Do You Speak the Trucker Lingo?



If pop culture has absorbed anything from the trucking industry, it’s trucker slang being spouted off through CB radios. Think old 70s and 80s movies like Smokey and the Bandit or Convoy.

CB radios were invented in the 1940s and circulated for public use, but became particularly popular among truck drivers in the 1960s. That’s when truckers started breaking off into CB clubs, and eventually a whole CB slang language started to evolve.

Let’s see how well you speak the lingo…



\ˈa-lə-ˌgā-tər\ | noun  (pl. alligators)

1. a re-tread from a tire on the road.

Make sure you dodge that alligator up ahead.

bear bite

\ˈber\ \ˈbīt\ | noun  (pl. bear bites)

1. a speeding ticket.

That guy’s getting pulled over. I bet he’ll get a bear bite.


big road

\ˈbig\ \ˈrōd\ | noun  (pl. big roads)

1. interstate or any big highway.

It’s busy out here on the big road.

cash register

\ˈkash\ \ˈre-jə-stər\ | noun  (pl. cash registers)

1. a tollbooth on an interstate or highway

I’m about to stop and pay my toll at the cash register.


dragon wagon

\ˈdra-gən\ \ˈwa-gən\ | noun  (pl. dragon wagons)

1. a tow truck.

Hopefully the dragon wagon will show up soon to help that car.


\ˈirs\ | noun

1. a CB radio or its antenna.

Do you have your ears on?


flip flop

\ˈflip\ \ˈfläp\ | noun  (pl. flip flops)

1. A return trip or a U-turn.

See you on the flip flop.


\ˈha-mər\ | noun  (pl. hammers)

1. the accelerator pedal.

Easy on the hammer.


pay the water bill

\ˈpā\  ˈthē\  \ˈwȯ-tər\  \ˈbil\ | verb

1. to pay the water bill.

I gotta go pay the water bill.

roller skate

\ˈrō-lər\  \ˈskāt\ | noun

1. a small car.

I think there’s a roller skate in my blind spot!


salt shaker

\ˈsȯlt\ \ˈshā-kər\ | noun  (pl. salt shakers)

1. salt trucks that dump salt on the roads in the winter.

The roads are bad. I hope those salt shakers come out soon!



1. a company terminal.

I gotta get back to the yard! 



How familiar are these trucker slang words? Comment to share any of your favorite words or sayings that aren’t listed here. But keep it PG, please!

Now that you know the lingo, take a quiz to see if you were truly born to drive!

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