Transwiki:List of slang terms for police officers
Many slang terms for police officers exist. The terms are also applied by inmates toward uniformed prison staff. These are often used by the public rather than the police themselves. Some are considered offensive (although usually only by the police officers themselves).
Please remove terms from this page as you add them to Wiktionary, so we can work our way through it and eventually delete it.
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- 5-O (Five-Oh) (US)
- Slang for police officers and/or a warning that police are approaching. Derived from the television show Hawaii Five-O or the term comes from the fact that almost all police cars around the nationTemplate:which were the 5.0 liter Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. The old cars used to have an emblem that read "5.0" on each side of the car (this is the same emblem that was used on the 5.0 liter Mustangs).
- Aina (Sweden)
- Slang for police in some sociolects in Sweden.Template:Citation needed
- Asfalt Kovboyu(Asphalt Cowboy)
- Used in Turkey to relate the modern police officers to Cowboys who used to ride horses. Police officers also called Cowboys in Turkey due to their lawless acts.
- Barney (US)
- Term coined after Barney Fife from The Andy Griffith Show.
- Bastards (US/UK)
- A term derived from the prison knuckle-tattoo A.C.A.B (which stands for 'All Coppers Are Bastards'), also used as a lyric by the London punk-band The 4 Skins
- The Bay (US)
- Slang term for Eastern Long Islanders. Derived from the Bay Constable and it is used when someone thinks it's a cop, but it's just the Constable.
- Bear (US)
- Short for "Smokey Bear" in reference to the hats worn by some law enforcement officers similar to the ranger hat worn by "Smokey Bear". "Bear bait" is a reference to speeders, who may draw the attention of the police and allow slightly slower traffic to exceed the speed limit in their wake. "Bear in the Air" is a reference to a police chopper. "Bear in a plain brown wrapper" is a reference to an unmarked patrol car.
- Berry (US)
- Originating from blueberry, referring to the blue uniform most officers wear.
- Boxer briefs (Greece)
- Greek slang. Refers to the police car.
- The Big Big Big Big (Canada)
- Originating in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Referring to an over-inflated sense of power.
- Big Blue Machine (Canada)
- A somewhat derisive term by smaller independent Municipal Police Services in Ontario to describe the perception the Ontario Provincial Police, or any other large regional police service "assimilating" (assuming policing duties and taking on the staff and resources of) smaller police services. The OPP and other services thus extend the ribbing in various jokes derived from the fictional Borg of Star Trek.
- Black and White (US)
- Usually refers to a police car, but also extends to the police themselves.
- Blue Heelers (Australia)
- This is a term used in Australia and is related to a breed of dog, the Australian Cattle Dog. It reflects the personality and appearance (blue uniform) of a police officer. Its use has been popularised by the Australian police drama series Blue Heelers.Template:Citation needed
- Bluebottle (UK)
- A derogatory British term for policeman that may have derived from Cockney rhyming slang and from the action of police when responding to a serious incident, as "swarming like Bluebottle's", or blowflies. ('Bottle' is an abbreviation of 'bottle and glass', which is rhyming slang for 'arse', as in the phrase; 'lost your bottle', for having lost one's nerve). (See also Bottles).Template:Citation needed
- Blue steel (US)
- A slang term used by officers to describe a robotic police aid (usually a bomb disarming or disposal robot), or a police-issue side arm.
- Bœuf (France)
- French for English "beef". Internal affairs who are supposed to "cook" a cop sllowly like beef meat.
- Bófias (plural) (Portugal)
- Derogatory term for police officers widely used in Portugal.
- Bow Street Runners (UK)
- The Bow Street Runners have been called London's first professional police force. They were founded in 1749 by the author Henry Fielding and originally numbered just eight.
- Bull (US/Germany)
- An American term usually used to refer to railroad police but may also indicate regular police officers. Also used in German as a widespread insult for the police officer, sometimes in conjunction with the German word for pig "Bullenschwein".Bully
- Bullymen or Bullyman (Australia)
- Old aboriginal slang for the state police in Queensland Australia.
- (Pronounced Cam-poe) (US/Canada): Is a term used to describe Police/Peace officers whose jurisdiction is a university/college. It is a combination of the title Campus Police. Campo can be used in admiration or as an insult depending on the context. Most commonly used in North America.
