Cop, Crook, and Street Slang

The world of cops and robbers is an entity all its own. It’s a culture that lives and breathes in every neighborhood of every city. And, within each individual subgroup comes a separate set of traditions, rules, regulations, and even their own language(s).

To survive in these various social orders, members and visitors must walk the walk and talk the talk that’s associated with each group. For example, to you the word cop might conjure up images of a burly police officer. However, to many criminals cop means to take plea agreement offered by the DA. “I’m not going to take a chance with a jury trial. I’m going to cop a plea.”

Let’s take a peek at a few more of the slang terms used by cops and robbers.

1. Sagging/Jailing (jailin”) – Wearing pants with the waistband so low that the underwear/boxer shorts are exposed. This style actually began in prisons and jails because inmates are often issued ill-fitting clothing. Their jail-issued pants are sometimes much too big which causes them to ride low on the hips.

Some say inmates who wear their pants “low” (saggers) are advertising that they’re available for sex.

2. Chicken head – Someone who gives oral sex in exchange for drugs.

3. Shorty – a nickname for girls/women. “Shorty sure looked fine last night.”

4. Bullet – A one year prison sentence.

5. Ink – Tattoo

6. Pruno – Alcohol made in jail or prison by inmates. Also known as hooch.

7. Five-O – The police. AKA: Po-po, Barney, Bacon, Bear, Laws, Pig.

8. Lot Lizard – Prostitute who works the parking lots at truck stops.

9.. Catch a ride – Share someone’s drugs. “Hey, Dude. Can I catch a ride?”

10. Lampin’ – Hanging out under a street light. Those who do consider that spot as their turf.

Now, what are some of your favorite slang terms?

FYI – We are currently in the process of moving; therefore, blog articles are becoming a bit tougher to write and post (currently, we are without furniture). On Tuesday, once we hand over the house keys to the new owners, we’ll officially be homeless until we find a new place to hang our hats.

 For the next couple of weeks we’ll be traveling, which will, of course, make posting articles even more difficult. I’ll do my best to publish something.

In the meantime, please feel free to chat amongst yourselves.

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Once again, thanks to all of you who helped our grandson, Tyler, in his quest to compete at the World Kickboxing Association national competition. He truly wanted to make each of you proud, and you can see for yourself that he did just that.

7 thoughts on “Cop, Crook, and Street Slang

  • Chief Scott Silverii, Ph.D.

    Great article Lee and as always right on the money. Congrats to The Kid – A champion with a humble spirit.

    There is an app called Cop Slang that has everything you and I have ever heard and so much more. Great resource for writers.

  • Rhonda Lane

    Thanks, Lee. Some street slang seems to morph, but other words stay the same for decades.

    Twenty years ago, TLC used to rap about “shorties” meaning “kids” in their rap “No Scrubs.” However, “Five-0” is still “5-0” almost that many years later. :)

    BTW, Big Congrats to your kickboxer!

  • Lee Lofland

    Just yesterday I heard someone use “shorty” when referring to a woman. That’s what gave me the idea to post this today. Any slang depends on where you are and who’s doing the talking.

  • Tricia James

    As usual, love your posts.

  • Pat Marinelli

    Thanks, Lee. Some of these are totally new to me. I hate sagging. That look is so stupid. Travel safely.

  • Snowprince

    Saggin/Jailin – Everyone booked into County Jail has their belts confiscated and put in their property bag. Even if you’re just in jail overnight before going to court, your belt is gone so your pants will sag/droop.

  • Jenna Blue

    Fascinating stuff, Lee! Some of it makes perfect sense, some is baffling!
    Congrats to your champ & good luck on the move, travel, and subsequent landing!

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