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CB Radio Lingo

Updated on July 12, 2013

CB Radio Lingo Book

A number of years ago, I wrote the #1 CB Jargon book, or rather I should say I compiled the book from listening to the truckers and other Citizens Band Radio users that were on the road at that time. CB talk is a very colorful slang and, it was raging across the country. Today it is still used by over a million truckers, but it is not the overwhelming phenomenon that it was in the late 1970s.

The process of the fantastically successful book involved several different stages. The first stage was recognizing a trend. The second was taking action to capitalize on the trend. The third was getting the book printed. Next, we had to sell the book, which involved different ways of marketing. And lastly there was a good bit of promotion taking place as the book was up-dated and revised several different times.

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Recognizing A Trend

Being Aware Of Opportunities

At the time the idea of putting the book together came to me, I was employed as a sales person for a major U.S. corporation. Some friends and I were sitting around talking about how popular citizens band radio was getting to be. I was living in the deep south at the time where it seemed that almost everyone on the road had their ears on (using CB radios).

As I was traveling 13 states in my job and driving a lot of that time, I thought having a CB would be great if my car broke down or I had trouble on the road. So I was the first one in our group that purchased one only to discover that I didn't know the first thing about how to talk on the thing. From listening in, I could tell that you really needed to know the lingo before the other travelers and the truckers would ratchet jaw (talk) with you.

So like many people, I went to the book store to find a book on how to talk the CB lingo. Low and behold! No such book existed. Now at that time I knew that the FCC was totally being swamped by Citizens Band Radio applications. I think it was 500, 000 a month or maybe it was a week, anyway, it was the rage of the country. Bingo! The light bulb turned on for me in a big way and I decided to put together the first ever CB Slanguage Language Dictionary.

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Gathering the CB Jargon

Taking Action On The Trend

First, let me say, that I was smart enough to know that if I had the idea others were thinking about it too. So I knew I had to get my buns in gear and start gathering those crazy CB terms. I'd sit out in my car at night listening to the truckers and others on the road. I got quite a few terms that way, but I realized that I was probably only getting the regional terms and what I wanted was a book that would have lingo from all over the country.

So I enlisted the help of friends and family from different parts of the country. They would hear a term, write it down, and then either call me or mail it to me. This was before cell phones, computers, texting.

Before long, I had a couple of shoe boxes full of index cards with CB slang on them. I kept them in alphabetical order, so all I had to do was just slide a new term into its spot. I can't remember how many terms were in the first book, but it was a pretty thin book.

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Getting The Book Printed

Approaching Publishers

With my first list of terms in hand and compiled into a manuscript, I sent my little manuscript off to a few publishers thinking that they would be thrilled to publish my little book. Surely they knew that CB was a rage that was absolutely sweeping the country. No, no, no and another no. None of the publishers I contacted was the least bit interested in publishing my book.

Not to be thwarted, I went to the bank and borrowed the money to print a thousand copies of my treasure. I can't remember where I first had it printed, I think it was a company in Knoxville, TN that specialized in doing small books

Marketing The Book

Selling The Darn Thing

Following the information in the Lazy Man's Way To Riches by Joe Karbo, I placed some ads in a few newspapers and just like magic, people sent their checks and money orders in to my mailbox to pay for their books. I had a kitchen table operation that wouldn't quit. Soon, I was out of those first thousand books, and I ordered five thousand. Those sold out quickly, and I was ready to find a bigger operation that could get the book distributed nationally.

A firm in New York was willing to distribute the book to all the national book stores like Barnes and Noble, and they even had some publishers that would take it on. I said no thanks but no thanks, and continued to foot the bills for the printing myself. By this time we were printing 100,000 at a time and the book eventually sold over a million copies in its various different revisions.

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Promoting The CB Slang Book

Getting The Word Out Pronto

The books were selling like hotcakes by the time we were ordering 100,000 at a printing, but I was aware that the craze would not last forever so I knew that we had to get the word out all across the country before anyone else got the bright idea to do a similar book and also before the CB rage started to peter out.