- Cherry Toppers, Cherry Tops, or Cherries (UK)
- Often used in reference to police cars which in some nations bear red lights on the top of the car. See Cherry top (slang).
- County Brownie (US)
- A slang term for a sheriff in Indiana because of their brown uniforms and cars.
- Cozzes (UK)
- A term used in Great Britain in order to describe or talk about police officers.
- County Mountie (US)
- Term for the county sheriff and deputies.
- Crackers (US)
- A slang term for the police in Florida especially in south Florida
- Do-do nutters or The Do-dos (US)
- Arises from the stereotype of police officers eating donuts.
- DRC or The DRC
- Dirty Rotten Cop(per).
- Doughnut Shop (US)
- Because the stereotypical cop will be seen eating donuts.
- Farbror Blå (Sweden)
- Uncle Blue Swedish slang, blue due to their appearance (color of their uniform).
- Folks or Tha Folks (US)
- Southern Louisiana, rarely used.Template:Citation needed
- Fuzzy Muff (UK)
- Similar to the Fuzz, popularized by the comedian Sacha Baron Cohen in the Ali G show.
- G-Man (US)
- American slang for federal law enforcement, or "government men." Eventually used to refer to all law enforcement.
- The Gaver or Gavvers (UK/Roma)
- Alternatively Cockney rhyming slang for the police - unknown origin - London.Template:Citation needed or Romany traveller slang for the police.
- The Good Guys (US)
- A reference that the Police act against criminality.
- Gravel Road Cops (Canada)
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police "GRC" is abbreviation for "Gendarmerie Royale du Canada" which is the French name for RCMP, who often work in rural settings with un-metalled roads.
- Grouper Trooper (US)
- Refers to an officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
- The Guards (Ireland)
- Irish Police, from Garda Síochána; (Garda Síochána na hÉireann - Irish for "Guard(ians) of the Peace of Ireland").
- Gumball Machine (US)
- Slang for a police car.
- The Heat (US)
- American; putting the heat on someone. (Example: in the line What a field day for the heat (Stephen Stills, "For What It's Worth" from Buffalo Springfield, 1967), Stills is referring to the police.)
- Heavy or Heavies (UK)
- Cockney rhyming slang for the Flying Squad, from the Heavy Mob, (see also Sweeney).
- Hi-Po (US)
- American abbreviated slang referring to the Highway Patrol.
- Horseman (Canada)
- A Canadian term referring to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Variation: Mounties.
- Jam Sandwich (UK)
- Police vehicle painted white with red stripe.
- Jacks (UK/Australia)
- A common term used for police in the UK and Australia, derived from "John Darme" a joking Anglicization of "gendarme" (French for police officer) and then - per common usage - John becomes Jack (or, in this case, the plural "Jacks").
- Jake (US)
- A common term used and created in New York City, New York.
- John Q. Law or Johnny Law (US)
- Used across the United States. Sometimes shortened to John or Johnny.
- Johnny Hopper (UK)
- Cockney rhyming slang for copper (q.v.)
- Khaki Kutta (Pakistan/India)
- A Derogatory term used for police constables in Pakistan and India literally meaning Brown or Khaki Dog. Derived from the Khaki colour of their uniform which resembles the colour of common street dogs often found in Pakistan and India. This term is often used for crooked or unreasonable police men.
- Term used for police, but more often used for off-duty police officers.
- Lump (Greece)
- A Greek slang. Refers to a police car, because of their roof beacons (Greek Police cars don't have light bars).
- Maison poulaga (France)
- French slang used for both police officers and police stations. Means roughly "henhouse". Poulaga is a slang term for "poulet" cf infra.
- Mama (Maman in south) (India)
- Hindi (Malayalam in south) word which means uncle. Sarcastic reference to a policeman.
- Manaek (Israel)
- Used in Israel, mostly for the Military Policemen.
- Mata (Singapore)
- Used in Singapore. Malay word for eye.
- The Man (US)
- A derisive term popular during the 1960s and 1970s during the anti-establishment and anti-authoritarian movements. Implies that police are a tool of the powerful "man" that is trying to keep others down.
