List of CB slang

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CB slang is the distinctive anti-language, argot or cant which developed amongst users of Citizens Band radio (CB), especially truck drivers in the USA during the 1970s early-1980s.[1]

The slang itself is not only cyclical, but also geographical. Through time, certain terms are added or dropped as attitudes toward it change. For example, in the early days of the CB radio, the term "Good Buddy" was widely used. However, at some point, it became associated only with a subset of male prostitutes who would advertise via the CB radio (usually at truck stops) and using the term became an insult to other drivers, or radio operators.[2]

Nick names given or adopted by CB radio users are known as 'Handles'.[2][3] This practice is all but dead, however many truck drivers will call each other 'Hand',[4] or by the name of the company they are driving for.[citation needed]

CB and its distinctive language started in the USA but was then exported to other countries including Mexico, Germany and Canada. In the French-speaking region of Canada, the cultural chauvinism associated with the French language generated conflict and adaptation of the new loan words.[5]

Popular terms[edit]

Law enforcement officers and their equipment[edit]

"Checkpoint Charlie"
a police checkpoint placed to look for drunk drivers, etc. (alludes to the former border crossing between East and West Berlin)
"Evel Knievel"
a police officer on a motorcycle (refers to the popular motorcycle stuntman)
"Gum ball machine" / "bubble gum machine"
a state police patrol car or other police cruiser (refers to the tall dome-shaped red signal light commonly mounted on the roof of state police cars, which resembles a traditional "penny" gumball machine)
"Miss Piggy"
a female law enforcement officer (refers to the muppet character, derived from the pejorative term "pig" for police officers)
"Mama Bear"
a less derogatory term for a female law enforcement officer.
"Smokey" or "Bear"
a police officer (refers to Smokey Bear, known for wearing a campaign hat very similar to that included in many highway patrol uniforms in the United States)
"Bear Trap"
a police checkpoint, similar to the "Checkpoint Charlie", but concealed.
"Bear Bite" / "Invitation"
Traffic citation
"Panda Bear"
TX State Trooper
"Bear in the Air/ Air Bear"
Police helicopter
"Gay Charlee"
Motorcycle Police
"Flying Donut"
Police Helicopter
"Chicken Coop"
Scale House

Trucks and other non-police vehicles[edit]

"Aircraft carrier"
Truck carrying a disassembled aircraft, helicopter, or a small plane.
a Mack Tractor, noted for the bulldog hood ornament.
An ABF truck
"Buster Brown"
a United Parcel Service truck.
a GMC truck.
"Meat Wagon"
a Peterbilt truck.
"Pregnant Rollerskate"
a Volkswagen Beetle.
"Dung Beetle"
VW Beetle with a male driver.
"Pumpkin"/ "Pumpkin roller" 
a Schneider National, Inc. truck.
"Thermos Bottle"
Driver pulling a chemical trailer
A refrigerated trailer or flatbed trailer hauling a refrigerated container.
"Rolling Refinery"
A tanker, typically carrying fuel.


Boston, Massachusetts
"Big D"
Dallas, Texas
"Disney Town"
Anaheim, California and the surrounding areas (After the Disneyland Resort)
"T Town"
Texarkana, Texas and / or Texarkana, Arkansas; Tulsa, Okla.]
"Taco Town"
San Antonio, Texas
"Cow Town"
Okeechobee, Florida
"Mickey Mouse"
Orlando, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
"Mardi Gras"
New Orleans, Louisiana
"Monkey Town"
Montgomery, Alabama
"Pizza and Murder"
Chicago IL
Greenspoint area of Houston TX
"Idiot Island"
Refers to California.
"Shakey City" 
Los Angeles, CA (referencing earthquakes)
"Stack of Bricks" 
home, house, ( "I'm heading back to my stack of bricks")

Other popular terms[edit]

