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 given or adopted by CB radio users are known as 'Handles'.[2][3] Although this practice is all but dead, 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.

Popular terms[edit]

Law enforcement officers and their equipment[edit]

Term Description
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).
Evel Knievel Police officer on a motorcycle (refers to the popular motorcycle stuntman).
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.
Miss Piggy A female police officer (refers to the Muppet character, derived from the pejorative term "pig" for police officers).
Mama Bear A less derogatory term for a female police officer.
Papa Bear Police officer with a CB.
Baby Bear Rookie police officer.
Bear in the air Police officer in some form of aircraft. (particularly helicopters)
Bear (See "Smokey" below)
Bear trap RADAR or speed Trap.
Bear bite/Invitation Speeding ticket.
Bear's den/Bear cave Police station.
Bear rolling discos A speeding police car with its lights flashing.
Blue Light Special A police vehicle with its blue strobe lights flashing (refers to the popular Kmart sale gimmick).
Local yokel A local city police officer.
County mountie A county sheriff or deputy.
Fox in the hen house Unmarked police vehicle.
Kojak With a Kodak Police officer running radar.
Bear with ears A police officer monitoring the CB airwaves.
Flying doughnut A police helicopter.
Chicken coop A scale house (truck scale).
Full-grown bear State police trooper.
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)
Wall-to-wall bears A large number of police vehicles, especially when on a chase.
Taco stand Border patrol check stations on the Mexico–United States border.

Trucks and other non-police vehicles[edit]

Term Description
Aircraft carrier Truck carrying a disassembled aircraft, helicopter or a small plane.
Blinkin winkin/Kiddie car School bus.
Bulldog A Mack road tractor, noted for its trademark bulldog hood ornament.
Bullfrog An ABF truck.
Bobtail rig Truck driving without a trailer.
Buster Brown UPS truck.
Cornbinder/Thirteen Letter Shit Spreader A Navistar International truck.
Dung Beetle A Volkswagen Beetle with a male driver.
Freightshaker A Freightliner truck.
Four Wheeler Any vehicle with only four wheels. Most often used for personal cars/vans/SUVs.
Jimmy A GMC Truck (Big Rig)
K-Whopper A Kenworth truck.
Louisville A Ford L-Series truck.
Meat Wagon An ambulance.
Pete/Peter Car A Peterbilt truck.
Piggy back A truck towing another truck.
Portable parking lot/Rolling parking lot a trailer loaded with four wheelers.
Pregnant rollerskate A Volkswagen Beetle.
Pumpkin/Pumpkin roller A Schneider National truck.
Reefer A refrigerated trailer or flatbed trailer hauling a refrigerated container.
Rolling refinery A tanker truck, typically carrying fuel.
Salt shaker Highway department salt truck.
Scanny A Scania 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.
Thermos Bottle A road tractor with a chemical trailer.
Wiggle Wagon A truck with more than one trailer.
Yard dog, yard goat, or mule Terminal tractor used to move trailers in a shipping/freight yard.

Destinations[edit]

Term: Meaning6
Beantown Boston, Massachusetts.
Big Apple New York, New York.
Bingo or Bingotown Binghamton, New York.
Big D Dallas, Texas.
Cow Town Fort Worth, Texas.
Crashville Nashville, Tennessee.
Derby City Louisville, Kentucky.
Disney Town Anaheim, California.
Flagtown Flagstaff, Arizona.
Fort God Memphis, Tennessee.
Guitar Town Nashville, Tennessee.
Gunspoint Greenspoint (an area of Houston, Texas).
Hotlanta Atlanta, Georgia.
H Town Houston, Texas.
Idiot Island California.
Job Town Clinton, New Jersey.
Lost Wages Las Vegas, Nevada.
Mardi Gras New Orleans, Louisiana.
Mickey Mouse Orlando, Florida (a reference to Walt Disney World resort).
Monkey Town Montgomery, Alabama (Pejorative, of African Americans living there).
Motor City Detroit, Michigan.
Queen City Cincinnati, Ohio or Buffalo, New York.
Rhymes With Fun Regina, Saskatchewan.
Rock City Little Rock, Arkansas.
Shakey City or Shakeytown Los Angeles, California, California (a reference to earthquakes).
Stack of Bricks A house or home ("I'm heading back to my stack of bricks").
Steam Town Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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 San Antonio, Texas.
Windy City Chicago, Illinois.

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. An exceptionally clear/strong transmission is described as "wall-to-wall and treetop tall."
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 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").
10-33 Emergency traffic, clear the channel.
3s and 8s Well wishes to a fellow driver.
10-36 Correct time ("Can I get a 10-36?")
10 in the wind Listening to the CB while driving (also known as "10-10 in the wind").
Affirmative Yes.[6]
Angry kangaroo A truck with one (or both) of its headlights out.
Back door The rear of a vehicle.
Back row An area of a truck stop, generally located in the back of the property, where prostitutes congregate.
Bear bait An erratic or speeding driver.[7]
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 or Linear lungs Someone who will not shut up.
CB Rambo A trucker who threatens to fight another trucker at the next truck stop.
Choke and puke A truck stop restaurant, especially one known for its less-than-quality food.
Copy that or Copy Acknowledgement "I heard you" or "I understand."
Cotton-pickin' Substitution for foul language
Double-nickels A 55 mph speed zone.
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.
Gator A large piece of tire left on the road after a blow out.
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
Go-go juice "I need to get some fuel."
Groceries Goods being hauled.
Turtle race Two trucks side by side, one trying to pass the other; but both have speed-governors.
Starsky and Hutch Police officers.
Fingerprint To unload a trailer by yourself.
Three Sisters Three large hills on I-80E between Salt Lake City, Utah and Fort Bridger, Wyoming.
Good buddy In the 1970s, this was the stereotypical term for a friend or acquaintance on the CB airwaves.[1][2][6]
Good numbers Well wishes to a fellow 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]
Hundred-mile coffee Very strong coffee.
Jabber/Jabbering idiot/Babble/Babbling idiot A CB user transmitting in a foreign language.
Kojak with a Kodak A police officer with a radar gun.
Lot lizard A prostitute in a rest area or who works the parking area of a truck stop.
Pickle park A rest area known for prostitution.
Cash box An armored car.
Turkey hearse A truck with a load of turkeys headed for slaughter.
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.
Four-wheeler Any vehicle with four wheels.
Seat cover An attractive woman in a vehicle, especially one who is scantily-clad.
Semi-pro Pickup truck drivers congregating with truckers.
On one's donkey Following one too close; tailgating. ("You have a sports car 'on your donkey'.")
Outdoor TV A drive-in theatre.
Suicide jockey A driver who is hauling dangerous goods, such as explosives.
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.[8][9] 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."[10]
Wall to wall and treetop tall A very clear, strong signal.
Yardstick A mile marker or mile post
Hammer Lane The passing lane or the "fast lane". Example: "Don't let smokey see you camping out in the hammer lane, good buddy"

See also[edit]

Notes[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". FCC.gov. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  4. ^ "Trucker Slang and CB Radio Lingo". TruckersReport.com. Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  5. ^ CB Ten Codes
  6. ^ a b c d Howard Jackson, Etienne Zé Amvela, "CB talk", Words, meaning and vocabulary: an introduction to modern English lexicology
  7. ^ cbslang.com - CB Slang Dictionary
  8. ^ 'The Truckers Place' Truckers Slang
  9. ^ ACBRO Team Inc 1980 - Advocates For Australian CB Radio Clubs And Operators
  10. ^ Getting Familiar With CB Codes, Phrases, and Terminology

External links[edit]