How Much Do You Know About Trucker Slang?

By: Robin Tyler
Image: Donald Iain Smith/Photodisc/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Negatory, good buddy, I have not seen a bear in the air today at all!

Sorry? What did you say? That's just some trucker slang, and believe me when I say that truckers have a slang term for just about everything. Back in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, CB radio was all the rage, and it gave truckers a way to communicate with each other. Truckers developed a special language that still has many people scratching their heads to as the meanings of certain phrases.

But truckers know! And that's all that counts out on the highways of America. Hauling a big rig down the asphalt crossing the United States can be a lonely business. At least thanks to CB-radio, like-minded people could keep each other company, give encouragement, arrange meetup points or organize convoys. 

Do you know how CB radios became popular? Well, it was the '70s gas crises that fueled them. With a national speed limit of 55 mph, truckers used CB radios to communicate, point out police speed points and inform each other cheap fuel stops. 

But just how much do you know about the life of a trucker, especially their slang? In this quiz, we are going to test your knowledge of trucker slang to its fullest. Let's hope you are up to the task! 10-4, good buddy, and good luck!


A trucker having "shutter trouble" is dealing with which problem?

In trucker slang, the eyes are known as "shutters." When someone is having "shutter trouble," they are having massive problems staying awake and certainly should find a truck stop to rest at… or drink some coffee.

"Preeshadit" is trucker lingo for which of the options below?

Well, that was a simple answer. Truckers are a courteous bunch, and "preeshadit" is just a special part of trucker lingo that shows their appreciation.

If a trucker asks another how many candles they are burning, what does he want to know?

Trucker lingo is unique and sometimes reasonably easy to work out. Even if you didn't know what the phrase meant previously, you could pretty much work it out, couldn't you? Yes, "how many candles are you burning?" is a request for your age.

"Reading the mail" means?

Also called "sandbagging," sometimes truckers will just listen to the radio chatter as they drive to their destination. Trucker don't always talk all the time!

In the world of trucking, what vehicle would a "stage coach" be?

Truckers have words for every kind of vehicle possible. They see so many of them on the road during their travels, having lingo for them all just keeps everything interesting, especially when communicating with each other. And in trucker lingo, a tour bus is a "stage coach."

When a trucker says they are traveling to "Sin City," where are they going?

A shining oasis in the Nevada desert, Las Vegas is also known as "Sin City." Interestingly, the name dates back all the way to 1906, according to the Vegas Sun newspaper.

In a trucking convoy, what is a "rubber duck"?

In trucker CB lingo, the "rubber duck" is the leader of the convoy and the most important person in that convoy. Why? Well, the "rubber duck" dictates the pace (usually above the speed limit). The "rubber duck" also gets to call the stops.

When a truck is caught doing "triple digits," what was the driver doing?

Driving faster brings down travel times, especially on long journeys. Triple digits is certainly breaking the law, however, and truckers could face hefty fines if caught doing so.

Codes are often used in trucker slang. What is a "10-1"?

If a trucker reported a "10-1," then his CB radio was not receiving messages properly due to transmission problems. It would probably improve as he drove and picked up the radio signals better.

The phrase "Hunter Niner 45" would refer to which of these below?

In the world of trucking and CB radios, you have to have a handle. Your handle is your trucking name, your identity when you are on the road. It should be something that people remember!

"Driver eastbound on the highway, your truck has a black eye" would refer to?

Highway patrols can be pretty strict when it comes headlights not working properly. And let's be honest, on a dark night when driving a difficult road, you want to see everything. So get that black eye fixed!

A trucker calling in a "10-200" at a location wants who to attend the scene?

A "10-200" is pretty serious. If someone on a CB radio (and it is in all probability going to be a trucker) calls this, then the police are needed on scene. The person calling in the "10-200" should also give accurate directions or exact street names to help the law enforcement get there easier.

What could a "bear in the air" be in trucker lingo?

Truckers would call out police at all times to inform their fellow truckers, even those in the air.

A policeman on a motorcycle is referred to as what by truckers?

That's a great name, don't you think? Although a highway patrolman might not fly his bike through the air like Evel Knievel, they certainly are experts on two wheels.

Truckers call a certain stretch of road in the United States "The Dime." What is it?

