How Well Do You Know Trucker Slang?


By: Brian Whitney

6 Min Quiz

Image: Getty Images via Andre Kudyusov

About This Quiz

It isn't easy being a long-haul trucker. Sure, sometimes it looks like it might be fun. You don't have a boss breathing over your shoulder all day long, and you're out on the open road, but in reality, the life of a truck driver isn't a whole lot like what you see on Smokey and the Bandit. In the real world truckers spend a lot of their time lonely, eating bad food, and with an aching back.

But there is one thing that truckers have about the most of us, and that is a language all itself. Back in the day before cellphones truckers used to talk to each other over CB radios, part of this was just to pass the time, but it was also so they could let each other know what was going on up ahead, whether that be bad road conditions or a speed trap set up by the cops. Even know truckers still talk to other drivers in their own language.

Do you think what you have what it takes to ace this quiz on trucker slang? It that is affirmative, then get ready to throw in into Georgia Overdrive. Just make sure you stay out of that 50-Dollar lane when you're approaching a Bear Den.

What does it mean to be carrying a load of toothpicks?

If a driver is hauling a whole bunch of lumber, it is known in trucker slang to be carrying "toothpicks." One usually sees this in rural areas where there is a lot of logging done.


What does it mean if you go through the woods?

If you go through the woods in trucker slang, it means you're getting off the highway and taking the back roads. Sometimes a driver would choose to do this if there is an accident up ahead on the highway.


What is a Bear Den?

If you know trucker slang at all, you know that they use the term bear a lot, and it is always to talk about some sort of police officer. A den is where bears hang out. You can probably put the pieces together from there.


"10-4" means what in trucker slang?

This is one of the few sayings in trucker slang that is used in other places. All sorts of people say 10-4, whether they be in the military, or police officers. Truckers say it so often that it had to be included.


What is the 50-Dollar lane?

Usually, trucks don't venture over to the passing lane but when they do they could get a ticket. Back in the old days, a speeding ticket was often 50 dollars, which is why it is called the 50 dollar lane.


Do you know what a Smokey Bear is?

Smokey the Bear was a popular cartoon character that taught kids about firefighters. He wore a hat very similar to highway patrol officers. This is why truckers started calling police officers "Smokeys."


What is a salt shaker?

This one might not be said a whole lot by truck drivers in the South, but in the North, they say it all the time. A salt shaker is a state or town vehicle that salts the roads to help driving conditions.


What is a local yokel?

While there are a lot of different names truckers give to police officers, local yokel is probably one of most insulting. It pretty much means it is a small town cop who doesn't know what is going on.


What is a lot lizard?

While a lot lizard can really be any type of woman that is hanging out at truck stop waiting to meet a guy, it usually means she is doing it for pay. We'll let your imagination do the rest.


Roller skate is the name for what in trucker slang?

Truckers pride themselves on driving big vehicles so it is no surprise they pick a bit of a silly name for a small car. No self respecting trucker would ever drive a roller skate.


What is a convoy?

The word Convoy has always been thought of to do with vehicles lined up in formation traveling but it wasn't until the 1978 movie "Convoy" came out starring kris Kristofferson that the word really became well known. There was a popular song by the same name by C.W. McCall.


What does Roger mean?

Roger used to be radio code for "understood. It was used in the military and other places as well. The letter "R" was the code for received.


What does Bambi mean?

Some of these aren't that hard to figure out and this is one of them. Everyone knows who Bambi is. If truckers see a deer crossing the road they are likely to call them that.


What does it mean if someone is coming up on your back door?

Truck drivers need to use their side mirrors effectively, but even then they don't always know what is coming up behind them. When they are told something is coming up on their back door, it makes them aware of something.


What is the Big Road?

While you might usually see truckers all over the place, the big road is where they most want to be. A trucker is never truly at home in a city, the country or the suburbs. The highway is where it is at.


What might road pizza be?

Well, this one is kind of nasty. You know what a pizza looks like, flat with tomato sauce on it. Then you know what a poor animal that got caught trying to cross the road looks like. Yuck.


What is a CB Rambo?

Rambo was a very popular movie in which Sylvester Stallone played one of the toughest characters of all time. A CB Rambo is someone that only acts tough because they don't have to back it up in person.


When do you pay the water bill?

This one is an oldie but a goodie. There are a lot of euphemisms one can use for using the bathroom, we wont go into them here, but paying the water bill is one of the most pleasant.


95th Street means what?

You might not know much about Interstate 95 if you're from the West Coast, but on the East Coast, it is the most famous road around. It runs from Maine to Miami.


Do you know what negatory means in trucker slang?

Of course a trucker could just say the word no, or maybe even negative, but what fun would that be? Trucker slang even makes saying no sound fun.


When is Merry Merry?

Truckers have the opportunity to say "Merry Merry" to each other more than they would like. Being a trucker is one of those jobs you don't get all holidays off. Not only that but the roads are a lot emptier on major holidays.


Who is a mama bear?

A mama bear can be a mother bear, or a woman protective of her children. In this case though, it means a female cop. Remember, to truckers a bear is always a police officer.


What is the left coast?

One thing is for sure, truckers don't mind saying something that rhymes. The Left Coast rhymes with the West Coast, and that is what we are talking about here.


What is a landline?

The term landline isn't just for truckers, but they might have come up with it first. They used to say the phrase when they were talking on C.B's, now it is popular everywhere.


What might a Kojak with a Kodak be?

This one is just for the old timers in the crew. Kojak was a popular television show way back in the 70s, and Kodak is a type of camera. This phrase means a police officer is pointing his radar gun at you.


What does 'give me a holler' mean?

If you tell someone to "give you a holler" you're really just asking them to say hey to you. not yell at you. Don't take slang literally. Now that is a pro tip.


When does someone have a happy happy?

While it would be nice if you had a happy day every day of the year, and especially on holidays, this trucker slang word is pretty specific. It is said to wish other truckers a Happy New Year.


What are Green Stamps?

A lot of people might not use cash as much as they used to, but a lot of truckers still like to carry a lot of cash. Back in the day most stamps were the color green.


What is someone asking for if they ask for your handle on the CB?

You have to admit that trucker slang wouldn't be nearly as fun on the CB if they went by names like "Brian" or "Phil". Most of the guys that play around with trucker slang have some really cool nicknames.


What does CB radio stand for?

Citizens band radio is a way for people to communicate over short distances over the radio. It is used in over 40 countries. It began in 1945 but was most popular in the 70s.


What does it mean if you have your ears on?

Sometimes trucker slang is so simple that it is cool. If you have your ears on, it just means you're listening. Of course, it wouldn't be nearly as cool if your dad said something like that at the dinner table.


What are you doing if you have your nightgown on?

A lot of times truckers sleep right in the sleeper portion of their cabs. If you're traveling a long distance, this makes for a long day for truckers, at times they never leave their truck for more than a minute or two for days at a time.


What does it mean to eyeball something?

Sure, sometimes this slang is a little bit obvious, but come on, how cool is it? You have to be pretty cool to say you eyeballed it instead of saw it.


What is an Evel Knievel in trucker slang?

Evel Knievel was one of the most famous stuntmen in history. He attempted many jumps on his motorcycle, some of which ended up going well, while others ended up with him in the hospital for months on end.


What is a Buster Brown?

UPS even has a slogan that is "What Can Brown Do For You?" Originally, the trucks were going to be yellow, but one of the owners said they would be too hard to keep clean.


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