Glossary of CB Jargon

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Advertising: Description of a patrol car with its lights (including the "Bubble Gum Machine") operating: "We've got a Smokey advertising at marker one-two-seven."

A little bit of help:FCC Rules Extra Power, running an amplifier.

Affirmative: Yes, 10-4.

Alligator: Refers to a retread which has come off a tire and is lying on the roadway. "Watch out for the alligator in the granny land by the one five six mile marker!"

Alligator station: All mouth and no ears, a yapper.

Anchored modulator: Base station operator.

Appliance operator: An in-experienced CB operator.


Back: Term used to tell another you're ending your transmission and want him to begin transmitting to you: "Come back."

Back Door: Behind a vehicle. "You're at my back door" or "I'll cover the back door." Used on highways to establish relative position. Also the designation of the station at the rear of a highway caravan of trucks watching for Smokies coming up behind. See also "Front Door" and "Rocking Chair."

Back Down: To slow down your vehicle's speed by removing or easing up your foot on the accelerator (hammer). "Back down, rocking chair, we have a Smokey coming up behind us."

Back'Em Up (Off): Slow down by pulling one's foot off the accelerator.

Back Out: One of a number of terms used to announce that you intend to stop transmitting and therefore conclude the conversation. "Let me back out of here for now."

Bad Scene: A term borrowed from the youth culture and applied to a crowded CB channel subject to many overlapping transmissions (layers). A real bad scene occurs during periods of high sunspot activity when skip conditions bring in stations hundreds of miles away.

Ballet Dancer: A swaying antenna, usually a bumper-mounted whip or fiberglass ears.

Band Bender: Side Band operator

cb radio cactus

Band Aid Wrapper: An ambulance. Also see "Wrapper."

Barefoot: Using only legal transmitter power: "I'm barefoot." Barefoot or "clean-cut" (the FCC is ruthless about the use of linear amplifiers ‘snowshoes’).

Barley Pop: A beverage made from barley and hops - beer.

Base (Base Station): A CB transceiver located in an apartment, home, or business that is a fixed location, as opposed to a mobile unit installed in a vehicle.

Basement: Channel one.

Bear: Police.

Bear cave: Police station.

Bear in the Air: A state patrolman in a helicopter or light plane who spots and clocks speeders. See "Smokey."

Bear in the Bushes: Police hiding.

Bear Bait: Someone driving over the limit with no radio.

Bear Bite: Speeding ticket

Beast: Unaffectionate term for CB transceiver: "The beast is only putting out three watts." Usually a rig that is not operating properly.

Beaver: Woman or girl.

Be-Bop: Tone signals transmitted by a radio control (RC) transmitter or a selective calling system that turns on a mobile transceiver when the correct code is received. RC signals are heard only on Channel 23, which is a shared frequency.

Big Charlie: Also known as the Big Double-C - the Federal Communications Commission. Originally a ham term.

Big Daddy: Not the benevolent person who helps young lovelies to cope with the world but rather he Federal Communications Commission.

Big Ears: A good receiver.

Big Slab: A big slab of concrete is an expressway.

Big Switch: The on-off control. Usually used in telling another that you intend to leave the air: "Time to pull the big switch, 01' Buddy."

Big Ten-Four: Hearty agreement with what the other operator has just said: "That's a big ten-four, Big Bopper."

Black Water: Trucker's term for coffee.

Bleeding: Interference caused by a station operating on a channel adjacent to yours: "Someone's bleeding on you" or "We got some bleedover." See also "step on" and "walk on."

Blessed Event: A new arrival in the family - a bouncing new CB rig. The cries will come from the spouse who learns what delivery cost.

Blew My Doors Off: To be passed by a vehicle traveling at high speed (usually at greater than the speed limit).

Bootlegger: Illegal radio operator who does not have a license to operate on the frequency he is using. CB bootleggers either do not have a valid station license or use frequencies other than the authorized CB channels.

Boulevard: An interstate highway, also referred to as the "Big Slab."

Boy Scouts: A somewhat less common name for state patrolmen, who are generally known as "Smokies" or "Bears."

Box: A linear amplifier, also known as a "linear snowshoes," or "footwarmer," that illegally boosts a CB transmitter's power beyond the maximum allowed by the FCC: "The rig's gonna sound better soon. I'm gonna get a box."

