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David Griffith

David Griffith

David Griffith has been editor of POLICE Magazine since December 2001. He brings more than 25 years of experience on magazines and newspapers to POLICE. A Maggie award-winning journalist, his byline has appeared on hundreds of articles in POLICE and other national magazines.

Melanie Basich

Melanie Basich

Managing Editor Melanie Basich joined POLICE Magazine in 2000 (when her last name was still Hamilton). An award-winning journalist, she has covered such topics as agency budgets, officer suicide, emerging law enforcement technologies, and active shooter tactics. She writes and manages the product section of POLICE.
Editor's Notes

Cop Slang: Our Favorite Terms From You

Read our 10 favorite user-submitted "cop slang" terms.

August 13, 2012  |  by

Screenshot: PoliceMag
Screenshot: PoliceMag

In May, we launched "Cop Slang," a kind of Urban Dictionary of law enforcement lingo that captures the colorful, funny, and off-beat language spoken by cops on the street.

We launched it with about 1,000 terms solicited from active and retired officers and invited readers to add their own contributions.

In the past several months, officers have added dozens of great terms worth highlighting—more than 350, in fact. Below are 10 of the very best we've seen added by readers. Check them out, and continue adding your favorite cop slang!

AMF: Need to say goodbye to a not-so-friendly person? Try AMF, or Adios Mother Fucker. It's a "farewell to someone you don't especially like." Thank you, Tim Dees.

Beat Wife: This one is the police version of the civilian "office wife." It refers to "girlfriend(s) you keep at work." This one is popular in the San Francisco Police Department. Thank you, George Ferraez.

BFE: Did you get a radio call on the other side of town? You may be heading to "Butt Fucking Egypt." Shawn, Ted, and YardDogg submitted this one.

Curb Creature: Use this one for that familiar face, the "street creep who's always getting stopped and told to sit on the curb while the cops run a record check." Thank you, Bob Parker.

DWHUA: Motor officers may be most familiar with the syndrome DWHUA, or "Driving with Head up Ass." Thank you, Chris Palmer and Mike Brandon.

Flip-Flop Swap: If your territory includes public pools or beaches, you may need a term for the "theft of footwear usually occurring at public venues in which patrons must be barefoot." Thank you, Mike Garrett.

Holster Sniffer: This one may refer to women who date cops, according to Russ and Ron King. It may also refer to a wannabe cop and "street expert" who "tells real cops 'I was going to be one' or 'I am studying to be one'" and who "relentlessly points out every small violation of law to the on-duty cops when they sitting at home looking out their window." Thank you, Gerard Zlotkowski.

IPS: Use this one to signal a fellow officer that you're moving past casual banter into "Important Police Shit." IPS is used "to differentiate operational information from chatter in a casual conversation. 'Hey, shut up a minute, I've got some IPS.'" Thanks again, Tim Dees.

Robocop: Know an especially aggressive rookie? This nickname may stick to officers who are "stereotyped as strictly enforcing laws and rules without any regard for fairness, extenuating circumstances or explanations from those subject to the enforcement." Yes, it originates from the 1987 science-fiction movie. Thank you, Dean.

Secret Service Syndrome: Use this one for a subject who exhibits a certain nervous habit. It refers to "the act of a suspect constantly looking around to see who is watching." Thank you, Rich Paloma.

Add your definition


PoliceMag Launches Police Terms Dictionary

Comments (43)

Displaying 1 - 43 of 43

Jake Twyman @ 8/16/2012 5:10 PM

Lot Lizard- the often multi-generational parking lot dwellers at various convenience stores who feel that it is their God-given right to hang out in the parking lot for hours at a time.

Robocop @ 8/16/2012 5:25 PM

Now I have been known or called Robocop since '85 simply because I was badly hurt and the Docs did rebuild parts of me with screws, bolts, rods and wires. Not a $6 million man but maybe a million. <VBG>

mike @ 8/16/2012 7:05 PM

cuffem and stuffem

Art Brown @ 8/16/2012 8:30 PM

Lot Lizard used to refer to hookers who hung out at truck stops.

George Lucky @ 8/17/2012 7:57 AM

How about someone with a "PHD". Or Doctor ..... (fill in the name of the individual) When dealing with someone who has a "Personal Hygiene Deficit".

John @ 8/22/2012 3:19 PM

"Polyester Pile-Up!"......a term my son with Phoenix PD uses when describing a grou of cops struggling to subdue a suspect.

John @ 8/22/2012 3:21 PM

Another term my son with Phoenix PD uses is "Conga Line",when describing the line of police cars following a pursuit.

