CB Radio Slang

CB radio slang is something you usually only hear at truck stops when truckers get bored between their routes.  But when TSHTF and society is in a state of chaos suddenly amateur, HAM and CB radio will become much more popular than it is today. It may even be the only way of communicating depending on the scale of the disaster.  Knowing how to communicate using these tools and understanding common slang terms may become a hot commodity in your community.  You can prepare yourself now by using this guide to practice talking on the CB radio using these popular slang terms.

Popular CB Radio Slang for law enforcement officers
• “Bear” – a law officer. The terms “Smokey” & “Bear” are both direct references to Smokey Bear, a character image commonly seen along U.S. highways. He wears a flat-brimmed forest ranger’s hat very similar to the hat included in many highway patrol uniforms in the U.S.
• “Bear Cave” / “Bear’s Den” / “Bear’s Lair” – a police station.
• “Bear / Smokey in a plain brown wrapper” – a law officer in an unmarked police car. The term “plain white wrapper” is sometimes used, depending on the color of the vehicle.
• “Bear in the air” / “Fly in the sky” / “Spy in the sky” – a police aircraft. While state police often use fixed-wing airplanes to monitor highway traffic, “fly” refers specifically to a helicopter.
• “Bear in the grass” / “Smokey in the bush” – a speed trap.
• “Bear with ears” – a police officer listening to others on the CB
• “Blue Light” / “Blue Light Special” – a law enforcement vehicle, especially with a stopped motorist.
• “Chicken coop” – a weigh station. “Locked up” / “clean” (ex: “the chicken coop is clean.”) means the station is closed.
• “City Kitty” / “City Bear” – Refers to local law enforcement monitoring a particular stretch of interstate which runs through their jurisdiction.
• “Convoy” – a group of 3 or more truckers in a line, usually exceeding the speed limit.
• “County Mountie” – a Sheriff’s deputy car.
• “Diesel Cop” / “D.O.T. Bear” – State Department of Transportation personnel, usually enforcing weight limits and safety rules ( brakes & tires).
• “Disco Lights” – the flashing emergency lights of a law enforcement vehicle.
• “Evel Knievel” – cop on a motorcycle.
• “Full-Grown” / “Full Grown Bear” – a state policeman/trooper.
• “Gum ball machine” / “bubble gum machine” – refers to a popular style of rotating mirror light used by many state police and some other law enforcement agencies at the time, however the term can refer to any law enforcement vehicle. It looked somewhat like the round style of ‘penny’ gumball machines. It was basically a clear cylinder, like an upside down jar, with lights and a spinning mirror system inside. It was usually mounted on the center of the roof.
• “Hacker” – person or individual operating a radio transmission without regard for standard rules or etiquette.
• “Leo” – short for Law Enforcement Officer
• “Local yokel” / “City Kitty” / “Town Clown” – a law officer with a city or township police force, seldom encountered on interstate highways.
• “Mama Bear” – a female law enforcement officer.
• “Miss Piggy” – a pejorative term for a female law enforcement officer.
• “Picture-taker” / “Smokey taking pictures” / “Smokey bear is taking a picture” / “Kojak with a Kodak” – a law officer monitoring traffic with a radar gun. Today, this can also refer to an automated speed camera.
• “Radio Car” / “Super Trooper” – Either a marked or unmarked state trooper vehicle sporting additional antenna on the trunk or sides of the vehicle.
• “Smokey” – a law officer. A “smokey report” is what CB users say when they have information on a law officer, such as location or current activities.
• “Plain brown wrapper”-an unmarked highway patrol car- no emblems or lights on top, of any color, although the generic “brown” may be changed to the actual color of car, example – “plain black wrapper”
• “Candy Car” – Highway Patrol Police Car usually with high-visibility Police decals (Australia)
• “Flash for Cash” – Speed Camera (Australia)

