AFSCME Local 3963


Home ] Officers/Meetings ] Links ] Events ] Corrections Officers Prayer ] Alerts and Updates ] [ Guide to Prison Slang ] Legislative Updates ] News ]


    The Correctional Officers Guide to Prison Slang

Due to the length of the Prison Slang Guide it will be offered in three parts.  Look for parts two and three in the upcoming weeks.


ACCEPT - (plea bargain); When an inmate is convicted of a crime they sometimes refer to their sentences as if they had bartered with the judge (i.e. "The Judge wanted to give me 20 years but I wouldn't accept that, all I would accept is 5.")  meaning they would have fought the case and possibly received 20 years but plead guilty in exchange for 5 years.
- (Agricultural tool); A tool used in field work commonly called a hoe (garden hoe).
- (to get); Inmates often use the word aggravated to mean mad possibly give the impression that they are educated.
- An inmate who manipulates other inmates into fights normally for the pure enjoyment of watching the other inmates fight.


BARRED - A term commonly used by inmates to mean that they fear a certain area, person, or to indicate that they have caused someone to fear them or their area i.e. ("You can't bar me." "You're barred from my cell.")
- An opening in the cell doors of most segregation areas which is used to place handcuffs on the inmate prior to opening the cell, or to deliver the food tray to the inmate without having to open the cell door.
- A bag of Maxwell house instant coffee, often used for trading in place of money.
- A term often used by inmates meaning to be the dominant partner (male role) in the performance of sodomy.
- (cooker); A device made by inmates to cook water for food or coffee in the event they don't have a stinger, or hot pot.  It is made by wrapping a large amount of toilet paper around something such as a can, then folding in the top and bottom creating a doughnut shape.  The inside of the bong is then lit and allowed to burn slowly as a can is held slightly above the flame until it is brought to a boil.
- A term used extensively by inmates to refer to officers working as guards (Correctional Officers), this began in the early years of penitentiaries as "Sorry son of a bitch" backwards.  Most of the inmates that are now incarcerated are not aware of this and the term is accepted by officers as a sir name.
- (hog); A term used to mean that a story, normally one that is not true has been believed.  (i.e. "He bought that hog.")
- The state issued work boots that inmates wear.
- Prior to 1987, inmates were given free tobacco that was provided by the RJR tobacco company, a popular brand used to be Bull Durham.  This came to be known as Bull-derm (derm meaning feces) or "Run johnnie run," to the older convicts.  This term has more recently been used to describe any very low grade of tobacco.
- When an inmate has caused another to see his penis either by accident or on purpose, you are said to have been burned.


CADILLAC - A.  (job); Any job that is perceived to be either easy or enjoyable is considered to be a Cadillac job.
                   B.  (tractor); Inmates that are assigned as tractor drivers often refer to their tractors as Cadillacs.
CAKE - (easy); Any thing that is easy to accomplish or jobs that are easy to perform. (i.e. "That's a cake job.")
CAT HEAD - On some units housing older convicts, biscuits or rolls are often called cat heads, the origin of this word is not know, but it is believed that they were referring to the fact that a cat's head is very hard, as are the rolls.
CANTON - (Hisp. House) Hispanic inmates call their cells their canton.
CARNAL - (Hisp. Brother) Hispanic inmates, normally gang members often refer to other inmates of that same gang as carnals.
CASE - A disciplinary report written on an inmate for a rule infraction, derived from court case.
CAT - (job); (See CADILLAC)
- A term used by correctional officers to instruct a group of inmates to stand in pairs for count or control purposes.
CATCH OUT - Any person whether it be an inmate or officer, that could not handle the pressure of any area, and left for this reason.
CELL WARRIOR - An inmate that is continually making threats or ethnic remarks while in the safety of his/her cell, but will remain quiet or very polite while outside of the cell.
CELLIE - A cellmate.
CHAIN - A term meaning that an inmate is leaving (catching the chain) or the bus used to carry inmates (chain bus).
CHECK(ED) - When one person had scolded another person and the person that has been scolded fails to, or is afraid to make a rebuttal, that person is said to have been checked.  If one person continually allows the other to scold him/her without making a rebuttal that person is said to be in check.
CHALK - A crude wine made from yeast, sugar, rice or fruit and water.
CHOW - Any meal is referred to as chow.  Meal time is referred to as chow time.
CHO CHO - Ice cream.
CLAVO - (Hisp. Contraband); A Hispanic term for any type of dangerous contraband, i.e. weapons.
CLIQUE - Any group of people that use their numbers as strength, or any time one person is ganged up on or beat up by a large group of people, that person is said to have been cliqued on. (Also spelled Click).
COP - (plea); When an inmate confesses to doing something wrong they say that they "copped to it", when they accept a sentence they say they "copped a plea".
CROSSED OUT - When a person is taken from a good area, job, etc. for something they claim not to have doen, or for something that they don't feel they should have been blamed for, they say they were "crossed out".
CUT YOUR EYES - Meaning that a person has looked at another person or the items they have through the sides of their eyes, normally thought of as an intent to steal the items or start a fight.