Break: Often used to initiate communications with another station. Used in a variety of ways,- e.g., break for information (request to anyone who hears the call to respond with information), break for anyone on (request, usually for a Smokey report or road conditions), for anyone on a certain highway, etc.

Breaker: A term, along with "Break," used when a CB operator wants others on a channel to break off routine chatter: "Breaker. Breaker.,, Also refers to the person who is calling: "Hold on, Pink Panther, we got a breaker." See also "button-pusher."

Breaking Up: A received signal is being interfered with for some reason. "You're breakin' up, good buddy."

Breaking Wind: The lead vehicle in a group of vehicles in communication by CB. See also "Front Door" and "Shaking the Trees."

Brush Your Teeth and Comb Your Hair: Phrase used to tell another he's approaching a radar-equipped police car ("Picture Taker"). To look your best means you've got to be legal.

Bubblegummer: A teenage CB operator.

Bug Out: Youth culture term used to politely (?) request someone to leave the channel: "Bug out, breaker" might be used by someone in a group that is hogging a channel. See "Cartel" and "Goon Squad" for them.

Button-Pusher: A breaker who is illegally attempting to interrupt transmissions on a channel by "keying-up" so as to transmit the AM carrier alone. Also, someone who is attempting to interrupt on-going transmissions by transmitting a "break" call.


Cartel: This term is the name of a parlor game, but the game among CBers is called channel hogging, an illegal practice. The group playing the game is known as a cartel.

Cash Register: A toll booth.

Chicken Coop: A weigh-in station for trucks.

Chopped Top: A very short CB antenna.

Chrome Dome: A mobile antenna mounted on the roof of a four-wheeler (car). Used to help another CBer identify your car: "I'm in a blue Dodge with a chrome dome."

City Kitty: A local policeman, also known as a "Local Yokel."

Citizens Band: A band of assigned frequencies in the 11 meter Bandwith which is alot of fun to operate on.

Citizens Band Mid~West: A non-profit CB Club and the owner of these Internet pages.

Clean Cut: An unmodified CB transceiver that complies with FCC power output regulations by not being used in conjunction with a linear power amplifier. An interchangeable term is "barefoot."

Cleaner Channel: A less congested CB channel, freer of interference "Let's find a cleaner channel. Standby while I step down to check out the lower channels,"

Clear: A radiotelephone term that has been used for a long time. To clear the radio channel in use by ending the transmission: "This is K-0-K1-0-4-0, we're clear."

Coffee Break: CBers in an area who get together informally to socialize, usually at a drive-in. Also to provide free coffee to motorists at interstate highway rest areas on long holiday weekends.

Coke Stop: A euphemism for a stop to visit the restroom.

Comeback: A reply from another operator to your call for anyone who might be listening: "Appreciate the comeback, Zodiac, can you tell us how to get to …."

Come on: Phrase used to tell another operator to talk. Used interchangeably with "come back" and "over."

Convoy: A group of vehicles traveling together, -usually at a higher than legal speed.

Copy: To receive a radio transmission with sufficient clarity to understand the message. " I copy, Rolling Stone." "Anyone with a copy, come in."

Copy the Mail: To monitor CB transmissions by others. Also known as "Read the Mail."

Copyright: A legal claim to information or objects. CBMW has a copyright on this information.

County Mountie: A county sheriff or his patrol car.

Covered Up: Interference., usually by another operator using the same channel, causes the received signal to be covered up. Your response is to tell the other operator to "come again" or "ten-ten." Synonymous terms are "walked on" and "stepped on."

Cub Scouts: The local sheriff and his men. Generally they do not grow up to become Boy Scouts (state patrolmen). Cub Scouts also may be called "local yokels."

Cut the Coax: A euphemism for concluding a transmission. Cutting the coax lead from the transceiver would put you off the air if done literally. You're going off the air, which is also pulling the "big switch" or "the plug."


Daddy-0: The Federal Communications Commission, also known as "Big Daddy."

Dirty Side: The bottom of a tractor trailer, usually used when one is seen flipped over.

Dog: A Greyhound Bus.