TimFromLA @ 8/22/2012 3:48 PM

I'm not an LEO but I know a few slang:

B.O.: Bad Order
Pop: free
Package: File
AttaBoy: Commendation
Pogue: management
Cop or Copper
Dicks: Dick Tracy?
Boot: Probationer
Brass: Pogue ;)

Robert Duvall @ 8/22/2012 8:41 PM

I remember drawing a circle with a dot in the center on the back of cite. This means (A)dam (H)enry or ASSHOLE

Dave M @ 8/22/2012 8:49 PM

Here in Chicago we used a term for a drunk passed out on the public way: Sidewalk inspector.

pjdonnelly @ 8/22/2012 8:54 PM

Pogue may be from the old Irish "Poge Ma Thoin," pronounced "Pokamahone,' which means kiss my Irish A... I'm fascinated by different PD's slang for firearms. In Chicago, it used to be "beanie" as in I had to screw my beanie in his ear to get his attention. Street slang for a gun was "pipe," like you know where I can get a pipe? In New York it was a"roscoe," "heat," or "piece" In fact, "piece" is almost universal. Cops in Chicago used to engrave their revolvers with names like "Justicia," or "Poison." Girls or women who came on to cops in uniform were "fans,""groupies" or "badge bunnies." In New York, to get help getting promoted, you needed a "rabbi" or "Chinaman" downtown. In Chicago, you needed a "hook," or someone who could "Clout for ya down at da Hall." To be in the "trick bag" was to be investigated or questioned by IA. To be in the "jackpot" or "jackpotted," meant you were in deep doodoo. A "trick room" was an interrogation room. A "prince" was a really good boss, in fact, "Boss" was a term of address for a good supervisor. If you addressed a superior by his title and surname, you were conveying disrespect or disagreement. "A "priest" was a straight arrow cop who didn't cuss. "Rook" was a rookie. In New York, the uniform was a "bag," In Chicago, it was the "blue suit." "White hats" were the traffic guys. A "flamer" was a guy or gal who got rapidly promoted because of their connections. Every trade and profession has their argot.

scott @ 8/22/2012 9:08 PM

We used to say someone wanting to fight with us was hungry for some BTA. Beat That Ass. "Hey that guy is really wanting a BTA sandwich."

George @ 8/23/2012 4:02 AM

The first department I worked for...everyone you came in contact during the midnight shift was called a Zeek....its the last person you want to deal with at this time of the shift. Hey Zeek what you doing behind this building?

Nick @ 8/23/2012 5:12 AM

P.P.W.T. - "Poor pitiful white trash" - common in Appalachia - or the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, probably everywhere I expect. Usually deplorable living conditions although not without satellite TV, cigarettes, and booze.

Scottie DeLashmit @ 8/23/2012 5:51 AM

There used to be two ways to go to jail quick:

PMO = Pissed Me off
GDA = General Dumb A**

Fed Cop @ 8/23/2012 6:29 AM

Habias Grabas = Hook and book

Fed Cop @ 8/23/2012 6:35 AM


POP = Piss off the Police; Jacket = criminal history; Beef = complaint. Most are old terms (except POP) usually heard on 40's movies, and the original Dragnet

T Willard @ 8/23/2012 7:39 AM

getto sled = car lowed with big wheels and loud sound system full of gang bangers.

T Willard @ 8/23/2012 7:40 AM

getto deer = dogs running the bad neighborhoods

scpdblue @ 8/23/2012 7:44 AM

Mexican boxing glove= Knife, Usual suspect=Black male, Sleep inners=People who live off the taxpayers,High rent district=the projects/section 8 areas,Homie mobile=a car jacked up on 22+" rims,Two men and a warrant= three black guys in a homie mobile,Taco=Illegal alien,White trash=Meth head,Confederate suicide warrior= a redneck driving around in a truck with a rebel flag flying. Little Somalia or little Mogadishu = Any housing project,Flying tacos =Illegal aliens fleeing border patrol. Heavy Glock=Hi point Model C 9mm. Nina=9mm,Baby 9=.380acp

Jeff Terp @ 8/23/2012 8:21 AM

I learned this from an instructor from Kentucky State Patrol. Hybrid - an affectionate term for a person where inbreeding has restricted the gene pool to such an extent that de-evolution has occurred.

