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List of CB slang

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CB slang is the distinctive anti-language, argot, or cant which developed among users of Citizens Band radio (CB), especially truck drivers in the United States during the 1970s and 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.[2]

Nicknames or callsigns given or adopted by CB radio users are known as "handles".[2][3] Many truck drivers will call each other "Hand,"[4] or by the name of the company for which they drive.[citation needed]

CB and its distinctive language started in the United States but was then exported to other countries including Mexico, Germany, and Canada.

List of Terms[edit]

Law Enforcement Officers, Equipment and Locations[edit]

Term Description
Baby Bear Rookie police officer.
Bear A police officer. (See "Smokey" below)
Bear bite/Invitation Speeding ticket
Bear cave/Bear's den Police station.
Bear in the air Police officer in some form of aircraft. (See "Eye in the Sky")
Bear rolling discos A speeding police car with its lights flashing.
Bear trap RADAR or speed trap.
Bear with ears A police officer monitoring the CB airwaves.
Blue Light Special A police vehicle with its blue strobe lights flashing (from the popular Kmart sale gimmick).
Checkpoint Charlie Police checkpoint placed to look for intoxicated drivers, drivers with invalid licenses, etc. (alludes to the former border crossing between East and West Berlin).
Chicken Coop/Chicken House A scale house (truck scale), or the weigh station where they are found.
Cop-ulating A collaborative task force of multiple agencies and/or jurisdictions conducting a checkpoint, speed enforcement or other targeted “sting” operation.
County Mountie A county sheriff or deputy.
DOT Department of Transportation enforcement vehicle.
Eaten by a bear A truck driver caught by a police officer for speeding or some safety infraction.
Evel Knievel Police officer on a motorcycle (refers to the popular motorcycle stuntman).
Eye in The Sky Police aircraft, airplane or helicopter.
Flying doughnut A police helicopter.
Fox in the hen house/Smokey in a plain wrapper Unmarked police vehicle.
Full-grown bear State police trooper.
Gumball machine/Bubble gum machine Police vehicle, especially one with the older-style, dome-shaped red rotating/strobe light commonly mounted on the roof of police cars, which resembles a traditional "penny" gumball machine.
Hitting the jackpot A driver pulled over for a traffic stop by law enforcement. Refers to the siren lights on top of a police cruiser, resembling the bright lights on a casino slot machine.
Kojak with a Kodak Police officer running radar.
Local yokel A local city police officer.
Mama Bear A less derogatory term for a female police officer.
Miss Piggy A female police officer (refers to the Muppet character, derived from the pejorative term "pig" for police officers).
Mountie Mountie Member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Papa Bear A male police officer or police supervisor such as Sergeant or higher rank.
Polar bear A white unmarked police vehicle.
Smokey 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; origin of Smokey and the Bandit movie title).
Smokey with a Customer Driver getting busted by a police officer and being given a ticket
Starsky and Hutch Police officers (refers to the 1970s American action television series Starsky & Hutch).
Sunoco Special New York State Trooper
Super trooper State police trooper.
Taco stand Border patrol stations on the Mexico–United States border.
Wall-to-wall bears A large number of police vehicles, especially when on a chase.

Trucks and Other Vehicles[edit]

