‘Evening all’– a police saying invented by television, spoken by the archetypal British policeman, P.C. George Dixon. But it’s not in this book, because it isn’t real. Instead you’ll find ‘Sarbut’inside?Is that a ‘who’ or a ‘what’? And what are ‘Appointments’, because you won’t find them in a diary. Why would you call someone ‘Bungalow’? And who are the‘Donkey Wallopers’?What does ‘All correct sir’mean, and is ‘Carry on sir’straight out of a film?
Find the answers in this light-hearted little book, which is essential ‘Brummie’reading and lifts the lid on the strange phenomena of ‘police humour’.This book explores more than five hundred phrases, abbreviations and nicknames, spoken by the police in the West Midlands over many decades.
The nature of policing, with its adherence to rules and regulations, as well as procedures and the rule of law implies that formality must be the norm.Notwithstanding these formalities, that must be adhered to when working in an operational environment, the police service, in keeping with many other occupations, has developed its own sub-language and culture, which has been transformed and added to over the decades.
The authors of this little book were born in Birmingham, and worked in the police in the City and wider West Midlands during their extensive service spanning more than seventy years. They have now taken a light-hearted look at the routine use of slang, abbreviations and nicknames in the police service in the West Midlands, from the days before ‘political correctness’to the present day, assisted by the memories of more than fifty colleagues, both serving and retired.
‘Black Humour’is a facet of police culture and in truth it is also one of the many ‘coping mechanisms’ which enable human beings to function in a job which can be hugely stressful, often unpredictable and violent, as well as routinely challenging. Many of the slang phrases embrace an element of ‘darkness’but rarely are, or were intended to be malicious or negative. In an environment where most give ‘as good as they get’ the word ‘banter’ is quite commonly heard. Nowadays some of the content would be deemed culturally unacceptable, but the book represents a piece of social history, and the language represents the culture of its time. As such the authors did not feel that it would be right to apply today’s values to the past.
For simplicity, this collection of over five hundred phrases and abbreviations is presented in alphabetical order, using of course the phonetic alphabet, still routinely employed by officers and police staff to this day.
Second edition with even more phrases…
‘A cracking little book of Police jargon & terminology used in the West Midlands & beyond, brought back many memories for me of my time in the job.’
‘This short book had me laughing out loud , I knew most of the terms but there were a few I hadn’t heard of, I would commend it to officers serving and retired and anyone who has/is working in the police environment. These phrases are part of the police experience and although dark at times are also part of the social history of generations of police officers who served. A great read which brought back some great memories’
‘This made me laugh out loud, and remember some phrases and people from the past. It also shows how things move on as some of the phrases we just wouldn’t use now.’
‘Bought to read on holiday, but ‘accidentally’ read it the other day! 😉
‘The Job’ really *is* the same wherever you are (with subtle variances) & this little gem had me laughing out loud! Look out for the incident that involves the Senior Officer’s table and the explanation given in Court for the acronym ‘NFI’ 😂
Set out alphabetically and phonetically, each chapter is full of insights and shows the (sometimes dark) humour that is to be found in the unique world of UK policing.
Well worth a read, even if you’re not ‘Job’ – I’m sure you’ll learn something and be entertained at the same time.
I’m going to read it again, this time by the pool!’