Transwiki:List of slang terms for police officers

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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.


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.
Black and White (US)
Usually refers to a police car, but also extends to the police themselves.
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.
Boxer briefs (Greece)
Greek slang. Refers to the police car.


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.
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.


The Gaver or Gavvers (UK/Roma)
Alternatively Cockney rhyming slang for the police - unknown origin - London or Romany traveller slang for the police. Perhaps from 'garda'.
The Guards (Ireland)
Irish Police, from Garda Síochána; (Garda Síochána na hÉireann - Irish for "Guard(ians) of the Peace of Ireland").


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.


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).


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.


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 (US)
A term used commonly by North American youth and rap artists. (compare Po-po)


Queen's Cowboys (Canada)
Royal Canadian Mounted Police; in reference to the Stetson hats worn by RCMP members in ceremonial dress (red serge) and to the origin of the force where they were often the only representatives of the British Crown and later, the Canadian government, in rural parts of Canada.


Shades (Ireland)
Used in Ireland, from plainclothes Gardaí detectives from the 1970s who were recognisable as they commonly wore sunglasses. Common in Limerick.
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.
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".


untouchables (Scotland)
A term often used in Scotland for a mobile squad of uniformed Police, term originates from the 1960s US TV series.


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.