when responding to a serious incident, as "swarming like Bluebottles", or blowflies. ("Bottle" is an abbreviation of "bottle and glass", which is rhyming slang for "arse", as in the phrase; "lost your bottle", for having lost one's nerve). (See also Bottles).
a robotic police aid (usually a bomb disarming or disposal robot), or a police-issue side arm. Often used by officers
Norwegian term, meaning Blue lights, referring to the blue emergency light on police cars.
UK, derived from the British Home Secretary, Sir Robert Peel (Bobby being a nickname for Robert) the founder of the Metropolitan Police. Occurs in fixed phrases e.g. "bobby on the beat", "village bobby". Commonly used as a name of an officer in a helmet walking the streets. Special Constables are sometimes referred to as "Hobby Bobbies".
UK street slang.
Portuguese slang in urban areas. Designates the Police institution (A Bófia) and not the police officer. Obscure origin.
British police acronym referring to a lazy officer who "Books on, never goes out".
Scottish term for extra patrol that deals with drunks and disorder.
Greek, a police car. It originates from a joke that refers to the police car as such, since "it carries two testicles inside", in reference to the police officers.
Used in Baltimore to refer to police officers.
Boys in blue
in reference to the blue uniform.
Australian Slang for police vehicle used for catching drunk drivers.
slang for Australian police referring to the badge.
Filipino slang that means "alligator". Alligators are known to have thick, plated skin, and they often flock together in an area. The Filipino word for thick is "makapal", which is a frequent word said to a police during a confrontation. "Makapal" is slang for jerk. Police in the Philippines are also conceived to have a slow response time, so aside from security guards, police officers are often not in public view.
An American term used for the police because their lights look like bubbles.
An American term usually used to refer to railroad police but may also indicate regular police officers. Also used in German ("Bulle") as a widespread insult for the police officer, sometimes in conjunction with the German word for pig "Bullenschwein".
A German slang term for a police officer. More commonly used in its plural form "die Bullen" or "die Bullerei" meaning the police. See "Bull" above.
Bully, Bullymen or Bullyman
Old aboriginal slang for the state police in Queensland, Australia.
US, used in a black neighbourhood, referring to more-traditional police uniforms with brass buttons.
Uruguay and Argentina. As in several other countries, police uniforms had big badges and buttons.
US, a reference to the colour of most police badges.
Officers whose jurisdiction is a university or college. It is a combination of the title Campus Police. Campo can be used in admiration or as an insult depending on the context. Most commonly used in North America.
Argentinean slang for police officers and lunfardo and Chilean slang term for jail.
Australian UHF slang for a "Queensland Police High Way Patrol" car.
British slang (Isle of Wight) for Community Support Officers, denoting their inability to do anything more than the average citizen when a crime is committed. The name is derived from a cartoon of the same name.
United States in reference to the Dodge Chargers which were issued in 2010 to many east coast police departments.
The Baltimore police force to criminals (2011).
Out dated South African slang for Police Vehicles, based on the vehicles being bright yellow.
Cherry Toppers, Cherry Tops, or Cherries
Often used in reference to police cars which in some nations bear red lights on the top of the car. See Cherry top (slang).
US. Plastic rain cover for campaign hats typically worn by state police forces. Also a "Hat Condom".
US. A quiet place for an officer to park their squad car and relax, possibly sleep.
Australian (and other Commonwealth English) slang for police station. Cop Shop was a long running Australian television series.
Cop or Copper
The term Copper was the original, unshortened word, originally used in Britain to mean "someone who captures". (In British English the term Cop is recorded (Shorter Oxford Dictionary) in the sense of 'To Capture' from 1704, derived from the Latin 'Capere' via the Old French 'Caper'). The common myth is that it's a term referring to the police officer's buttons which are made of copper.
Cop derives from a Gaelic word which has the equivalence of saying, protector, leader, or chief. The terms are almost nearly homophonic but have similar meanings.
A slang term for police officers on bicycles.
Copicide aka suicide-by-cop
Slang term for a person who threatens police officers in order to get killed. A combination of cop and suicide.
Sinhala. pronounced "Cos-sa", Derived from "Constable" or its localized version "Costha-pal".
A slang term for a county officer because of their brown uniforms and cars.
Term for the county sheriff and deputies.
UK, police officers.
A slang term for the police in Florida especially in south Florida.
Term for a policeman on a particular crime fighting spree.
