An initial 4A N2...?

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Sun Jun 30 16:42:20 UTC 2002

In a message dated 06/30/2002 10:02:18 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
douglas at NB.NET writes:

> These things are cute, analogous to those restaurant codes ("86" etc.) and
>  those CB radio codes ("10-4" etc.).

How many restaurant "codes" are numeric, e.g. "86"?

On the other hand, the "10-" codes are numerous and are NOT slang.  In fact
they long antedate CB radio.  I don't know (does someone else on the list?)
where they originated, but they were widely adopted by police departments by
the 1960's.  In fact there was a 1950's television show, entitled (I think)
"Highway Patrol" about the California Highway Patrol in which the 10- codes
were extensively used.

I recall reading an article by a police officer ca. 1969 in which he
discovered, to his surprise, when joining a new department that the 10- codes
were NOT identical to those he was used to.  Apparently the 10- code, like
proto-Indo-European, has developed geographical dialects.

One might argue that the 10- codes were picked up by CB-ers from the TV show.
 Before CB became fashionable and widely discussed (during the 1974 version
of the Energy Crisis), it was used by truck drivers, who quite likely picked
it up from the police with whom they had numerous chances to, shall we say,
exchange shop talk.

The ones best known to the general public:
    10-4          OK
    10-20        present location
    10-200      still another euphemism for certain inescapable body functions

>From 10-200 we get the expression "home 20" meaning "where you are from".

         - Jim Landau

More information about the Ads-l mailing list