Double-jointed Corn Flakes Box: A Consolidated Freightways (CF) tractor with a double trailer. Double trailers once were endearingly called "widow makers."

Double-Keying: A practice where an operator will depress the transmit key on his microphone twice in fast succession. May be used at the beginning of a transmission, or at the end, but is illegal in both cases.

Double Nickel: Two five's, or 55, the present speed limit on interstate highways.

Double Van Gogh: Having no "ears." Signal is out or antenna is broken.

Down: Off the air, as in "We're down." Usually used to announce the end of transmission in the senses of "We're gone" or "We'll be on the side."

Draggin'Wagon: A vehicle that pulls another - a wrecker.

Dress for Sale: A lady of the evening or prostitute, also known as a "Pavement Princess."


Ears: CB antennas, especially the pairs that are mounted on a truck: "He's got ears." Also known as "flappers."

Eighteen-Wheeler: A semi-trailer with eighteen wheels.

Eighty-Eight (88): Originally a ham (amateur) radio abbreviation that stood for love and kisses. Sometimes used by CB operators in closing a transmission, particularly as in "Gotta go now, so we'll throw you the three's and eight's." (Three's is a variant of "seventy-three" for "best regards.") Eight's and three's together are known as the "good numbers."

Eleven Meters: The CB band.

Eyeball: To meet personally or to see. Frequently among heterosexual CB contacts: "I'd like to eyeball you." On the road: "We got an eyeball on a Smokey in the grass at marker two-two-zero."

Eye in the Sky: Airborne observation, as by a police helicopter, also known as a "Bear in the Air."


Feed the Bears: To receive a ticket or to pay a fine: "I had to feed the bears." (Had to pay a speeding ticket, usually in "green stamps.")

Fifty Dollar Lane: The passing lane on an interstate highway.

First Personal: Your first name.

Flag-waver: The flagman controlling traffic in a road construction area.

Flappers: Another name for CB antennas, which also are called "ears." Antennas stick out and f lap in the wind.

Flat Side: The horizontal polarization (Going to sleep).

Flat Talking: Talking on the ground wave.

Flip Side: A return trip, also known as the "flip flop," used by truckers and commuters alike.

Fog Lifter: Someone who brings something to a channel - an interesting CBer. See also "Sunbeam."

Foot Warmer: A linear amplifier.

Four-Wheeler: A passenger car.

Friendly Candy Company: The first letters form the acronym FCC Federal Communications Commission - which CBers do not find particularly friendly, generous, or good company.

Front Door: In front of a vehicle. Also, the lead truck in a highway caravan that is the first to spot a Smokey and can give this advance notice to other vehicles. See also "back door" and "rocking chair."

Fugitive: A CBer who's not operating on his favorite channel for whatever the reason.


Get 'em off: Exit ramp.

Get 'em on: Entrance ramp.

Get Out: To get the radio signal out so it can be received by another operator. CBers wondering whether they're getting out ask for a "radio check."

Glory Card: A Class D CB station license. It should be displayed at the base station and the three letters and four numbers of the call sign should be properly used in transmissions.

Go-Go Girls: Truckers' term for honest-to-goodness farm animals - pigs. Why pigs are associated with go-go girls is unknown.

Good Buddy: Like "Ole' Buddy," a term used among truckers and others as a salutation when the other operator's handle is unknown: "Hey, good buddy, we're here over your shoulder."

Goodies: Accessories or extras that sweeten up CB operations.

Good Numbers: Eighty-eight (love and kisses) and seventy-three (best regards): "Time to go now, so we'll throw you the good numbers."

Goon Squad: Channel hoggers, also known as "savages" or collectively as a "cartel."

Gotta Copy? Do you hear me?

Gone: Off the air, often used in concluding a transmission as in "We're gone" or "We gone!" Synonymous with "down" or "on the side."

Granny lane: Slowest moving lane on a highway.

Grass: The median strip of an interstate highway, as in "We've got a Smokey in the grass at marker two-one-eight."

Green Stamps: Money to pay a speeding fine. Smokey: "I'm gonna collect some green stamps." (Catch a speeder and write a ticket requiring payment of a fine.)


Hag Feast: A group of female CBers chewing the rag on a public communications medium to which anyone can listen is known as a hag feast.