DAG - The performance of anal sex between two homosexual inmates.
DAP - A greeting or way of congratulating another, by pounding the bottom of one persons fist to the top of the others.
DEAD - (killed); When an inmate has masturbated while looking at another, the person that has been masturbated on is said to be dead.
DECK (OF SQUARES) - A pack of cigarettes.
DOBIE - A biscuit or roll, derived from the word adobe (brick).
DOG - (road); What an inmate often calls his friends, the closest friend is often referred to as a road dog.
DOWN - (time #); A term in prison, i.e. "How many times have you been down?"
- (get); When an officer forcibly wrestles an inmate to the ground to be restrained.
-Dallas, Texas
- Punitive segregation, or solitary confinement, where an inmate is placed to serve a sentence for no more than 15 days as the result of being convicted of a disciplinary offense.


ESE - (Hisp.); A Hispanic inmate, as they are normally called by most white, or black inmates, and occasionally by other Hispanic inmates.
- When someone is staring at your or your things they are said to be eyeballing you.


FALL - A. (from); The county the inmate was convicted in "Where did you fall from?"
           B. (partner); The person, if any, that fell from the same county for the same crime is considered a "Fall Partner". 
FAT BACK - Meaning that a person has a big butt.
FIEND('N) - A person that is addicted to drugs is called a fiend.  When that person is begging or in dire need of the drugs including cigarettes the person is said to be fiend'n.
FISHING POLE - A device made from rolled up newspaper or other paper, with a paper clip in one end, used for retrieving items from the runs in front of their cells.
FISHING LINE - Made from torn sheets or string, having a weighted object tied to one end and used to throw down the run to inmates in other cells to pass items.
FIX UP - To give an inmate more food on his tray than the other inmates are receiving, or to do an inmate a special favor that the other inmates will not receive.  "Fix me up."
FLAT WEED - A. (agriculture); To chop grass with a garden hoe, chopping away everything down to the dirt.
                     B. (fight); To lose a fight badly is to get "Flat-weeded", inmates often use this term to mean they were wrestled down by officers.  (Also see SLAMMED)
FLICK - (flix); A photograph, or picture torn from a magazine.
FLIP FLOP - When two homosexual inmates take turn playing the male or female roles.
FRAJO - A term used by Hispanic inmates meaning a cigarette.
FREE WORLD - A. (cigarette); A term meaning any commercial cigarette, as opposed to the roll your own type that used to be bought by inmates prior to the tobacco free environment, due to its inexpensive cost.
                       B. (outside); Life outside of the prison, "When I was in the free world." also called the world.
FUNKY - An inmate that does not shower.


American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
Local 3963
4400 Buffalo Gap Road, Suite 2300
Abilene, Texas  79606
(915) 690-0080