Other popular terms

• “Anteater” – a Kenworth T600/T660 tractor, because of the long sloping tilt up hood.
• “Baboon Butt” – a Kenworth T2000 tractor, because of the grille styling.
• “Back door” – the area behind a vehicle. To say “I got your back door” means that someone is watching another’s back. “Knocking at your back door” means approaching from behind.
• “Badger Bound” – Wisconsin Bound Highway Traffic.
• “Band-aid Buggy” / “Bone Box” / “Meat Wagon” – Ambulance.
• “Bear bite” – A speeding ticket.
• “Beaver” — a woman
• “Big road” – interstate highway, as opposed to smaller highways and city streets.
• “Bob-tail” – a semi-tractor operating without a trailer.
• “Breaker” – telling other CB users that you’d like to start a transmission on a channel. May be succeeded by either the channel number, indicating that anyone may acknowledge (“One-nine” refers to channel 19, the most widely used among truck drivers), or by a specific “handle”, which is requesting a particular individual to respond.
• “Bulldog” – a Mack Tractor, noted for the bulldog hood ornament.
• “Buster Brown” – a United Parcel Service truck.
• “Cash Box” – refers to a toll both or toll plaza
• “Cheese Wagon” – A School Bus
• “Swiss Cheese Wagon” – A school activity bus. So called because they are usually painted white.
• “Half Cheese” – A short school bus, usually for handicapped children
• “Little Cheese” – A small school bus, usually built on a 1-ton van chassis (aka cutaway).
• “Chicken coop” or “Coop” – refers to weigh stations
• “Covered Wagon” – a trailer that resembles a Covered Wagon of the old west, normally used for carrying steel rolls.
• “Come back” – a request for someone to acknowledge a transmitted message or reply to a question.
• “Comedian” – refers to the median between a divided highway.
• “Cornbinder” – a Navistar International truck (formerly International Harvester).
• “Crotch-Rocket Cowboy” – refers to an individual in a sports car driving recklessly. Usually used as a warning to other drivers to watch for erratic behaviour.
• “Dead-heading” – a truck operating with an empty trailer.
• “Double Nickel” – the 55 mph speed limit for trucks.
• “Driver” – a polite form of address used when you don’t know someone’s on-the-air nickname. (see “handle”)
• “Ears” – CB radio (ex: how bout ya JB, got ya ears on)
• “Fender Bender” – a road traffic accident/crash
• “Flash for cash” – a speed camera
• “Flip-flop” – the return leg of a trip. (ex: “Catch you on the flip-flop” means “I’ll contact you again on the way back.”)
• “Four” – short for the ten code 10-4, which means acknowledged, okay, etc.
• “Four-wheeler” – While this is commonly used to refer to a four-wheel-drive vehicle (such as a jeep or pickup), among truck drivers it refers to any vehicle with only 2 axles, as distinguished from an “eighteen-wheeler” (a semi truck).
• “Freightshaker” – another term for a Freightliner tractor
• “Front door” – the leader of a convoy, or the area ahead of a vehicle.
• “Gator” / “Alligator” – a large piece of a truck tire’s tread in the roadway. The name comes from the tire tread’s resemblance to the scaly ridges of an alligator’s back, or the propensity for these pieces of tread to be drawn up between the cab and trailer by the air currents of a truck at highway speeds “like a snapping gator”, and sever the air brake lines between the tractor and the trailer. Most newer trucks have shield plates designed to prevent this.
• “Gator guts”- Smaller pieces of shredded tire usually preceding a larger piece of “gator” or “gator back”.
• “Gay Bay” – San Francisco Bay area.
• “Go-go juice” / “Motion Lotion” – fuel (usually diesel, since large trucks seldom run on gasoline.)
• “Good buddy” – In the 1970s, this was the stereotypical term for friend on CB radio. It now means a male homosexual.[1][2]
• “Good neighbor” – this has replaced “good buddy” as the acceptable term for friend.
• “Got your ears on?” – asking the receiver if they are on the air and listening.
• “Hammer lane” – the far left lane (fast lane).
• “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.
• “Harvey Wallbanger” – a driver who appears to be drunk or is driving recklessly.
• “Hauling fence post holes” / “Hauling sailboat fuel” / “Hauling dispatcher brains” – hooked to an empty trailer.
• “Hitting the jackpot” – Getting stopped by a state trooper. Lights on trooper cars looked like slot machine lights.
• “How ’bout ya?” – a query used when seeking another, usually followed by their CB handle, or some other identifier if you don’t know their handle.