Hammer: The accelerator pedal, usually of a truck but applicable to four wheelers and other vehicles as welt. Truckers "put down the hammer" or "hammer down" (accelerate) when Smokies aren't in sight

Handle: An adopted nickname used for identification by CBers; for example, Gremlin, Geneses Bear, "Thanks for the comeback, K-E-D0-5-2-1, what's your handle?"

Happy Number: A good or excellent reading on the relative signal strength meter ("S" meter).

High Gear: Euphemism for the use of a linear amplifier, also called a "box" or "snowshoes," that illegally increases the output power. High gear is equated with high power.

Hammer lane: Fastest lane on a highway.

Holler: A call, as in "to give a holler" to a fellow CBer: "Hey, good buddy, you give us a holier when you get to your home twenty."

Home Twenty: Home location The twenty is an abbreviated ten-code for location "I've been sitting here copying the mail at the home twenty."

How About?: "How about that Golden Eagle?" Used to establish contact with another CBer, usually when calling for a specific person. The more general call is "break" or "breaker.


Idiot Box: Television.

In a short: Soon.

Invitations: Traffic tickets.

Is that a Four? Did you copy? Do you agree


Jamboree: An event planned by CBers, usually a club, at some outdoor location, usually with some combination of food and refreshments, games, activities, CB product displays, prize drawings, and entertainment.



Keyboard: Controls on the front panel of a CB transceiver.

Key-up: To broadcast an AM carrier wave by depressing the transmit key (switch) without modulation (i.e., without a voice message).

Kiddie Car: A school bus.

Kicker: A linear amplifier.

Knock It Down: Go down to another channel.


Land Line: A telephone line.

Legal Beagle: A CBer who abides by all the FCC rules, including the correct use of his call sign.

Linear: A radio frequency amplifier that illegally increases a CB transceiver's output power. Also referred to as a "box" or being with ,,snowshoes" or in "high gear."

Local Yokel: A village or city police officer: the local constabulary.

Lollipop: Microphone. Usually used in discussing how close an operator is holding his microphone. "Don't lick the lollipop" translates to "Don't speak so close to the mike."


Mail: On-the-air conversations that may be heard (monitored) by others. Listening to others talk is usually referred to as "opening the mail" or "reading the mail."

Make the Trip: To get the transmitted signal from the transmitter to the receiver of another station. Often "you're making the trip" in the same sense of "your signal is reaching me," especially when referring to long distances.

Mama Bear: A female policeman or police person.

Man in Blue: A policeman.

Man in Slicker: Not a flasher, who serves himself, but a fireman, who serves others. So named because of the slicker raincoat he wears.

Man in White: A doctor or ambulance attendant.

Mercy: A convenient way of avoiding the use of illegal on-the-air profanity. "Mercy me, that is one strong signal," instead of "Hell, that's one bodacious signal."

Mile Marker: The small signs on interstate highways that tell you the number of miles of highway from the state line where the highway began. A convenient way of pinpointing the location of an accident, a vehicle in distress or a Smokey.

Mobile: A transceiver located in a mobile vehicle, such as an automobile, recreational vehicle, truck, etc. An often asked question is whether the other station is base or mobile. A mobile unit has much more limited range than a base station at some permanent location with a higher antenna.

Monster Lane: The passing lane of an interstate highway, also known as the "Fifty Dollar Lane."

Modulate (with): To hold a conversation over a CB radio channel. "It's been nice modulation' with you." Derived from a radio term which means to superimpose a voice signal on a carrier signal.

Motion-Lotion: Gasoline or diesel fuel.

Moveable Parking Lot: An automobile carrier.

Mud Duck: A weak station. "Got a Mud Duck trying to squeeze through all that chatter."


Negative Copy: To tell another you did not receive or could not copy, his signal. "That's a negative copy. Come again."

Negatory: No, or negative. Used In place of "negative" for greater clarity.

Nickel Channel: Channel five.


OM: Acronym for "Old Man," which could refer either to a husband or to one's father. Originally a Ham term.

On Channel: On frequency.

On the Side: Standing by.

One Time: When a brief exchange is desired on a channel already in use, a call may be made as follows: "Break for that Annie Fannie one time."