Slang for detectives. Apparently originally coined in Canada and brought south by rumrunners during Prohibition. The fictional comic strip character Dick Tracy was given the first name of "Dick" in token of its being a slang expression for "detective". Female detectives have been called Dickless Tracy's or DT's.
A cop who uses his position as a police officer illegally to gain personal financial benefits such as through a bribe or a seizure of stolen property or by taking drugs or money during a drug bust. The saying "The butcher brings home meat, the baker brings home bread, and the police officer brings home money" relates to Dirty Coppers. Dirty Copper also applies where one young punk asks the other young punk in the presence of or within earshot of a flatfoot policeman: "What are dirty pennies made out of?" and the other punk shouts out as loud as he or she can: "DIRTY COPPER!"
Australian Slang for Police vehicle used for transporting criminals. Named after the protective 'division' between the driver and the villains.
Do-do nutters or The Do-dos
Arises from the stereotype of police officers eating donuts.
used in many European languages as an insulting term for police similar to pig in English.
DRC or The DRC
Dirty Rotten Cop(per).
Droid or Roham-droid
Hungarian slang for riot police, based on Star Wars (in Hungarian, rendőrség is police, rendőr is police officer, rohamrendőr is riot police officer, roham-droid is super battle droid in Star Wars).
Wooden coat Hungarian slang. After the wooden guard posts placed on street corners.
Uncle Blue Swedish slang, blue due to their appearance (color of their uniform). The nickname originates from the children's book "Aunt Green, Aunt Brown and Aunt Lavender", by Elsa Beskow, where "Uncle Blue" is one of the characters.
Australian – Queensland police specialized high way patrol cars targeting the "Fatal Four" driving related deaths 1)Seat belts 2)Drink driving 3)Speeding 4)Driving Tired.
Usually used in the United States to refer to higher federal law enforcement agencies, especially the F.B.I., recently caught on in Great Britain owing to the spread of American media. Also widely used in Australia as a slang term for Australian Federal Police.
Spanish, the Mexican Federal Police. The term gained widespread usage by English-speakers due to its popularization in films. The term is a cognate and counterpart to the slang "Feds" in the United States.
Often used derogatorily in the United States by municipal and state officers to refer the F.B.I. when they feel a possible jurisdictional confrontation.
A Swedish breed of black and white cows. Refers to the black and white squad cars used by Swedish police earlier.
A term that refers to the large amount of walking that a police officer would do, thus causing flat feet.
A term for a police car without lights on top, also called a "slick top".
French slang for a policeman. Commonly used in the form les flics.
Belgian slang for a policeman. It is derived from the French word Flic. The word is mainly used in the Flemish part of Belgium. There is also a known police series called "Flikken".
UK, as in "police force".
Turkish slang term for the police. Usage of this term reached its peak in the 1960s and 1970s among the university youth, especially those with a left-wing tendency or those otherwise inclined to partake in political demonstrations. The term is believed to derive from the pop brand Fruko, as the officers of Toplum Polisi (Community Police – a special police unit formed in 1965 to deal with public demonstrations and other politically influenced incidents -) riding on their vans in groups of 6 or more wearing their oval hard hats resembled pop bottles juxtaposed in a bottle container. (Plural: Frukolar)
Alternatively Cockney rhyming slang for the police—unknown origin—London, or a Romani language word for the police. (Rom words are used in British English and Cockney.) Also used in context with Gaver Wagons, mainly in the London, Kent and other parts of South-East of England.
Colloquial for police officers in Poland, stands for "copper" also: Gliniarze, singular: "Glina" or "Gliniarz". Translated as "Cop".
The official secret police of Nazi Germany. Derogatory reference to police officers who supposedly ignore civil rights.
Identical to Gestapo, derogatory, used primarily in the United States during the Vietnam War to refer to officers charged with policing anti-war protests. Merging of the words "Gestapo" and "Cop".
US, to go to jail. As in "You're going downtown".
US slang term for police helicopters in impoverished areas.
(Nepali language) As front hard part of the police peak cap is faced down,[clarification needed] people would say Oi Ghoptay aayo, luka luka, meaning "hey cop is coming, hide it hide it" or simply Oi Ghoptay! Ghoptay! ("Hey cop! Cop!").
Cockney (English) for a police informant: Grasshopper = Copper. An alternative suggestion is "Narc in the Park".
