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 United States 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).
DOT Department of Transportation enforcement vehicle.
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 A male police officer.
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.
Starsky and Hutch Police officers.
Taco stand Border patrol check stations on the Mexico–United States border.

Trucks and other non-police vehicles[edit]

Term Description
18, or 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.
Bobtail rig, or 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 An armored car.
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.
Corn flake A Consolidated Freightways truck.
Cornbinder/Thirteen Letter Shit Spreader A Navistar International truck.
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 used by 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.
Jimmy A GMC road tractor.
K-Whopper A Kenworth road tractor.
Louisville A Ford L-Series truck.
Meat Wagon An ambulance.
Pete/Peter Car A Peterbilt road tractor.
Piggy back A truck towing another truck.
Portable parking lot/Rolling parking lot A tractor/trailer loaded with new or used cars.
Pregnant rollerskate 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.
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, or mule Terminal tractor used to move trailers in a shipping/freight yard.

Destinations[edit]

Term: Meaning
Beantown Boston, Massachusetts.
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 Dallas, Texas (now widely used among the general public).
The Bubbly Champaign, Illinois
Chocolate Town Hershey, Pennsylvania (reference to Hershey's Chocolates now used by the general public)
Corn patch The Midwest.
Cow Town Fort Worth, Texas.
Crashville Nashville, Tennessee.
Derby City/Derby Town Louisville, Kentucky.
The Dime Interstate 10
Disney Town Anaheim, California.
Flagtown Flagstaff, Arizona.
Fort God Memphis, Tennessee.
Gateway St. Louis, Missouri.
Guitar Town Nashville, Tennessee.
Gunspoint Greenspoint (an area of Houston, Texas).
Hotlanta Atlanta, Georgia.
H Town Houston, Texas.
Indy 500 or Indy 5 Indianapolis, Indiana (reference to Indianapolis Motor Speedway home of the Indy 500)
Idiot Island California.
Job Town Clinton, New Jersey.
Little Cuba Miami, Florida
Lost Wages Las Vegas, Nevada.
Mardi Gras 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).
Nickle Road Interstate 5
Queen City Cincinnati, Ohio or Buffalo, New York.
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).
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 used by 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 San Antonio, Texas.
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 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. CB code for Mayday for trucks and police cars.
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").
10-100 Restroom break.
Affirmative Yes.[6]
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 row / Party 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]
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 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.
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
Fingerprint The drive 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.
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 resembles 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
Go-go juice "I need to get some fuel."
Groceries Goods being hauled.
Hot mic A CB user monopolizes a radio channel.
Good buddy In the 1970s, this was the stereotypical term for a friend or acquaintance on the CB airwaves.[1][2][6] Now the term "buddy" can be used similarly as the term "good buddy" now means a homosexual, especially driver.
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 Nickname for a linear amplifier.
Hammer down Driving at a high rate of speed - or trying to. ("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"
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 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
On one's donkey Following one too close; tailgating. ("You have a sports car 'on your donkey'.")
Outdoor TV A drive-in theatre.
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)

Portable Parking Lot Semi-truck pulling a trailer that carries a number of vehicles, such as new cars or SUVs.
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.[9][10] 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."[11]
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.
Three Sisters Three large hills on I-80E between Salt Lake City, Utah and Fort Bridger, Wyoming. (now used by the general public)
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]

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, 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". 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. ^ "Got Your Ears On? Listening and Social Marketing". Vivid Image, Inc. 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
  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]