One-Way Camper: An ambulance.

Over: End of transmission.

Over The Shoulder: To be behind or at the back door.


Panty Hose Junction: A Restaurant or truck stop with a waitress.

Parking Lot: an inter-city expressway

Peanut Butter In The Ears: A reference to a CBers who either does not have his rig turned on, or cannot hear for some other reason

Plain Wrapper: Unmarked police patrol car.

Play Dead: To stand by "play dead, Pink Panther, we got ourselves a breaker.'

Portable Barnyard: A truck hauling cattle or live-stock.

Postholes, A Load Of: An empty truck.

Pounds: Watts you are putting out.

Prescription: Anything not done according to FCC rules.

Pull the Plug: To get off the air or sign off. "I'm going to pull the plug here."

Pumpkin: A flat tire.

Putting On (out): Used when talking about the amount of power that your transmitter is putting out.


QSL Card: A card exchanged by CB and ham operators with whom they communicated with and received transmissions from.



Radar Alley: Probably derived from Torpedo Alley during World War 11. The name of Radar Alley, however, aptly applies to the Ohio Turnpike (1-90) that is heavily patrolled by bears. They're avid picture-takers who collect lots of green stamps.

Radio Check: A radio interchange in which the purpose is to provide one of the participants with information about how well his signal is being transmitted. Usually the transmitter output is read in pounds (S-meter units). A general call to anyone to provide this service might be: "Break one-nine for a radio check."

Rake the Leaves: The last vehicle in a convoy that watches for police coming up from the rear. See "Back Door."

Ratchet law: A person who talks too much or continuously.

Read: To hear and understand, used interchangeably with "copy." "I read you" and "That's a copy" acknowledge clear and understandable reception of the message.

Red Lights: Brake lights seen on an expressway, especially after it has become a parking lot.

Reefer: A refrigerated truck.

Rig: A CB operators transceiver.

Riot Squad: An unhappy group of neighbors who have television interference (TVI) caused by a radio transmitter in their area - usually that of a ham or CBer.

Rocking Chair: Vehicle between the front and back doors. "You're at the front door, he's at the back, and I'm sitting in the rocking chair." All this person has to do is sit back and listen for Smokey reports coming from the front and rear of the traffic line.

Roger: Popularly known through air force and other war films, the term is synonymous with message received and understood, "copy," and "ten-four."

Roger Beep: A CB’s signaling tone device.

Rolling Refinery: A truck hauling gasoline or oil.

Roller Skate: A small car.


Sandwich lane: Middle lane on a highway.

Savages: Channel hoggers, also known as "goon squad" or "cartel."

Scale House: A truck weigh station. See "Chicken Coop."

Seat Covers. A woman with a nice pair of legs. Usually, a "nice pair of seat covers." Truckers sit high in their cabs, and they see lots of other things as well.

Seventy-three: To send "best regards." An abbreviation originally used by hams, now often expressed by CBers as "threes." Often used in conjunction with "eights" (love and kisses), an abbreviation of eighty-eight.

Shake the Trees: The lead vehicle in a convoy shakes the trees - looks for police ahead. See also "Rake the Leaves."

Shaky Side: Truckers' term for the earthquake-prone side of the country, otherwise known as California. No, the East Coast is not known as the Steady Side, but rather the Dirty Side.

Shanty Shaker: A tractor for moving mobile homes.

Shout: Synonymous with an equally used term, holler. Shout and holler both mean to call another CBer. "I'll give you a shout on the f lip-f (op." It has nothing to do with volume.

Side, On The: To go on standby, listening to what's going on but not transmitting. Often coupled with ten-ten (transmission completed, subject to call) to indicate the operator will respond to a call for him.

Skip: A game played with the FCC meaning to communicate with stations more than 150 miles away by means of radio frequency waves that bounce (skip) off the ionosphere. If the FCC wins this game, you lose your license, and, most likely, some cash.

Skyhook: Originally an amateur radio term for antenna, still used by hams who also operate CB rigs. The more common CB terms are "ears" or "flappers"

Slave Drivers: Another of the many terms meaning a group of CBers who try to control a channel.