Gravel Road Cops or Grid Road Cops
Canada, Royal Canadian Mounted Police "GRC" is abbreviation for "Gendarmerie Royale du Canada", the French name for RCMP, who often work in rural settings with un-metalled roads.
Tampa, FL. Hillsborough County Sheriffs Drug "VICE" Unit that wear green and sometimes look like ninjas.
A prison guard (Example: Richie: The other one, Mark Mack, is already dead. Besides, why should the hacks listen to me now? I say Schillinger did it, they say prove it. I have no proof. (Richie from the HBO Series Oz))
A weapon planted by authorities to provide false evidence for prosecution of a suspect.
Mike Thames: "A ham sandwich is a clean gun that they would take and put it in, like, an old pair of jeans or britches, or whatever you want to call it. And they'd let it sit there and get some lint on it. Then after they let it sit in there, then you put it in a plastic bag."
A.C. Thompson: "Some former officers we've talked to have said, 'Hey, this was an underground culture.' They would carry around something they called a ham sandwich, and they would plant that ham sandwich at the scene of officer-involved shootings."
(From the PBS Series Frontline – Law & Disorder)
American; a uniformed police officer. Example: ...a large harness bull arrived in his archaic blue uniform with gun and star. (Philip K Dick, from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, 1968)
American; putting the heat on someone. (Example: in the line What a field day for the heat (Stephen Stills, "For What It's Worth" from Buffalo Springfield, 1967), Stills is referring to the police.)
UK, police traffic car, from the now largely obsolete historical colour-scheme – an overall white vehicle, with a longitudinal red, or red and yellow, stripe on each side. "Sambo" is a slang for sandwich. (Though this colour-scheme is dated. Most services have moved, or are in the process of moving, to checkered Battenburg markings.)
Jack The Bag
A notorious guard in West Limerick infamous for covering suspects face with a bag or pillowcase and beating them profusely with a phone book (yellow pages).
A common term used for police in the UK and Australia, derived from "John Darme" a joking Anglicization of "gendarme" (French for police officer) and then – per common usage – John becomes Jack (or, in this case, the plural "Jacks").
Cockney rhyming slang Old Bill, turned to Jack and Jill, turned to Jacks.
A common term used and created in New York City, meaning "all right" or "satisfactory".
A Finnish slang term for the police.
A contraction of the Finnish slang term "jepari".
A reference amongst officers to being a member of a police force ("Don't shoot. I'm on the Job ....") or to the police department as an entity ("The Job said that officers would not be permitted to moonlight any more ...").
John Q. Law or Johnny Law
Used across the United States. Sometimes shortened to John or Johnny.
English language, underground slang, used frequently during the 1960s and 1970s during the anti-establishment and anti-authoritarian movements. Implies that police are a tool of the powerful "man" that is trying to keep others down.
Israel, often referring to Military Policemen but also to regular police and prison guards ("maniacs").
(Little map in Spanish) for highway patrol because of the little map displayed on the side of their units.
(Mums brother in pothwari, a language from Pakistan). Used by British Pakistani's to describe police officers are around them or used as a warning to alarm someone who may be a criminal.
Malaysia and Singapore. Malay word for eye.
UK slang for police in general.
The police force that preceded the Gendarmerie as the law enforcement agency in rural France. The Marechaussee was under the control of the Marechal (eng: Marshall) de France, hence the name. In the Netherlands, the koninlijke marechaussee remains the military police force with civilian powers similar to the French Gendarmerie. The gendarmerie was established after the French revolution. French slang, mostly used in rural areas and aimed to the gendarmes.
UK. a police van.
Canadian. Military police, the term dates as far back as World War II, when other corps of the Canadian army also had "head" names. The name for the military police refers to perceived intellectual capacity. The Engineers were known as Thumper Heads, from a hand-held post driving tool called a thumper, and the Armoured corps as "Zipper Heads", from a helmet featuring a number of zippers to allow concurrent use of head phones.
Canada. Internal slang, used in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to refer to fellow Mounties, in place of the usual "officer" or "constable" (or equivalent) in other police forces.
Russian (мент, pl menty менты). Origins of the word are the older Romanian border mounted guard part of uniform – the short windcoat named "ment".
Norwegian slang, the Norwegian word for "brass".
Uruguay and Argentina. Coming from "militar", the Spanish word for military. Once police in those countries was a military institution, not a civil one.