The printers in New York knew of a young one-horse PR firm that might be interested in taking on the project. I met with Wendy Owens, the owner and only employee at the time and we hit it off. Wendy put ads in newspapers, contacted radio and TV stations and magazines, and organized a national promotional tour where I appeared as a guest at everything including all sorts of radio and TV shows, CB jamborees, and even did a few state fairs.

People magazine did a spread; imagine being in the same issue with Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman? Newspapers in every major city carried stories. I was a guest with Claude Akins on the Merv Griffin Show and several other popular shows of the day. As the book continued to sell copies, it climbed the New York Times Best Sellers List and stayed in the #1 sport for several weeks.

The project was what many call a once- in-a-life -time success. There were many people along they way that helped pull everything together, but the most important element of its almost unheard of success was that I recognized the urgency of the opportunity and put some immediate effort (massive action) behind the idea.

Today, if you have a book idea, you can sell it on Kindle for nothing. You don't have to go to the bank, borrow money and hope like the dickens that it sells. With Amazon's Kindle, you can write your book and instantly put it out to the world-wide market place. Kindle will be your publisher. Pretty awesome!!

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The CB Radio Lingo - Slanguage Language Book Is Back!!! - In Kindle Format

Well, I am pleasantly surprised! This little CB slang book is solid gold. After updating the book to include current CB jargon, we made it available in the Amazon Kindle format, and the very first day it went live, people started downloading it. I'm thrilled! Do you have books that you poured your heart and soul into? Consider making them available in the Kindle format. They may have many more miles in them yet.

Here Are Some Examples of CB Talk

Another Word For Look; Look at: See

eyeball

eyeballing

got my eyeballs peeled

lay an eye on it

moustache to moustache

put an eyeball on him

shot an eyeball on it (MW)

(Look at Another Vehicle While Driving)

mobile eyeball

(Look At, or For Women)

beaver hunt

beaver patrol

check the seat covers

rubberneck

window shopping (NE)

(Look at Passengers)

check the seat covers

(Look Away from the Road at Trees)

buying an orchard

(Look for Police Coming From Behind)

watch your donkey

(Slow Down to Look at Accident or Break-down)

rubberneck

CB Talk In The Movies

Radio Lingo Book List!

Here is an Amazon Listmania book list for Radio lingo

CB Talk

Do you know any CB Radio Lingo?

Visitor Thoughts

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    • profile image

      Doug48 3 years ago

      I have talked on the Radio since 1976. When I first started yeah we used most of those. But after a year we kind of grew out of it and started talking like normal folk it really gets old. Course I also stopped talking on "Ancient Mary" as well went to Lower Side Band. Can talk farther and clearer and don't have the "Hash and Trash" that is on AM.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      great

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I come from a family of construction and truck drivers, and this makes me think back to when I was young and would listen while in a car or truck to my relatives using the CB!

    • lclchors profile image

      lclchors 5 years ago

      watch out for them bears this is bunwarmer 10 4

      Inspiring story

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 5 years ago

      What an incredible story - I'm so impressed! You did what most online marketers and ebook publishers still cant do nowadays, and you did it without any of the simple tools we have available now... brilliant job - hope the books sells a few gazillion for you on Kindle too!

    • belinda342 profile image

      belinda342 5 years ago

      10-4 Good buddy, Convoy was one of my favorite songs! Chock full of CB lingo, too!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      10-4 but I've forgotten most of it. Love that you researched and wrote the CB Lingo book!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      My very first full time job was working with a long distance trucking co. I learned a LOT of lingo back then, but have forgotten most of it.

    • aksem profile image

      aksem 5 years ago

      What an interesting story. Thank you for a pleasure.

    • marigoldina profile image

      Heather B 5 years ago

      What a success story! I have to admit that I don't know any CD radio lingo at all. I guess I don't listen to the radio enough!