Slider. An illegal device for CBers since all Citizens' Radio equipment must be crystal controlled. A slider is a :variable frequency oscillator (VFO) which can slide across a range of frequencies.

Smoke: As in "How much smoke are we throwin'?" Essentially translates to the amount of power output and quality of signal reception.

Smokey (Smokey Bear): State police officer who generally wears a Smokey the Bear style ranger hat.

Smokey on Rubber: A state patrolman on the move (rolling on his rubber tires).

Snooperscope: Related to the periscope but referring to an illegally high CB antenna.

Snowshoes: Use of an illegal linear amplifier to increase the output power beyond the legal limits. One "wears snowshoes."

Stage Stop: A truck stop.

State Trooper Cage: State Police headquarters.

Step Up; Step Down: To go up or down to another channel. Used when moving to another channel because of overcrowding.

Streaking To go full speed.

Sunbeam: When things are rather gloomy on a channel, you're grateful for the sunbeam who comes along with a bright, lively conversation.


Take (taking) Pictures: To operate a radar unit measuring the speed of vehicles, Various police officers - Smokies, county mounties, and local yokels - are fond of taking pictures.

Tear Jerker: From a long-standing slang term, but applied to the person' rather than the story. A person with hard luck stories. Also see "sunbeam."

Ten-Four: Frequently used ten-code acknowledgment that a transmission has been received and understood. A "big ten-f our" means the received message is agreed with by the recipient.

Ten-Roger: See "ten-four" and "roger".

Thermos Bottle: A tanker truck, especially one carrying chemicals under pressure or refrigeration.

Threes: Short for seventy-three's, a term meaning "regards."

Throwing: The act of transmitting, usually used with "pounds" in regard to the power of the signal. "How many pounds am I throwing?"

Tightening up The Rubberband: To accelerate, also known as "Putting the Hammer Down."

Tijuana Taxi: A marked State Police car with lights and antenna.

Trip, The: The distance between the transmitter and the receiver, usually in reference to how strong the signal is: "How am I making the trip?" Also see "putting on" and "throwing."

Turn Twenty: The location of an exit or turn. "Twenty" refers to location. Twenty. Often as in "What's your twenty?" An abbreviation of the ten code meaning "What's your location." Frequently used to establish how far communicating stations are for the purpose of determining the effectiveness of the transmission.


Up There, Down There: Not to be confused with the British television series "Upstairs, Downstairs." Up there refers to a higher numbered CB channel, and down there to a lower channel. Also see "Step Up, Step Down."



Vertical: Vertical ground plane antenna.

Vertical Side: Vertical polarization.

VFO: Variable frequency oscillator. Enables an operator to select any frequency within a band on which to transmit. Used by hams, but illegal for CBers.



Walked On (over): To have a signal interfered with by another signal, effectively preventing it from being understood. "Come again, Blue Knight, someone just walked on you." See also "Step On."

Walking All Over You: Another louder station is covering up your signal.

Walking Tall: Good sounding signal.

Walking The Dog: Talking over a long distance.

Wallpaper: One or more QSL cards usually hung on a wall.

Wall to Wall: There are two widely used meanings for this- One refers to loud and clear reception: "You're coming in wall to wall." The other refers to a remarkable number of police in a given area, such as Radar Alley: "Mercy, good buddy, the Bears here are wall to wall."

Watch Your Donkey: Warning to move (drive) cautiously because of state or local police coming up from the rear.

Waving a hand: Telling someone hello; or asking someone to pass on your hello. "Tell Big Daddy that Shorty is waving a hand at him."

Wheels. "We're on wheels" means the operator in question is in a vehicle.

Wind Jammer. A long-winded radio operator.

Wrapper. The paint color of a vehicle, usually a four-wheeler, used to identify a specific vehicle. "There's a bear in a blue wrapper sittin' at marker one-two-four." Also see "plain wrapper."



X-Ray Machine: Radar equipment of local or state police. See also "Picture-Taker" and "Camera."

XYL: An abbreviation for ex-young-lady, or wife. Originally an amateur term, its common equivalent is OW (old woman).



YL: Abbreviation for young lady. Once married, they become XYL's or OW's.

You Got'Em: Acknowledgment that the person called is responding.



Zulu: The last letter in the Phonetic Alphabet

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