Are You Fluent in Trucker Slang?


By: Heather Cahill

6 Min Quiz

Image: Andre Kudyusov/Digital Vision/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Language can be difficult at times. But if you've ever spent time listening to a C.B. radio, it's quite likely that you've picked up some slang! Truckers have some unique language that you don't get to hear every day. Some words might be a play on words and others may be some quite unique phrases. It's never a dull moment when you're out trucking!

Do you know what terms like "back off the hammer," "too many eggs in the basket" and "black eye" mean? What about a "cash register" or a "big slab"? Do you know any trucker slang for city names across North America? If you don't, you might have some trouble communicating with your fellow drivers!

Do you think you know the terms used for the technical parts of a truck? What about the terms used for road signs or signals that you might encounter? Think you know the fun terms that are used for random things? Part of the job is great communication skills so make sure you're ready!

If you think you have what it takes to talk to other hard-working truckers around you, then what are you waiting for? Take the quiz to prove that you can talk like a trucker!

If you're told to "back off the hammer," what should you do?

If you're backing off the hammer, then you're slowing down. This could be said for many reasons such as after being warned about an upcoming sharp corner.


What is an "ankle biter"?

An ankle biter is used to reference a child when speaking to other truckers. For example, one might say "Watch out for the ankle biters playing near the street!"


What does it mean if a trucker says that someone "blew their doors off"?

"That 4-wheeler blew my doors off, look out!" is a phrase you might hear now and again on the CB radio. Thankfully, the phrase is not used in a literal sense!


What is a "skateboard"?

Truckers call flatbed trucks "skateboards" which seems quite fitting. After all, they are flat just like the top of a skateboard.


What word is used for a tollbooth?

Another trucker might tell you that you're coming up to a cash register, but it's definitely not a store. It's used for tollbooths that charge you in order to gain access to the road.


Which city do truckers call "Bikini"?

Truckers who say they're heading into Bikini are really saying that they're going to Miami! After all, the city is highly centered around beaches and soaking up the sun.


What is a "bumper sticker" in trucker slang?

If you hear speak of a bumper sticker, then you should back off! This is the word used by truckers to describe someone who won't get off their back or pass them.


What does the phrase "brake check" indicate?

"Brake check" is a warning to truckers coming behind that they'll need to stop up ahead. It's usually due to heavy traffic that is completely stopped.


What is a "crotch rocket"?

You may have never guessed it, but a "crotch rocket" is a term used for a motorcycle! Did you know that it's also used outside of trucker slang?


What is a word that truckers use for a "trailer"?

Truckers call it a "wagon." Listen closely to the C.B. radio and you might hear, "10-4, I'm passing a rig that's dragging a wagon behind. Watch ahead."


If a trucker says they're going to "put the hammer down," what does it mean?

You've heard the phrase "put the pedal to the metal," but truckers say "put the hammer down." Truckers have places to go and things to get done, after all!


What might truckers do to make sure that others can hear them?

"Radio check" is said in order to make sure that other truckers can hear each other. If you ever hear this, be sure to give them a 10-4 so they know they're being heard!


How would a trucker tell you to be safe?

A trucker always wants you to keep the shiny side up. It means that you can keep on truckin' to your next destination and make it back home safely.


Which city do truckers call "Music City"?

A trucker going to Music City is going to Nashville. It is the home of the Grand Ole Opry and country music has deep roots in the city. It's quite a fitting name!


What does "10-4" mean?

"10-4" is used to say "OK." You've probably heard the phrase, "10-4, good buddy, I'll see you next time!" There are a few other variations of the "10" terms as well.


What does the phrase, "What's your 10-20?" mean?

If you're asked for your "10-20" then tell them where you are! Truckers even have slang names they use for cities, so you could say you're in Charm City, or the Gateway.


Where is the "back door"?

The "back door" to a trucker is behind them. It's often used to indicate that something is there. For example, "I'm at your back door so put the hammer down and let's get trucking!"


What word is used for a cop?

If you hear talk about a bear on the CB radio, it's not about the animal! Cops have a few different names that are used among truckers, including "Smokey." There are also many different types of "bears."


What word is used for a U-turn?

Flip-flops are commonly used to refer to U-turns but they have another meaning as well. It can also be used to describe a trip back home.


If you're on the "big slab," what are you on?

If you're on the "big slab" then you're cruising down the highway. When used on the CB radio, you might hear, "I just hit the big slab, I should be off in three hours."


Which phrase is used to indicate that truckers can hear each other on the CB radio?

If you're listening in on the CB radio, you might hear, "You're coming in loud and proud, Falcon!" It's used to tell another trucker that you can hear them well on the radio.


What does this phrase mean: "Got your ears on?"

This is a way for truckers to ask the other if they have their radio on, or if they can hear one another. Make sure you've got your ears on the C.B. when you hit the road!


What word is used for the lights on a cop car?

You've hit the jackpot if you spot a cop on the road. The lights of the casino inspired the name of Smokey's flashing lights!


Which city is known as "The Swamp"?

The Swamp is better known as Montreal, Quebec. The city doesn't sit far from the swamps and lakes from where truckers may have derived its name.


If you've just left someplace, what phrase could you use?

You could say that the place is in your back pocket. When used in a sentence, you might hear, "Dallas, is in my back pocket! See you in the next city."


What is "motion lotion"?

"Motion lotion" is the word used for diesel. Don't forget to stop at the gas station for some motion lotion so you can make it to the next city!


If your trailer is empty, what is it called?

This is often referred to as a "deadhead" to truckers. Some of them may have even been huge fans of the band the Grateful Dead, who use this term for their supporters!


Which term is used for "yes"?

"Roger" is used when truckers say yes. For example, you might hear a trucker say, "Roger that, I'm on my way to the next city."


What term is used to tell another trucker that they're missing a headlight?

A "black eye" to a trucker is much different than what we know it as! If a trucker has a black eye, it means they need to get their headlight fixed as it is not working.


What's a "good neighbor"?

A good neighbor is a friendly term used by truckers to refer to another trucker. It's often used in a thankful way when truckers help one another out. It can be hard out on the road sometimes!


What city is known as "Lost Wages"?

Las Vegas is known for gambling, so it's nickname is related to this. Don't be alarmed when you hear this on the C.B. radio, because now you'll know that it's just about the city!


What does it mean to have "too many eggs in the basket"?

This means that you have a full load, and you can't fit anything else in the truck. On the C.B. radio, you might hear, "We've got a truck with too many eggs in the basket ahead that's letting us pass. Put the hammer down and give him a wave."


If a truck is carrying "toothpicks," what is it carrying?

If you ever hear about a truck carrying "toothpicks" on the C.B. radio, then you know that it's carrying wood. The wood does resemble a toothpick from far away!


What is a "yardstick"?

A trucker might ask, "Hey, good buddy, have you seen a yardstick lately?" It shows the drivers how far they are from the nearest city or rest stop.


What are the names that truckers use called?

Truckers use handles that they make up for themselves. They can be all kinds of things, such as Mud Duck, Snake Scout or Eagle Eye. What would your trucker name be?


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