Term Description
18/18 wheeler A truck with a total of 18 tire/wheels. It can also be used for any truck usually with a fifth-wheel hitch and a semi-trailer even if the vehicle doesn't have dual wheels, or tandem axles.
Aircraft carrier Tractor/trailer carrying a disassembled aircraft, helicopter or a small plane.
Angry kangaroo A truck with one (or both) of its headlights out.
Big Truck Generally a truck able to pull a semi-trailer, usually with the trailer and not bob-tail. It can mean any vehicle Class 7 or heavier.
Blinkin winkin/Kiddie car School bus.
Bulldog A Mack road tractor, noted for its trademark bulldog hood ornament (origin in World War I when British soldiers called the Mack AC "The Bulldog", giving the name and trademark hood ornament to Mack).
Bullfrog An ABF truck.
Bull hauler A livestock hauler that is empty (for a loaded one see Go Go Girls)
Bobtail rig/Bobtail Road tractor driving without a trailer.
Buster Brown UPS truck.
Cab-over A truck where the cab sits directly over the engine. Much less common in North America since the overall length law changed in 1976.
Cash box A toll booth.
Chicken Truck A dressed up and fancy truck. Usually means extra chrome, wide front bumper, extra light, etc. Can also mean a fast truck. Does not mean a truck hauling chickens.
Coal bucket Truck with a trailer for hauling coal, especially an end-dump trailer.
Container An intermodal shipping container. Refers to a cargo container that goes overseas, get loaded onto a train, or get placed on a truck chassis.
Corn flake A Consolidated Freightways truck.
Cornbinder/Thirteen Letter Shit Spreader A Navistar International or International Harvester truck.
Covered Wagon A Tarp Trailer
Doubles Refers to a double set of trailers
Draggin Wagon A tow truck also called A Wrecker.
Dry Van A Trailer without a refrigeration unit or insulation.
Drop and Hook The process of dropping off a trailer a then picking up a replacement trailer at a destination.
Dung Beetle A Volkswagen Beetle with a male driver.
Fender Bender An accident (now widely used among the general public).
Freightshaker A Freightliner truck.
Four Wheeler/Four-wheeler Any vehicle with only four wheels. Most often used for personal cars/vans/SUVs.
Go-Go Girls (on the dance floor) A Livestock Truck preferably hauling pigs or cows
Green Machine A Military vehicle
Hood A conventional road tractor, with the engine in front of the cab.
Jimmy A GMC road tractor.
Juice Box A tanker hauling perishable liquids preferably juice concentrate to a processing plant.
K-Whopper A Kenworth road tractor.
Louisville A Ford L-Series truck.
Meat Wagon An ambulance.
Milk Bottle A Milk Tanker.
Boiler/Pete/Petercar A Peterbilt road tractor.
Pigtails The cables that supply air and power to a trailer.
Piggy back A truck towing another truck.
Piggy Bank An armored car.
Portable Barn A Livestock Truck.
Portable parking lot/Rolling parking lot A tractor/trailer loaded with new or used cars, a car transporter.
Pregnant roller skate A Volkswagen Beetle.
Pumpkin/Pumpkin roller A Schneider National tractor/trailer.
Reefer A refrigerated trailer or flatbed trailer hauling a refrigerated container.
Rolling refinery A tanker truck, typically carrying fuel.
Salt shaker Highway department truck for spreading ice melt chemicals on the road, traditionally salt.
Scanny A Scania AB truck. There are around 500 in the United States[clarification needed]. It is very rare, so it is used only in social media (truck pages in Facebook, YouTube, etc.).
Skateboard A straight, flatbed trailer.
Star Car/Big W A Western Star road tractor.
Super Chickens YRC tractor/trailer.
Thermos Bottle A road tractor with a chemical trailer.
Turkey hearse A truck with a load of turkeys headed for slaughter.
Wiggle Wagon A road tractor with more than one trailer.
Yard dog, yard goat, yard horse or mule Terminal tractor used to move trailers in a shipping/freight yard.

Destinations and Locations[edit]