Mark Tarte @ 8/23/2012 9:58 AM

DWO = Driving While Oriental. (Yes, I know, not PC but too many times true)
RCI = Rectal-Cranial Inversion. The correct medical term for HUA.
ASRT = Assuming Room Temperature
DRT = Dead Right There

Chris @ 8/23/2012 10:43 AM

I'm a cop in the Cayman Islands and I love these slangs posted. whenever we get robberies the description of clothing is always the same, dark long pants, dark long sleeved shirt with a hoodie, so i always pass it on to the other officers, to save radio clutter, by saying he's "wearing the usual uniform".

tony @ 8/23/2012 12:36 PM

Fellony Beer (regular Budwiser) everytime I drive up on any scene there is always Budwiser on a table.

duece for DUI

Sexual Intellectual - Fucking know it all. Usually used for lawyer who get arrested.

Giving me the business - lying to me

Call for a bus - ambulance

Chippy, lot lizard, squeeze - women that hang out at the station house waiting for coppers at the end of shift.

Curt @ 8/23/2012 12:47 PM

Badge Bunny- women that dates alot of cops

Roadside Attorney- the people you stop and think they know the laws and argue with you about it

Road soda- open beer while driving

Moose @ 8/23/2012 1:24 PM

Beer: Wobbly Pops

Staggering drunk near a highway: Speed Bump

Moose @ 8/23/2012 1:26 PM

Having had to take a person to the ground: Gave him a Dirt Nap

Javier Echevarria @ 8/23/2012 3:19 PM

"Screen Test" or "going Hollywood" for those who insist on being noticed for their indiscretion, typically spitting through the patrol car's screen or threatening to kill the arresting officer's family. The phantom squirrel jumps in front of your patrol vehicle and you "must" slam on the brakes to avoid tragically killing that poor little critter, but leave a visible mark of the partition screen on the loud mouth's side of the face.

james worley @ 8/23/2012 5:11 PM

badge bunny is one of the women or young girls that follow cops around they make several trips through our check points and hang out at rhe places we go to eat.

Hunter*2020 @ 8/24/2012 3:34 AM

Everyone seemed to have forgot the new favorite term. "Smarten up" here comes the PO-PO!

James @ 8/24/2012 3:52 AM

CMCEBKLL....Challenge Made, Challenge Excepted, Butt Kicked, Lesson Learned.

James @ 8/24/2012 3:54 AM

BOHICA...Bend Over, Here It Comes Again.

James @ 8/24/2012 3:56 AM

AVANHI...Asshole vs. Asshole, No Humans Involved.

Joe Buda @ 8/24/2012 9:21 PM

Meth Monkey
Lounge Lizard

Margarite @ 8/27/2012 7:14 AM

I was a dope cop in LA, we were Narcos. What's the term in Miami? Tx

Old Fart @ 8/28/2012 3:10 PM

We in the cooler climates still deal with "bumcicles", (frozen sidewalk inspectors) every winter.

Baldy @ 8/28/2012 4:30 PM

One way warrant - For someone at large that killed a cop.

Donorcyclist - someone who operates a motorcycle in an aggressive fashion

POGF - Pre-orgasmic gun fondler. You know who you are

ITH - In the Hole. "Unit Seven Adam is ITH". In the days before GPS, the practice of grave yard shifters who find a discrete place to park and catch up on sleep.

neel606 @ 10/15/2012 7:35 AM

Lot lizards...easily found in dayton ohio!

Hp2431 @ 12/26/2012 5:35 PM

BETM = booger eatin' trailer monkey

Concerned @ 12/27/2012 5:25 AM

We do not need lawyers to see this list it could hurt court cases. Just my thought.

Fel @ 2/23/2013 10:24 AM

Halloween Loop or Sex Offender Roundup- the annual parade of officers doing sex offender checks on Halloween. We had a lot of fun.

Caeden O'Riordan @ 1/22/2014 11:36 AM

Bent badge....a crooked/dirty cop. Incidentally, the original meaning of BFE is "Bum Fuck Egypt"

Eric Guerra @ 2/27/2015 10:55 PM

It's fake. The site, the terms all of it. I mean its gotta be..
One of the reasons being it would literally FUCK YOUR CAREER up. Not to mention how much the city station and county would get heat for the breach of SO many policies im not A Uniformed Officer nor claim to know it all but cmon You know the CONFIDENTIAL oath bull shit agreement you "signed" before you begin your duty with a badge just wipe ur ass with it cuz that's what you're telling the community and the county/state after this bullshit.
No disrespect but if you are that privileged and have that badge its because of the Honor skill and integrity you applied during POST. Apply some of that shit Ur either with it or not, talkin shit is one thing but to publish it....
In any event I'd give anything to be 10-86
But hey I guess then I wouldn't be able to conduct my self like the Degenerate I allegedly am. 10-97 yourself and the words you say before you 68 A 65. I'm just sayin, this is the shit that makes us PUblic Enemy 1 (Law Enforcement)
. A😇

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