Well, you can see the reason why straight away: A dime is 10 cents, and there is the correlation. This highway was completed in 1957 and covers 2,460.34 miles. It is the southernmost cross-country highway in the States.

A trucker in "convoy" is driving in which of the following ways?

To break the boredom and loneliness, truckers love to drive in convoy. Not only can they converse over the CB radio, but generally, convoys tend to travel a little faster, which helps to eat up the miles.

"Radio check… One, two, three." If a trucker says that, what is he doing?

Truckers would often check to see if their CB radios were working properly before they hit the road. This is how they did it.

Any ideas as to what "double nickel" refers to in trucker slang?

Speed limits are a trucker's nightmare, and yes, it is imperative that they stick to them. When you are tired and on a long haul, however, you tend to just want to get to your destination a little quicker. A "double nickel" is a speed limit of 55 mph.

When a trucker drives to "Shaky Town," where is he going?

Trucker lingo sure can be humorous! Thanks to the fact that it lies on a massive fault, the San Andreas, and it is known for the occasional tremor, Los Angeles is known as "Shaky Town."

"Motor City" is slang for which trucking destination?

Without a doubt, Detroit's rich auto history, and the fact that it is still the auto manufacturing capital of the United States today, means that it indeed is "Motor City." It is not known exactly when the name came into being, but by the 1950s, the auto industry employed over 250,000 people, and it was called "Motor City" from then on.

A trucker "going through a cash register" is doing what?

Although they will try to avoid them, paying to use a toll road is an inevitable task for truckers—so much so they developed a slang word for it!

What U.S. city is known as "Cigar City" in trucker lingo?

Well, it's not difficult to see why Miami would be called "Cigar City." People love their cigars there, which is probably in part because Miami has a massive Cuban population.

A trucker who picked up a "sleeper creeper" had what in his cab?

Sex workers are to be found at truck stops all over.

In trucker slang, what is a "comic book"?

All truckers keep thorough log books. These they refer to as "comic books." In them, they record their various journeys, stops and loads. Many now, however, used electric aids to do this.

The term "roller skate" refers to what in trucker lingo?

Trucker slang is incredible, isn't it? I mean, a "roller skate" for a small car. That is just about the perfect term to describe it.

A favorite of truckers is naming highways. Which highway do they call "Double Deuce"?

That's right, a double deuce is 22. The thing is, America's roads have plenty of Highway 22s, so it this nickname is not applied to one in particular but more in a general way.

Truckers don't have much love for "crotch rockets," that's for sure. What are they?

When truckers talk of "crotch rockets," they are talking of superbikes. These, normally of Japanese origin, are fast, sleek machines and nothing like a Harley or Chopper that truckers have more respect for.

From the options below, what does "paying the water bill" mean?

A trucker "paying the water bill" has stopped to take a bathroom break! All those coffees and energy drinks can really play havoc with a trucker's bladder, especially when they are pushing to reach their destination.

What do you think the term "negatory" means in trucker lingo?

Simply, really—"negatory" is classic trucker slang for no. As an example, a trucker might answer "negatory" when asked if he has seen any "Evel Knievels" on the highway.

A trucker reporting a "fender bender" is speaking about which of the following?

The term "fender bender" originated in the 1970s during the height of CB radio chatter. Truckers use it to describe an accident, either one they have been in or one they have driven past.

"I have my nightgown on" means what when a trucker says it?

Trucking is a tiring business. The road can really take it out of a person, and truckers know that fatigue kills, so when you hear one say they have their "nightgown on," they are taking time for some shut-eye.

In trucker slang, what does "Breaker 1-9" mean?

When a trucker wants to start a transmission, they first put out a message specifically mentioning the channel they plan to use. That's exactly what saying "Breaker 1-9" does.

A "trucker award" is what in trucker lingo?

A "driving award" is nothing a trucker wants. It is an acknowledgement, that's for sure, but one of the worst kind—a speeding ticket. And that is something a trucker never likes!

If a trucker is hauling a load to "Music Town," what is their destination?

The home of country music, Nashville certainly fits its nickname of "Music Town." Here is where virtually all country artists come to make their name. Some massive hits were recorded here, including Elvis' "Heartbreak Hotel."

When a trucker says "copy," what do they mean?

"Copy" is an important word in trucking and generally means that someone understands what has been said. For example, a trucker might ask outright "Do you copy?", which means "Do you understand what I have just said?"

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