Term: Meaning
Beantown Boston, Massachusetts (now widely used among the general public).
Beer Town Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Berta Alberta.
Big Apple New York, New York (now widely used among the general public).
Bingo or Bingotown Binghamton, New York.
Big D / Emerald City Dallas, Texas (now widely used among the general public in "North Texas")
The Bubbly Champaign, Illinois.
Chocolate Town Hershey, Pennsylvania (reference to Hershey's Chocolate's; now widely used among the general public)
Choo Choo Town/Tow City/ Chatty Chattanooga, Tennessee (After the song “Chattanooga Choo-Choo”) (in reference to Miller Industries and being the birthplace of the Tow Truck)
Corn patch The Midwest.
Cow Town Fort Worth, Texas. Or Calgary, Alberta.
Crashville Nashville, Tennessee.
Derby City/Derby Town Louisville, Kentucky.
The Dime Interstate 10
Disney Town Anaheim, California.
Flagtown Flagstaff, Arizona.
Flower City Rochester, New York
Flying Hook Flying J Truckstop chain
Fort God Memphis, Tennessee.
Gateway/Arch Town/The Big Arch St. Louis, Missouri.
Ghost Town Casper, Wyoming
Guitar Town Nashville, Tennessee.
Gunspoint Greenspoint (an area of Houston, Texas).
Hippie Haven / Bat City / Waterloo Austin, Texas.
Hog Town Toronto, Ontario.
Hotlanta Atlanta, Georgia (now widely used among the general public).
Space City/H-Town/Astrodome/The Oil Patch Houston, Texas. (reference to the oil industry, Johnson Space Center, and the Houston Astrodome)
Indy 500/Indy 5 Indianapolis, Indiana (reference to Indianapolis Motor Speedway home of the Indy 500)
Idiot Island California.
The Ike Highway Interstate 80 California, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming, Interstate 25 from Cheyenne to Denver,and Interstate 70 from Denver to Baltimore as shown on signs saying Dwight D. Eisenhower Highway.
Job Town Clinton, New Jersey.
Little Cuba Miami, Florida
Lost Wages/Sin City/Dice Town/Gimbaling Town Las Vegas, Nevada.
Mardi Gras/Crescent City New Orleans, Louisiana.
Mickey Mouse Orlando, Florida (a reference to Walt Disney World resort).
Mile High Denver, Colorado (now widely used among the general public as "The Mile High City").
Monkey Town Montgomery, Alabama ('Monkey' being diminutive form of 'Montgomery').
Motor City Detroit, Michigan (now widely used among the general public).
Nickel Road Interstate 5
The Pokey Pocatello, Idaho
Queen City Charlotte, North Carolina; Cincinnati, Ohio; or Buffalo, New York.
Quarterback Interstate 25
Red Stick Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Rhymes with Fun Regina, Saskatchewan.
Ripoff Griffin's Rip Griffin's, a well known truck stop outside Dallas.
Rock City Little Rock, Arkansas.
Salty Salt Lake City, Utah (a reference to the Great Salt Lake)
Shakey City or Shakeytown Los Angeles, California, California (a reference to earthquakes).
Silly Circle The Capital Beltway, a beltway around Washington, D.C., running through Virginia and Maryland.
Stack of Bricks A house or home ("I'm heading back to my stack of bricks").
Steam Town Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Steel City Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (now widely used among the general public).
The Sticker Patch Phoenix, Arizona (a reference to the cacti in the area).
Spud Town Boise, Idaho.
T Town Texarkana, Texas/Arkansas or Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Tonto Toronto, Ontario.
Taco Town / Alamo City San Antonio, Texas.
UFO Central Roswell, New Mexico, Nevada State Route 375, and Area 51 or any area where UFOs have been sighted.
Windy City Chicago, Illinois (now widely used among the general public).

Other popular terms[edit]

Term Meaning
4-10 A reversal of the ten code "10-4," when asking if someone agrees with something said or if one's transmission was received. ("That was a nasty wreck. Four-ten?")
5 by 5 Indicates that another CB user can be heard clearly (see "Wall to wall and treetop tall" below).
10-4 Acknowledged; can also be used to denote or emphasize an agreement ("That's a big 10-4.").
10-6 Busy; stand by.[5]
10-7 Signing off.
10-8 En route. ("I'm 10-8 to your location.")
10-9 Last transmission not received; repeat your last transmission.
10-10 CB user will cease broadcasting but will continue to listen. ("I'm 10-10 on the side.")
10-20 Denotes location, as in identifying one's location ("My 20 is on Main Street and First"), asking the receiver what their current location or immediate 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").
10-32 Radio check
10-33 Emergency traffic, clear the channel. CB code for Mayday for trucks and police cars.
3s and 8s Well wishes to a fellow driver. Borrowed from amateur radio telegraphy codes "73" (best regards) and "88" (hugs and kisses).
10-36 Correct time ("Can I get a 10-36?")
10-41 Driver is signing on or changing the channel on their radio
10-42 An accident
10 in the wind Listening to the CB while driving (also known as "10-10 in the wind").
10-70 Report a fire
10-100 Restroom break.
10-200 Police needed at ________. (In the trucking-themed movie Smokey and the Bandit, a character jokingly plays off this usage, saying that 10-100 is better than 10-200, meaning that 10-100 was peeing and 10-200 was doing a #2.)
20 Abbreviation of "10-20" seen above.
Affirmative Yes.[6]
Alabama chrome Duct tape.
Alligator Station A user who talks constantly and seldom listens (comic reference to an alligator - all mouth and no ears). Someone who will not shut up. Frequently refers to a powerful local base station transmitting to mobile CBers, often on channel 19. Similar to Bucket mouth/Linear lungs, but a base station rather than a mobile. Sometimes, though rarely, used to refer to a very loud mobile user.
Aye-firmative Variant of Affirmative.
Back Door The rearmost vehicle driver in a group that watches for police officers approaching from behind and gives warning to the others in the group to slow down when speeding. See also Front Door and Rocking Chair.
Back it Down Reduce driving speed to the speed limit.
Back row / Party row An area of a truck stop, generally located in the back of the property, where prostitutes congregate.
Bambi Wildlife on the road mainly Deer. (from the Disney Movie Bambi)
Bear bait An erratic or speeding driver.[7]
Bird-dog RADAR detector.
Bird-dog is Barking RADAR detector indicating that RADAR is being used. ("My bird-dog is barking.").
Billy-Bunn Funny Driver
Bob-tail Semi-truck traveling without a trailer.
Boop Boop/Cluck Cluck Chicken Truck Ways chicken haulers greet each other
Break/Breaker Informing other CB users that you would 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.[6]
Bucket mouth/Linear lungs Someone swearing on CB/Someone who will not shut up. Similar to "Alligator Station", but usually refers to a mobile user rather than a base station.
CB Rambo A radio user who brags about his fighting prowess but won't actually fight.
Chicken Coop The Weigh Station also called a Port of Entry or The Scales, Scale House
Chicken Lights Extra marker lights, usually far in excess of what the law requires. The lights on a chicken truck.
Choke and puke A truck stop restaurant, especially one known for its less-than-quality food.
Comedian The median or central reservation of a highway. As in, "A bear taking pictures from the comedian."
Copy that/Copy Acknowledgement "I heard you" or "I understand."
Cotton Choppers Other people as a group who are referred to as being bothersome or annoying. Often used in a comic fashion. Occasionally used in a friendly fashion as a rough term of endearment to refer to others. Sometimes used to refer to other people in general, especially those who do not use CB radios.
Cotton-pickin' Substitution for foul language (now widely used among the general public)
Crotch rocket A very fast motorcycle (now widely used among the general public).
Do a flip Turn around and go the opposite direction. As in, "That county mountie did a flip when the bear bait went by in the hammer lane."
Double-nickels A 55 mph speed zone.
Drain the Dragon/ The Double D Comic reference for a restroom call.
Driver Generally restricted to someone who drives a truck, not just anyone who's driving
Eat 'em up A restaurant.
Feeding the bears Speeding or driving recklessly.
Fifty-Dollar Lane The inside lane (left most lane) in either direction of an eight-lane highway.
Fingerprint The driver has to load, or more commonly, unload the trailer. That is, to put his fingerprints on all the boxes.
Flip-flop Used by truckers to refer to the return trip or traveling back the other way, especially when referring to going home on an outbound run.
Four/Foe Refers to 10-4, dropping the 10; also "Yeah, Four", "Foe", or "Yeah, foe" (slang for "four").
Flag in five-mile wind A 45-mph speed zone.
Flying The Coop Going though a weigh station without stopping and triggering a port runner. This type of activity is illegal and reckless driving and can result in an arrest.
Fox hunt A direction finding activity using cars and vans fitted with CB radios. The objective of this activity is to use a signal strength meter to triangulate or otherwise locate a hidden transmitter, or "fox".
Front Door The leading vehicle driver in a group that watches for police officers approaching from the front or officers watching oncoming traffic from the side of the road. This driver gives warning to the others in the group to slow down when speeding. See also Back Door and Rocking Chair.
Gator, or Alligator A large piece of tire on the road. From a distance it can resemble an alligator sunning on the road.
#handle, Got your ears on? / Anybody/Anyone got their ears on? Asking if a specific person is listening to a given channel / Asking if anyone is listening to a given channel[8]
Green stamp(s) Cash money (refers to S&H Green Stamps). When used in the singular form, can also refer to a toll road, such as the New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania Turnpikes which are all denoted by green route markers (also a speeding ticket)
Go-go juice Fuel ("I need to get some fuel.")
Groceries Goods being hauled.
Good buddy In the 1970s, this was the stereotypical term for a friend or acquaintance on the CB airwaves.[9][10][6]
Good numbers Well wishes to a fellow driver.
Hand Person, especially a working person like a hired hand. Sometimes used to distinguish a between a driver and one who isn't. ("I talked to a hand who wants to become a driver.")
Handle 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.[6]
Hammer Gas pedal/ accelerator
Hammer down Driving at high speed - or trying to with the gas pedal fully depressed. ("He's got the hammer down!", "I put the hammer down, but this is as fast as it goes."; now moderately used among the general public.)
Hammer Lane The passing lane or the "fast lane". Example: "Don't let smokey see you camping out in the hammer lane, buddy."
Hot mic A CB user monopolizes a radio channel.
Hundred-mile coffee Very strong coffee.
Jabber/Jabbering idiot/Babble/Babbling idiot A CB user transmitting in a foreign language.
Keep the left door closed Make time by not stopping.
Kicker/Footwarmer A linear amplifier used to illegally increase CB transmit power. A favorite tool of Alligator Stations, Bucket Mouths and Linear Lungs. Frowned on by most users.
Lot lizard A prostitute in a rest area or who works the parking area of a truck stop.
Mud Duck A cb user that has a weak signal and they keep trying to talk despite the fact that no one can understand them.
Nap Trap A rest area
Negatory No, Negative (often emphatic, like "Hell no") (also 10-77, or 10-double-7)
On one's donkey Following one too close; tailgating. ("You have a sports car 'on your donkey'.")
Outdoor TV A drive-in theatre.
Over one's shoulder / Over one's donkey The road behind that one has just traveled. ("How's it look over your shoulder / over your donkey?")
Peanut butter in one's ears Oblivious to or ignoring CB transmission
Pickle park A rest area. Sometimes one especially known for prostitution.

