rumble strip

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue May 3 00:54:01 UTC 2011

At 2:08 PM -0400 5/2/11, Eric Nielsen wrote:
>On Mon, May 2, 2011 at 1:06 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:
>>  Joan beat me to it.  Also used for/at the boundary between the
>>  right-most (for Michael Q., that's the so-called "slow" lane over
>>  here) and the breakdown lane -- where it does resemble a strip more
>>  than the "table" before a toll booth -- as a warning to sleeping
>>  policemen ... er, drivers.
>>  Joel
>>  At 5/2/2011 11:44 AM, Joan H. Hall wrote:
>>  >I know them as "rumble strips."
>>  >
>>  >While we are on the subject; what is the term for the rough roadway
>>  >that generates an infernal racket when a car approaches a toll booth?
>>  >
>>  >DanG
>Also used on the side of the road to shake someone into the awareness that
>they're drifting off the road. Sometimes called "drunk bumps".  For more
>roadway word fun, there's also "Bott's Dots" :

Botts dots or Botts' dots, after the deviser, a man named Botts.
Yes, that's what they're called, but in my experience only in
California.  That term is widely used there, but neither the device
nor the term is used that much to my knowledge in the Midwest or
Northeast, although the dots themselves are more frequent than the
term.  I haven't heard them used for the thingies you go over when
you approach toll booths, just for the lane dividers (or shoulder


The American Dialect Society -

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