- Member (Canada)
- Used by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to refer to fellow Mounties in place of the usual "officer" or "constable" (or equivalent) in other police forces.
- Ment (Russia)
- Used in Russia. Also more offensive word is used: "Mussor" (pl."mussoraaa"), "Mussorok", "Mussarila" - means "rubbish" in russian.
- The Mustached Pagoda (Canada)
- Originally coined in Halifax, Nova Scotia. A surrealist term summoning from such noted philosophers as AJ Ayer and Josiah Royce, intended as a confusing and some-what ambiguous insult.
- O-Po-Po (Canada)
- A term used in Ontario, Canada to describe the Ontario Provincial Police.
- One Time (US)
- A term, mostly used on the U.S. West Coast, that has been given numerous explanations, including: the idea that if one is arrested, it only takes "one time" to be put away (convicted); and that looking at police officers "one time" is enough to garner their attention and invite harassment.
- Pandu Hawaldar (India)
- Indian constabulary (and not officers) were recruited mostly from village areas. Pandu Ram was a common name in the villages.
- Penelope's (US)
- A slang word for the police term coined by the SF Bay Area rap artist E-40.
- Plain Brown Wrapper (US)
- Most commonly used by truck drivers over the CB radio, in reference to unmarked vehicles and plainclothes police officers, usually of local or state jurisdictions.
- Pigtail (US)
- A slang term used when a police officer stops you or picks you up. "I picked up a pigtail"
- Plastics (Australia)
- Colloquial term used by Australian state police to refer to the Australian Federal Police.
- The Poison
- Obscure term for police.
- Po-lice (US)
- Pronounced Po-Lease, a pronunciation used in urban areas. Can be used in either both an admiring and denigrating form. Also used by Gator (Burt Reynolds) in the film White Lightning
- Po (US)
- A term used commonly by North American youth and rap artists. (compare Po-po)
- Prahare (Nepal)
- Nepalese word for police
- Psy (Poland)
- Polish for "dogs", singular - "pies", squad cars or police vans are often called "suki", which means "bitches", singular - "suka", because there are dogs inside.
- Schmitt (France)
- Used in France, origin unknown (possibly based on German).
- Shades (Ireland)
- Used in Ireland, from plainclothes Gardaí detectives from the 1970s who were recognisable as they commonly wore sunglasses. Common in Limerick.
- Smeris (The Netherlands)
- Used in Dutch (negative tone)
- Smokey (US)
- A term from the CB Radio fad of the 1970s. See "Bear", above.
- Smurfs (Greece/Poland)
- Used in Greece and Poland. Because of the blue colour of police officers is like smurfs.
- Snippers (US)
- An African-American term used mostly in North America.
- Soggies (Australia)
- Australian term for officers of the Special Operations Group.
- Super Troopers (US)
- Became a common name in Vermont for police in that state after the release of the movie Super Troopers.
- Sweeney (UK)
- Cockney rhyming slang for the Flying Squad, from Sweeney Todd, inspiring the television series The Sweeney, (see also Heavy).
- Tit-Heads or Tits (UK)
- Rarely used derogative British term for uniformed police officers originating in the shape of traditional UK police custodian helmet worn by patrolling (male) officers which are or were a similar shape to a large female breast - as in the phrase (to a policeman) "take the tit off your head" meaning "relax" or "imagine you are not on duty".
- Troll (US)
- A term coined in South Florida (Palm Beach County). Made famous by the song "Troll Down".
- Twinrova (Australia/US)
- Rarely used in reference to police cars bearing red and blue lights on top of the car (only in Victoria, Australia and Los Angeles, California).Template:Citation needed
- Tyre Biters (US)
- A term typically used for country police officers because of their habit of being involved with frequent car chases.
- Untouchables (Scotland)
- A term often used in Scotland for a mobile squad of uniformed Police, term originates from the 1960s US TV series.
- as the way vultures pull meat between each other.
- Whoop-Whoop (US)
- Used across the American South & New York City in reference to a patrol car's siren.
- Woolly-backs (UK); derogatory, used by plain-clothes officers in reference to the Uniformed branch.