UK, slang, literary, (also used in Australia) from the Noddy books by Enid Blyton, in which Mr. Plod was the village policeman. "Plod" has also commonly been used by the British police themselves, as has its (generally disparaging) female equivalent "plonk".
Derogatory term for security personnel, inferring "Pig".
Spain, slang, derogatory, collective term in reference to the police officers' uniform.
Canada, slang, originally coined in Halifax, Nova Scotia. A surrealist term, it was first used prominently by the Cerealbowl Collective, intended as a confusing and somewhat ambiguous insult.
acronym of Most Useless Police Person Ever Trained.
A Serbo-croatian term for police, with a singular "murjak". True origin somewhat unknown.
gypsy or Romani term.
in Russia plural unusing in other situations to "musor" (ru мусор) literally translated as "garbage". Origins – in obsolete abbreviation ru МУС (MUS) fully Московский уголовный сыск (Moskowskii ugolownyi sysk, Moskow criminal investigations)
US, abbreviated form of "Narcotics Agent"; not to be confused with Copper's Nark a term used in Great Britain for an informant.
Southern United States term for traffic police.
UK, relating to subjective observation that police act like German soldiers of the same name.
Zimbabwe slang for Police officer (Ngoh-n-joh).
UK, uncommon British terms, being a pun on "knickers" (female underwear). As the term is spoken not written the silent "k" in knickers is not obvious. Derives from officers "nicking" a suspect, i.e. arresting them, and taking them to "the nick" i.e. the police station.
English police slang for a detective working night shift. Jack referring to the detective.
Tampa & Miami, police officers. Called nine because they are said to come in wolf packs, such as nine at a time.
UK police, slang term for a motor scooter that was used for patrol before cars became more widespread. Popular because of their ease at moving through traffic.
A term in use in London among other areas, inspiring the television series The Bill. The origin of this nickname is obscure; according to the Metropolitan Police themselves, there are at least 13 different explanations.
A term, mostly used on the U.S. West Coast, that has been given numerous explanations, including: the idea that if one is arrested, it only takes "one time" to be put away (convicted); Also used when a group of people are standing together and one notices a police officer, the one person will say "one time" as he has already looked and saw the police no one else look or it will draw attention ; Used in prisons when a corrections officer is on the floor.
Norwegian meaning "uncle" as in "be careful, uncle is watching you".
Used in J.J. Connolly's Layer Cake to refer to the police.
A derogatory Chilean term for Carabineros, the national police force of Chile. In Costa Rica, a familiar term for police, loosely derogatory. The term comes from the nickname 'Paco' given to Francisco Calderón, a Security Minister in the 1940s.
A police van. Originated in the United States, but it's also used in Australia.
UK, a police car. Named because they were originally painted with large panels of black and white, or blue (usually light blue) and white.First started by the Lancashire Constabulary in the 1960s.
Indian constabulary (and not officers) were recruited mostly from village areas. Derived from Marathi movie "Pandu Hawaldar" where the protagonist is a constable named as Pandu.
Serbo-Croatian derogatory term for a police officer (plural Pandurija, as a term for the police in general). In its origin, it was the Pandurs[disambiguation needed], who served as the watchmen on the Austrian Military frontier.
Danish slang for police officer. Derived from the slang word "panser".
Panier à salade
French, old slang for a police van (meaning "salad shaker"). Comes from the grillaged windows of the vans used during the 1970s and 1980s, reminding of a salad shaker.
Belittleing Danish slang for policemen. "Basse" or "bassemand" is similar to the English words "hubby" or "big boy", which is why the slang is suggesting the policemen are fat and harmless.
Finnish, derogatory. Literally means "hat (full) of shit".
Spain, slang, derogatory term for police.
Term used in the Hunger Games who enforced law.
UK, Police on Bicycles.
UK, slang, archaic, from Sir Robert Peel (see 'Bobby'); it has largely disappeared in mainland Britain, is often used in Northern Ireland, sometimes pejoratively. Canada, colloquial, refers to Peel Regional Police Service in Ontario, Canada. Considered derogatory as "peeler" is slang for a striptease dancer.
US. A slang word for the police term coined by the San Francisco Bay Area rap artist E-40.
US. short for "perpetrator". A criminal.
