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

Updated September 23, 2021 21.1k votes 3.4k voters 267.6k 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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    A "ghetto bird," or sometimes just "bird," is slang for a police helicopter.

    The term is most commonly used in Southern California.

    Is this real cop slang?
  • 6

    Four Fingers

    This one refers to physically holding up four fingers to signal to another cop.

    If a fellow police officer is driving by to check in, a cop can hold up four fingers to indicate that they're Code 4 - meaning "no further assistance needed."

    Is this real cop slang?
  • 7

    Blue Falcon

    A "blue falcon," also known as a "buddy f*cker," is a cop who purposefully makes fellow officers look bad in front of others.

    The term refers to someone who portrays co-workers in a negative light in order to improve their own status.

    Is this real cop slang?
  • 8

    Adam Henry

    The term "Adam Henry" is code for "assh*le." The logic is simple: The term uses the letters "A" and "H." In some areas, officers use the phrase "Alpha Hotel."

    Cops can use this innocuous name to refer to people they don't particularly like: "That dude is such an Adam Henry."

    Is this real cop slang?