top of page

Trucker Slang: The Complete Guide

"On my way to the Bright Lights, I saw a bear bait that blew right past Kojak with a Kodak, but Evel Knievel caught him and made him feed the bears!”

"With all those drivers keying up on Sesame Street no one told me to brush my teeth and comb my hair! County mounty almost gave me an invite.”

“10-38 couple miles off your front door just past the credit-card machine. There’s a fender bender with a Four-Wheeler and a Suicide Jockey.”

Any idea what any of these statements meant? At the end of this guide, we will revisit these three trucker statements that you should (hopefully) be able to decipher by then!

Welcome to trucker slang: a distinctive argot developed by truckers on CB Radio in the 1970s and 80s.

Brief History of CB Radio and Trucker Slang:

Truckers frequently communicate on CB Radio (Citizen’s Band Radio), which was originally the way they communicated with each other before even cell phones were developed. CB Radio was created in 1958 after the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) allocated a new block of frequencies for a Citizen’s Band service. Its popularity grew throughout the 1960s, particularly among small businesses that commuted often such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and above all truck drivers. With time, CB Radios became less and less expensive, which coincided with an explosion in CB Radio usage and in turn trucker slang evolved.

You might be surprised to hear that some commonplace phrases originally sprung out from trucker slang. Some popular examples include calling one’s spouse their “better half”, calling one’s home phone their “landline”, and calling the retail chain Walmart “Wally World”. Indeed, truckers not only have a tremendous impact on our national economy, but also our everyday language and culture.

Truckers use CB Radio to warn each other of hazards on the road, but more often than not they tune in to simply pass time on long drives. If you’ve ever listened to CB Radio, you may have struggled with keeping up with the conversation; confusing trucker lingo can go in one ear and out the other to the inexperienced listener!

Whether you’re a four wheeler (non-trucker) or driver (trucker), read the following to become fluent in a secret language marked by its colorful and often racy terms. By reading this comprehensive guide on trucker slang, you’ll be well on your way to talking like a true trucker!

To begin, here’s a short video serving as an introduction to trucker slang:

A Guide to Trucker Lingo

Trucks and non-police vehicles :

Evidently, truckers come into contact with a multitude of different types of vehicles on the road. After all, they drive for a living. Here’s a list of terms truckers frequently use to identify other trucks and non-police vehicles among one another: