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Police Slang You Should Know If You Aren't A Complete Mope

Updated April 17, 2019 20.9k votes 3.4k voters 265k views16 items

List RulesLaw enforcement only: vote up the terms and phrases you actually use and hear on the job.

Every profession has its jargon or code words - but police slang can be particularly colorful. Whether the code words refer to vehicles, the actions of fellow officers, or the behavior of suspects, the slang is difficult for civilians to understand. Which is, of course, intentional. 

Just as gang members use their tattoos as a sort of secret language, cops use slang to openly communicate with fellow officers without arousing suspicion from the public or those listening to chatter on police scanners. While some of the slang here is relatively innocuous, other words and phrases are controversial and potentially offensive, so are reserved mainly for police locker rooms.

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  • 1

    Badge Bunny

    A "badge bunny" is the equivalent of a police groupie. The term refers to someone, usually a woman, who loves to date cops. Some people are just drawn to men (or women) in uniform.

    Usually, a badge bunny will have dated more than one police officer. 

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  • 2

    3 Hots And A Cot

    This one is a euphemism for jail, where prisoners receive three meals each day and a bed.

    Another term for prison is the "Grey Bar Hotel."

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  • 3

    Lot Lizard

    This term refers to a prostitute who works truck stops. While some cops use the term to refer to any sex worker in a trucking area, others make a clear distinction: They say prostitutes work for a living and only court single men, while "lot lizards" are in it for the thrill and don't care if a man is married with kids.

    In a way, they're similar to badge bunnies, but are groupies for truckers rather than cops.

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  • 4

    Ride The Lightning

    This phrase is code for using a taser on somebody, with the "lightning" referring to the weapon's electric shock.

    PoliceOne.com gives this example: "We were fighting this guy and he wouldn't go down. Well, he went down hard after riding the lightning!"

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