US. A slang term for dramatically parading an arrested subject (the perpetrator or "perp") in shackles before the press for no other purpose than for the photo-op. On frequent occasions, notorious subjects already in custody are taken out of jail and sent out the back door of a police station, only to be driven around the corner and then removed from the vehicle in order to convey an impression that the suspect is first arriving at the police station.
Portuguese slang for PVDE (Polícia de Vigilância e Defesa do Estado, or Police for the Vigilance and Defence of the State), the political police that existed from 1933 to 1945. The word literally means "pip" (the seed), being derived from the police's acronym. After PVDE was renamed PIDE (1945–1969) the term died out.
This derogatory term was frequently used during the 19th century, disappeared for a while, but reappeared during the 20th and 21st century. It became frequently used again during the 1960s and 1970s in the underground and anti-establishment culture. Now prevalent in many English-speaking countries. It is also used in anti-authoritarian punk and hip-hop circles. Oz magazine showed a picture of a pig dressed as a policeman on a front cover.
US - Arrest, UK - Steal
Derogatory term (plural: pitufos) often used in Spain for members of both the Policía Nacional and the Policía Municipal due to the blue color of their uniforms. Taken from the characters of The Smurfs (Los Pitufos in Spanish).
(private job) Australian slang for personal errands carried out by Police during their work shift. i.e.: paying bills, purchasing goods, etc.
A commonly Spanish slang term used by Mexicans on the West Coast.
UK. A term used for Community Support Officers as they only have the same powers of arrest as civilians. Likening them to a toy policeman (fake).
Plain Brown Wrapper
Most commonly used by truck drivers over the CB radio, in reference to unmarked vehicles and plainclothes police officers, usually of local or state jurisdictions.
A term used commonly in North America as seen in the TV show The Wire.
Porky or Porker
From the Porky Pig cartoon and variation on "pig", usually specific to small town officers embodying the doughnut stereotype, "porker" variant may relate to "copper", also a slang word used by Australian officer's in regards to a suspect telling a lie during an interview.
French, translates as "chicken", derogatory. As in, Q: What do you get when the police station catches fire? A: "poulet rôti" (roast chicken).
Nepalese for police.
Polish for "dogs", singular – "pies", squad cars or police vans are often called "suki", which means "bitches", singular – "suka", because there are dogs inside.
Mexican, derogatory, slang. Spanish for pig.
Norwegian, derogatory. The word "purke" means female pig, probably derives from American movies where police can often be called "pig"
Italian and Italian-American slang. Shortened form of polizia.
Abbreviation of the rank "Police Constable". Also used by the Ontario Provincial Police to abbreviate "Provincial Constable". Constable is used in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, Pakistan, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and most other ex-British Empire countries.
Police Woman. Sometimes considered derogatory or merely impolite. See also WPC.
British slang derived from pigs (i.e. rashers of bacon).
Used in Portuguese language for police officers, meaning rats.
Argentinean slang term for police officers derived from "rata" (rat). Also derived from vesre pronunciation of tira, since older police uniforms would feature a leather strap across the officer's chest.
Rats / Black Rats
1970s - 1980s colloquial name used by beat officers to describe members of the Metropolitan Police's Roads Policing Unit.
From 'Robert', after Sir Robert Peel (1788–1850), commonly considered the father of modern policing, and who established the Metropolitan Police Force in London (1829). More commonly used in comedy TV and Film.
Danish slang for police van. Directly translates to "salad platter".
Italian slang for policeman. It's a very vulgar word, used mainly by criminals.
Used in Austria, origin "Gendarmerie".
Technically, a slang term for a prison guard and not for a police officer.
An old Liverpudlian term, which came to prominence in the 1960s Merseyside-set BBC television series Z-Cars.
(grease) German slang, mostly southern Germany, Switzerland and Austria, for police.
A variation on Pig, originated in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the early 1980s.
Used in France, origin unknown (possibly based on German).
Used in west and south west Ireland. Derived from the Irish (Gaelic) term "Se d'og", pronounced Shay Dowgs, meaning "Little Johns" originally referring to the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) – British Army soldiers in Ireland were called "Johns", so the British controlled police force (the RIC) were called "Little Johns". "Shay Dowgs" became shortened to "Shades".
Old NYPD term for Internal Affairs officer. Now know as "Rats" or "Rat Squad".
Incident requiring urgent attention - typically put out over general channels on police radio.