The first stop on a load, or first pick up location.
"02, 03, 04, etc."
The stops in order of their occurrence on a load. 02 would be second stop, 03 is the third, and so on.
A reversal of the ten code "10-4", when asking if someone agrees with something said, or to ask if one's transmission was received. ("That was a nasty wreck. Four-ten?")
"5 by 5"
5 by 5 indicates that you can hear another CB broadcaster perfectly. An exceptionally clear/strong transmission is described as "wall-to-wall and treetop tall".
"10-4"(sometimes simply "4")
Acknowledged. Can also be used to denote agreement ("That's a big 10-4.")
Busy, Stand By [6]
Out of commission.
In service, taking calls
Repeat. Usually used to ask for a repeat.
CB operator will stop broadcasting, but will continue to listen ("I'm 10-10 on the side.")
"10-20" (more often simply "20")
Denotes location, as in identifying one's location ("My 20 is on Main Street and First"), asking the receiver what their current location or destination is ("What's your 20?"), or inquiring about the location of a third person ("Ok, people, I need a 20 on Little Timmy and fast").
An emergency situation ("You got a 10-33 at yardstick(milepost) 136, they got 4-wheelers(autos) all piled up"). Also used for radio checks, as C.W. McCall noted in "Round the World with Rubber Duck": "'Breaker 1-9er for a 10-33,' what we got was the cotton-pickin' BBC."
The correct time ("Can I get a 10-36?")
"I'm headed your way." ("I'm 51 to you.")
"10-100" (polite)
Taking a bathroom break, especially on the side of the road. Referencing the use of showing one finger to denote the need to urinate.
Taking a bathroom break, especially on the side of the road. Referencing the use of showing two fingers to denote the need to have a bowel movement.
"10 In The Wind"
Listening to the CB while driving. Also known as "10-10 in the wind".
The final stop or destination of a load.
"Bear Bait"
An erratic or speeding driver.[8]
"Break / Breaker"
Telling other CB users that you'd like to start a transmission on a channel. May be followed by either the channel number, indicating that anyone may acknowledge (e.g. "Breaker One-niner" refers to channel 19, the most widely used among truck drivers), or by a specific "handle", which is requesting a particular individual to respond.[7]
"Copy That" or "Copy"
acknowledgement "I heard you" or "I Understand"
a polite way of showing disgust
Refers to a speed limit of 55 mph.
"Four, Foe"
Refers to 10-4, dropping the 10, also: 'Yeah, Four", "foe", "yeah, foe"(slang for "four").
"Flag in five mile wind"
45 MPH zone.
"Turtle Race"
Zone slower than 45 MPH.
"Starsky and Hutch"
Team Drivers.
To "Fingerprint" your load would indicate that you will have to load or unload the cargo yourself.
"Three Sisters"
Three big hills on I-80E between SLC Utah and Fort Bridger Wyoming.
"Good Buddy"
In the 1970s, this was the stereotypical term for a friend or acquaintance on a CB radio.[1][2][7]
"Good Numbers / 3s and 8s"
used to wish a fellow traveler good luck.
The nickname a CB user uses in CB transmissions. Other CB users will refer to the user by this nickname. To say "What's your handle?" is to ask another user for their CB nickname.[7]
"Hundred Mile Coffee"
Very strong coffee
"Jabber / Jabbering Idiot / Babble / Babbling Idiot"
Someone using foreign language, e.g. Italian, on the CB.
"Kojak with a Kodak"
Law enforcement with a radar gun.
"Lot Lizard"
A prostitute in a rest area.
"Credit Card Machine"
Narrow Two Lane Bridge.
"Fighter Pilot"
Someone changing lanes often.
"Pickle Park"
Rest Area
"Turkey Hearse"
Truck with load of turkeys headed for slaughter.
Pickup drivers hanging out with truckers on highways and elsewhere.
"On Your Donkey"
Used to warn of a tailgater, as in, "You got a meat wagon on your donkey"
"Suicide Jockey"
A driver who is hauling dangerous goods such as explosives.
Not participating in conversation but listening only, despite having the capability of speaking. This is not the same as listening in using a simple receiver, as the person doing this activity can transmit using the two-way radio, but chooses not to.[9][10] It is done to monitor people for entertainment or for gathering information about the actions of others. Often, CBer's will sandbag to listen to others' responses to their previous input to a conversation, sometimes referred to a "reading the mail."[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Richard David Ramsey (5 Mar 2004), "The People Versus Smokey Bear: Metaphor, Argot, and CB Radio", The Journal of Popular Culture XIII (2): 338–344, doi:10.1111/j.0022-3840.1979.1302_338.x 
  2. ^ a b Preston, Benjamin (February 21, 2013). "How To Talk On A CB Radio". Jalopnik. Retrieved September 19, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Citizens Band (CB) Service". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved September 19, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Trucker Slang and CB Radio Lingo". Retrieved September 19, 2015. 
  5. ^ S Aléong, M Chrétien (1981), "Can Smokey the Bear Speak French? Adapting CB Lingo in Canadian French", American Speech, JSTOR 455122 
  6. ^ CB Ten Codes
  7. ^ a b c d Howard Jackson, Etienne Zé Amvela, "CB talk", Words, meaning and vocabulary: an introduction to modern English lexicology 
  8. ^ - CB Slang Dictonary
  9. ^ 'The Truckers Place' Truckers Slang
  10. ^ ACBRO Team Inc 1980 - Advocates For Australian CB Radio Clubs And Operators
  11. ^ Getting Familiar With CB Codes, Phrases, and Terminology

External links[edit]