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. 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 intoxicated drivers, drivers with valid licenses, 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 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.
"Baby bear"
A very young police officer.
"Bear in the air"
A police aircraft in flight.
"Bear"
A police officer.
"Bear trap"
A police checkpoint, similar to the "Checkpoint Charlie," but concealed.
"Bear bite"/"Invitation"
A traffic ticket/citation.
"Bear's den"/"Bear cave"
A 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.)
"City kitty"
A local city police officer.
"County mountie"
A county sheriff or deputy.
"Panda bear"
A Texas state police officer.
"Polar bear"
A white, unmarked police vehicle.
"Bear in the air/Air bear"
A police helicopter in flight.
"Bear with ears"
A police officer monitoring the CB airwaves.
"Gay Charlee"
A police officer on a motorcycle.
"Flying donut"
A police helicopter.
"Chicken coop"
A scale house.
"Full grown"
A state police officer.
"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).
"Wall-to-wall bears"
A large number of police vehicles, especially when on a chase.

Trucks and other non-police vehicles[edit]

"Aircraft carrier"
A tractor-trailer truck carrying disassembled aircraft.
"Blinkin' winkin'"/"Kiddie car"
A school bus.
"Bulldog"
A Mack road tractor, noted for its trademark bulldog hood ornament.
"Bullfrog"
An ABF truck.
"Buster Brown"
A UPS truck.
"Jimmy"
A GMC truck.
"Freightshaker"
A Freightliner truck.
"K-Whopper"
A Kenworth truck.
"Meat Wagon"
An ambulance.
"Louisville"
A Ford L-Series truck.
"Pete"
A Peterbilt truck.
"Bobtail rig"
A road tractor without a trailer attached.
"Portable parking lot"/"Rolling parking lot"
A tractor-trailer truck loaded with automobiles.
"Pregnant rollerskate"
A Volkswagen Beetle.
"Dung Beetle"
A Volkswagen Beetle with a male driver.
"Pumpkin"/"Pumpkin roller"
A Schneider National truck.
"Thermos bottle"
A road tractor with a chemical trailer.
"Reefer"
A refrigerated trailer or flatbed trailer hauling a refrigerated container.
"Skateboard"
A straight, flatbed trailer.
"Scanny"
A Scania truck. There are around 500 in the United States [clarification needed]. It's very rare, so it's used only in social media (truck pages in Facebook, YouTube, etc.).
"Super Chicken"
A Yellow Freight truck.
"Rolling refinery"
A tanker truck, typically carrying fuel.
"Piggy back"
A truck towing another truck.
"Yard goat"
Road tractor used to move trailers in a shipping/freight yard.

Destinations[edit]

"Beantown"
Boston, Massachusetts
"Big D"
Dallas, Texas
"Cow Town"
Okeechobee, Florida
"Disney Town"
Anaheim, California and the surrounding areas (a reference to the Disneyland Resort).
"Fort God"
A large church outside Memphis, Tennessee.
"Guitar Town"
Nashville, Tennessee
"Gunspoint"
Greenspoint suburb of Houston, Texas.
"Hotlanta"
Atlanta, Georgia
"Idiot Island"
California
"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
"Motor City"
Detroit, Michigan
"Queen City"
Cincinnati, Ohio
"Pizza and Murder"
Chicago, Illinois
"Rock City"
Little Rock, Arkansas
"Shakey City or Shakeytown"
Los Angeles, California (a reference to earthquakes).
"Stack of Bricks"
A house or home. ("I'm heading back to my stack of bricks.")
"The Sticker Patch"
Phoenix, Arizona (a reference to cacti in the area).
"T Town"
Texarkana, Texas/Arkansas; Tulsa, Oklahoma
"Taco Town"
San Antonio, Texas
"Windy City"
Chicago, Illinois

Other popular terms[edit]

"01"
The first pick-up or delivery stop on a run.
"02, 03, 04, etc."
Subsequent pick-up or delivery stops on a run.
"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"
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" (sometimes simply "4")
Acknowledged; can also be used to denote or emphasize an agreement ("That's a big 10-4.").
"10-6"
Busy; stand by.[6]
"10-7"
Out of commission.
"10-8"
In service; taking calls.
"10-9"
Repeat, usually requested.
"10-10"
CB user will cease 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").
"10-33"
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 singer 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.").
"3s and 8s"
Love and kisses.
"10-36"
The time of day. ("Can I get a 10-36?")
"10-51"
"I'm headed your way." ("I'm 51 to you.")
"10-100" (polite)
Taking a bathroom break, especially on the side of the road. Refers to showing one finger to denote the need to urinate.
"10-200"
Police needed at a certain location.
"10 in the wind"
Listening to the CB while driving (also known as "10-10 in the wind").
"99"
The final pick-up or delivery stop on a run.
"Affirmative"
Yes.[7]
"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.[8]
"Break/Breaker"
Informing 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]
"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'"
A polite way of showing disgust.
"Double-nickels"
Refers to a speed limit of 55 mph.
"Eat 'em up"
A restaurant.
"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.
"Green stamps"
Cash money (refers to S & H Green Stamps).
"Go-go juice"
Gasoline or diesel fuel.
"Groceries"
A meal.
"Turtle race"
A speed zone slower than 45 mph.
"Starsky and Hutch"
Two drivers together as a team.
"Fingerprint"
To load or unload one's own cargo.
"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 the CB airwaves. In the late 80s and early 90s, it usually indicated a same-sex significant other.[1][2][7]
"Good numbers/3s and 8s"
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.[7]
"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.
"Credit card machine"
A narrow two-lane bridge.
"Fighter pilot"
A driver who constantly changes lanes.
"Pickle park"
A rest area.
"Cash box"
A toll booth.
"Turkey hearse"
A truck with a load of turkeys headed for slaughter.
"Rubbernecking"
Looking at something on the side of the road, causing a backup.
"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.[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]

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. ^ 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. ^ cbslang.com - CB Slang Dictionary
  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]