(Also can be used to describe large grassy medians on highways. Example: There's a smokey doing flip flops around the pickle park)

Reading the mail Operator is listening but not actively transmitting.
Rocking Chair The vehicle(s) in a group positioned between the Front Door and Back Door drivers. Called the Rocking Chair because drivers in that position of the group can relax while speeding because the Front Door and Back Door drivers are watching for the police. See also Front Door and Back Door.
Rubbernecking/ Rubbernecks/ Rubberneckers Looking at something on the side of the road, causing a backup. People slowing down to look at something, particularly an accident.
Sandbagging Listening to CB conversation without participating, despite having the capability of speaking. This is not the same as listening in using a simple receiver, as the person sandbagging can transmit using the two-way radio, but chooses not to.[11][12] It is for the purpose of monitoring CB users for entertainment or for gathering information about the actions of a particular user. Often, CB users "sandbag" to listen to others' responses to their previous input to a conversation, sometimes referred to a "reading the mail".[13]
Seat cover An attractive woman in a vehicle, especially one who is scantily-clad or wearing sexy clothing.
Semi-pro Pickup truck drivers congregating with truckers.
Thick Stuff Bad weather preferably fog caused by rain or heavy snow.
Three Sisters Three large hills on I-80E between Salt Lake City, Utah and Fort Bridger, Wyoming. (Now used by the general public.) May be related to the “three sisters” rogue wave on Lake Superior.
Triple Nickel CB users sometimes migrate to "out of band" channels/frequencies, most famous one being 27.555 MHz also referred to as "triple nickel", well above the 40ch CB standard allowing for a more private conversation and enhanced radio communications. Modified equipment is usually required.
Turn and burn To return from a destination back to the original starting point of a trip, especially in a hurry and/or non-stop so as not to lose time.
Turtle race Two trucks side by side, one trying to pass the other; but both have speed-governors.
Suicide jockey A driver who is hauling dangerous goods, such as explosives.
Wall Paper A traffic citation/ticket (especially a speeding ticket).
Wall to wall and treetop tall An exceptionally clear, strong signal/transmission.
Watering Hole The truck stop
Yardstick A mile marker or mile post

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, archived from the original on 5 January 2013
  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. 4 August 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  4. ^ "Trucker Slang and CB Radio Lingo". TruckersReport.com. 14 September 2009. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  5. ^ CB Ten Codes
  6. ^ a b c d Howard Jackson, Etienne Zé Amvela (January 2000), "CB talk", Words, meaning and vocabulary: an introduction to modern English lexicology, A&C Black, ISBN 9780826460967
  7. ^ cbslang.com - CB Slang Dictionary
  8. ^ "Got Your Ears On? Listening and Social Marketing". Vivid Image, Inc. 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
  9. ^ Glowka, Wayne, ed. (Spring 2001). "GC&SU Student Slang Project". Milledgeville, Georgia: Georgia College & State University. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  10. ^ "CB Slang and Technical Terms". Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  11. ^ 'The Truckers Place' Truckers Slang
  12. ^ ACBRO Team Inc 1980 – Advocates For Australian CB Radio Clubs And Operators
  13. ^ Getting Familiar With CB Codes, Phrases, and Terminology

External links[edit]