• “How many candles are you burning?” – is to ask ‘how old are you?’
• “I’m / We’re gone” – indicates that one is finished transmitting and may not be listening to the conversation any longer, or may be traveling out of receiving range. Equivalent to “Signing off”, “Out”, or “Clear” in formalized radio voice procedure.
• “K-Whopper” / “KW” – a Kenworth Tractor
• “Kick a tire” – to urinate using the quadruple tractor or trailer tires as cover
• “Kick it in” – what the person who is being called will say on his radio as a response.
(for example….”how ’bout cha Blue Beard. You got a copy on Shamrock?” “This is Blue Beard. Kick it in.”)
• “Kicker” / “Boots” – a Linear Amplifier that is used to boost the transmitting power of a CB Radio above the legal four watts.
• “Kiddy Car” – Refers to a school bus. Some bus drivers have a CB and will say ” Kiddy Car stopping ahead”
• “Lot Lizard” – prostitute, especially one that frequents truck stops.
• “Organ Donor” – a civilian motorcyclist, especially one without a helmet.
• “Pete” / “Petercar” / “Poor Boy” – a Peterbilt Tractor
• “Pickle Park” – an interstate rest area frequented by prostitutes.
• “Pregnant Rollerskate” – a Volkswagen Beetle.
• “Portable Parking Lot” – a car hauler
• “Pumpkin” – a Schneider National, Inc. truck.
• “Put the hammer down” / “Put the pedal to the metal” – Slang for flooring the accelerator.
• “Raking the leaves” – Refers to the last person in the convoy, who would watch out for troopers coming from behind
• “Reefer” – a refrigerated trailer, used for transporting foodstuffs and other perishable cargo.
• “Road pizza” – an animal that has been run over and flattened on the pavement.
• “Rolling refinery” – a tank truck carrying fuel.
• “Salt Shaker” – a snowplow
• “Sandbagging” – a term used to describe the activity of a person 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. 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.”
• “Schneider Eggs” – Orange barrels filled with sand at construction sites to serve as a protective barrier for construction workers against moving traffic. The term is a reference to Schneider, a large trucking company known for its orange-painted trucks.
• “Seat cover” – an attractive female passenger in a vehicle.
• “ShakeyLiner” / “Freightshaker” – a Freightliner tractor.
• “Shakeytown” – Los Angeles, so nicknamed because of the earthquakes that occur there.
• “Shaking the Trees” – Refers to the person in the lead in a convoy, watching out for troopers up ahead.
• “Sin City” – Las Vegas, Nevada
• “Skateboard” – a flatbed truck or trailer.
• “Sleeper leaper” – see Lot Lizard
• “Steak on the grill” / “Put a steak on the grill” – to hit a cow.
• “Suicide jockey” – a truck carrying explosives.
• “Super Slab” – a slang term for a multi-lane highway
• “Tandems” – the rear wheels on a trailer
• “TK” / “Unit” – Thermo-King; refrigerated unit on the front of a trailer
• “The Mistake on the Lake” – Cleveland
• “Twenty” / “What’s your twenty?” – asking the receiver what their current location is. This term comes from the ten-code 10-20.
• “10-100” / “Going number 1” – (polite) Taking a bathroom break, specifically urination.
• “10-200” / “Going number 2” – (polite) Taking a bathroom break, specifically defecation.
• “Toilet mouth” / “Potty mouth” – someone using profanity on the air (on-air profanity is generally frowned upon within the CB community).
• “Wiggle wagon”- A semi truck pulling two or more trailers in tandem.

About The Author

Survival Spot is dedicated to helping everyone learn philosophy and fundamentals of preparedness and survival.

7 Responses

  1. John

    Sweet! I’m riding with a wiggle wagon across the zipper trying to dodge those damn alligators!

  2. SolReka

    Roger roger
    10 10 till do it again, bysey bye lol

    Great blog btw. We certainly do need to prepare for the great changes ahead

  3. livecbradio

    Having a cb radio and knowing this lingo, is many times more effective than the most expensive radar detector. Knowing this lingo could also save your life. 10-4

  4. CB Slang

    Here at cbslang.com, we’ve already seen a resurgence in CB terminology in pop culture. It would not be surprising to see a similar resurgence in radio equipment.

  5. Brian

    Great list and great blog. Continue like this.

  6. M6RTW

    A lot of amazing video and pictures of all types of radio.


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