Cops are often targeted by civilians for not doing their job as well as they are supposed to. In this article, we will discover some of these urban slangs for police, funny police names, and why do they call police pigs. There are several urban slang for police, used to shame or demean police officers. These derogatory terms are used by people who are either fed up with the officers not working efficiently, harming civilians on the basis of discrimination of skin color, race, gender, or political differences, or simply because they don’t trust cops. Regardless of the reason, such terms are widely used across the globe. Some of the most popular ones are listed below.
1. Old Bill
Old Bill is a UK slang used for police officers in a degrading manner. Although the origin is unclear, the theory about the Old Bill Comic Character seems to make the most sense. It is an elderly fictional character, assigned the role of a pipe-smoking British Tommy during World War I. Many suggest that this urban slang for police is inspired by this cartoon character. Whatever the origin may be, this term gained popularity due to the influence of television. (See 10 Best Anime Series)
Why do they call police pigs? The word pig is a derogatory term used for those who are viewed as dirty or despicable by others. It is used in reference to police officers with a highly polarizing effect. During the civil turmoil between 1960 and 1970, protestors rebelling against the regime in the U.S. began using the term pig to refer to law enforcement personnel exploiting their power while wanting to maintain order. Pig is a widely used in several other countries often in the same context to express annoyance and infuriation at the tactics used by law enforcement. (See Why Is It Called Jaywalking?)
3. Popo or Po-po
Popo, or po-po, is another one of U.S. urban slangs for police. It is believed that this term was first coined in the United States in the 1990s. People use this when they want to convey a negative sentiment. The word popo is considered street terminology. There are two theories regarding the origin of this word; some suggest po is short for police, while others hint that PO is an acronym for Police Officer. The negative connotation of this word makes it rather disrespectful than descriptive. (See 4 Interesting Black Friday History Myths and Facts)
4. Gravel Road Cops
In reference to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and their days as horseback police, Canadians have come up with a nickname for them. Gendarmerie Royale du Canada or GRC is the French term for law enforcement, giving trolls an opportunity to have a giggle. The GRC title is now used to call these officers Gravel Road Cops which is an implication of the fact that mounted police often patrol around mountains, forests, and other areas away from the city. (See Degradation Ceremony and its History)
5. Bobbies on The Beat
With tall rounded hats and high-pitched whistles, bobbies in Britain are well known in fiction and movies. But how exactly did the police acquire this nickname?
- One theory claims that the founder of the London Police in 1829, Sir Robert Peel, was the inspiration behind this slang. Peel was often called Bob, short for Robert, which made the police be known as Bobbies after him.
- Another theory says that the police personnel received a Bob as their weekly salary. Hence, nicknamed Bobbies.
More Funny Police Names
- Gschmierte (cop) or Schmier (police) is an Austrian German slang.
- Glina is a widely used, non-derogatory Polish term used for police officers of all ranks, criminals, and police officers.
- Hakem is a Tunisian slang for police, which means ruler in Arabic.
- Gura is a Spanish slang word for police used in much of Latin America.
- Khaki Kutta in Hindi translates to the khaki dog, negatively referring to policemen in the khaki uniform.
- Blue Heeler is another urban slang for police, it is used to describe the personality and appearance of police officers in blue uniforms.