A Finnish slang term, literally meaning the liverwort (Anemone hepatica). Comes from the bluish colour of the flower resembling the characteristic blue uniforms of the Finnish police forces. This is emphasised by the word sini ("blue") in the flower's Finnish name.
Used in the Netherlands, origin from Suriname, which used to be part of the Netherlands.
Colloquial name used to describe career criminals in the 1970s by sections of the Metropolitan Police.
Swedish slang for police van, usually referred to riot police vans. Literally "Butchers van".
A criminal or lowlife, typically a drug addict who is extremely thin as the result of malnutrition as he/she binges on narcotics and other drugs (NYPD).
A reference to the noise a pig makes. In the UK, squealer, or grass, is used to denote someone who informs on their criminal confederates.
A term used in Northern Ireland by the Republicanist/Catholic Community particularly during a riot. SS from the German secret police and RUC from the former name of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (Now Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI)).
A US state trooper. Usually used in the Midwest.
Refers to State Troopers, used throughout New England.
UK and Australia – similar to filth.
Danish slang for police officer.
Danish slang for police officer. Pronounced "Stroehmah".
Suicide by Cop
American. Occurs when a suspect behaves in a manner that provokes or compels the police kill him, such as by holding hostages or threatening officers or civilians with a weapon or what appears as a weapon.
Members of the Metropolitan Police CID as referred to by their uniformed colleagues.
Singapore. Used to refer to middle-aged female traffic wardens who place a summons on vehicles violating parking laws.
Became a common name in Vermont for police in that state after the release of the movie Super Troopers.
Hedgehog Hungarian slang, during the 2006 protest against the Hungarian Government, policemen used a formation called hedgehog (sün in Hungarian). This comical situation became a widespread meme in the country and eventually policemen were given the name "sün". ("s" in Hungarian sholuld be pronounced as "sh")
Norwegian word meaning "black trouble or noise" referring to the old big police vans that where black, usually when "Svartemarja" arrives, they come to transport prisoners or contained several officers to break up fights and such
The role of the police in being the barrier between civilized society and chaos, inspiring a UK sitcom and two documentaries of the same name. This led to policemen involved in entrapping gays being ironically referred to as "The Thin Blue Jeans".
Northern-Indian/Pakistani Hindi/Urdu term for a cop with a baton (known locally as a "laathi").
derogatory term in some areas of southern England to refer to police in police cars.
Mexican slang for police car or policeman.
Brazilian slang for policeman.
Tit-Heads or Tits
Rarely used derogative British term for uniformed police officers originating in the shape of traditional UK police custodian helmet worn by patrolling (male) officers which are or were a similar shape to a large female breast – as in the phrase (to a policeman) "take the tit off your head" meaning "relax" or "imagine you are not on duty".
Largely used in Perú, and in some parts of Colombia to call police officers. Etymological origin its based in an inversion of the Spanish word for button. In the early twentieth century the uniforms of the Peruvian police officers had very big buttons. The word is "botón" in Spanish. The thiefs inverted the word "Ton-bo". You could see that the inversion is "Tonbo", with an "n", and not "tombo" with "m", but in Spanish an "n" cannot precede a "b".
Town or city police officers, contrasted with county or state police. Usually considered derogatory.
TP (plural TP's)
Abbreviation of Traffic Police, used in Singapore.
A term coined in South Florida (Palm Beach County). Made famous by the song "Troll Down".
Swiss German slang for rozzers.
Dog in Basque referring to police officers, similar to the use of "dog" in English.
Australian, from "wallop", meaning to hit or beat.
German slang term for a police van (Mercedes Benz T2), especially in Berlin. "Wanne" means bathtub.
UK slang for a police helicopter (calque of Whirly-bird, an old term for a helicopter, with pig).
US, slang, from the Southern States & New York City, in reference to a patrol car's siren.
UK, derogatory, used by plain-clothes officers in reference to the uniformed branch. Possibly a reference to the 1950s children's TV series The Woodentops, declining use.
UK, derogatory, used by plain-clothes officers in reference to the uniformed branch.
UK, derogatory, from the recent adoption of Safety Yellow jackets by various Constabularies for uniformed officers in various roles, as with Bluebottles, from the "swarming" of officers at an incident. Also used in Washington state, United States in reference to the Washington State Patrol.
Danish slang for motorcycle police. Translates into "egg shell". Is used because of Danish motorcycle cops' white helmets. May have originated in the 60's or 70's as the helmets back then looked more similar to half an egg shell.