Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How to Talk Like a Trucker

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After national talk-like-a-pirate-day became ridiculously popular, it was only natural that national talk-like-a-ninja-day would be commissioned.... except, no one knows how ninjas talk! They're just so dad-gum secretive. So instead, we've commissioned national talk-like-a-trucker-day, which is to be celebrated on October 14th, which coincidentally is the day I got my CDL.

To help you talk like a real trucker, I've gathered together some of the slang and jargon I've heard and used over the years. Read on!

10-4: This one means "Okey dokey". Sometimes it's said as "10-4 good buddy", but usually that's only in the movies. Lately, some people have been abbreviating it to just "10".

Breaker one nine: This one means, "I want to say something and I think I'm on channel 19." Channel 19 is the common channel that most everyone uses, and now and then someone will break in because they have something to say and don't want to be interrupted. Some people abuse this to spam, and need to have their radios confiscated, because spamming the CB is illegal. This phrase is so well known that regular people will use it, even when they're on a different channel than 19, as one of my Coast Guard friends reports.

What's your Twenty: Where are you?

Bear, Smoky, or Smoky Bear: This is a cop. There are actually several different kinds of cops, and each has it's own special term.
   Diesel Weasel: This is a DOT cop, who is out there to mess with truckers and little else. Also referred to as diesel bears.
   Chicken coop: Not a cop, but rather a weigh station, where you tend to have a lot of diesel bears hanging out.
   Full-grown bear: This is a state trooper. Sometimes you hear the term super-trooper used to describe them.
   County Mounty: A county sheriff
   Evel Knievel: Motorcycle cop
   Plain brown wrapper: Unmarked police car. Sometimes they're referred to by their actual color, usually white.
   Kojak with a Kodak: A cop with a radar gun or laser gun, which may or may not be connected to a camera, and he's aimed it at traffic.
   Bear in the air: A police helicopter.

Pickle park: Rest area

Skateboard: flatbed truck

Big truck: a semi-truck. You hear this one a suprising amount of the time, even though 99% of the time when someone's talking about a truck, that's what they're talking about.

The roads themselves have a few terms:
   Get-off: Exit ramp
   Get-on: Entrance ramp
   Hammer lane: Left Lane
   Slow lane: Right Lane
   Granny lane: An extra slow lane provided for getting up hills
   Zipper: the dotted line in the middle of the road

Lot lizard: Prostitute

Four wheeler: Car, pickup, van, motor home. Anything that isn't a truck of some sort.

Yardstick: Mile marker

Gator: Tire tread in the middle of the road

Brake check: Everyone ahead is slowing down, probably for no reason

Granny gear: the lowest gear the truck has

Jake Brake: This is that throaty growling sound you hear when some trucks decelerate, known as an engine brake.

Hammer down/

All right, that's all I've got for now. As I discover more, I'll update this post.

In the meantime, I've linked up a few toy trucks (and a Transformer). I was hoping to find some matchbox trucks or something of that nature like I used to have when I was little, but this was all I could find. Perhaps by the time you click on the link, they'll have one you can find.

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