Cop Talk: Crime Writer’s Dictionary F – I

We’ll continue with the dictionary today. I’ve found this reference indispensable. My hope is that you will too. If you missed part one of this series you can find it here. As a reminder, this dictionary was created by Lee Lofland, veteran officer/detective/K9 handler and the author of Police Procedural and Investigation: A Guide for Writersand many other worthwhile reads. To find out more about Lee’s books click the title. It will bring you to his author’s page.

“Get small, Spanky, Jr., here comes a ghetto bird!”

“We’d better jet, Spanky, Jr. Here comes Pork Chop Ledbetter and he’s totin’ that nine with one in the pipe!”

Not familiar with the above terminology? No problem. Here’s F through I from Lee Lofland’s handy-dandy, mini crime writer’s dictionary.



Fact-finder: Judge or jury charged with determining the facts of a court proceeding.

FADARSitting on the side of the road giving the appearance of running radar, but with absolutely no intention of stopping a car. It’s a great tactic for reducing the speed of travelers. It’s also a great time to read a few pages from a favorite novel.

False Arrest: Unlawful restraint of one’s personal liberty.

Hamilton One 019

FD: Fire Department

Felony: A high/serious crime typically punishable by imprisonment (not jail), or death.

Felony Blue: When the chemical in a field test kit for cocaine turns blue. A positive result.

Fighting Words: Words that incite violence and breach of the peace, and that cause injury.

Fire Bomb: Any container of flammable material such as gasoline and/or kerosene, or other chemical compound, having a wick composed of any material which is capable of igniting the contained flammable material.

Flight: Leaving or concealment/hiding to avoid arrest.

Forcible Entry: Entering the property of another without that person’s permission. In some areas a mere trespass is considered forcible entry.

Fourth Amendment: Prohibits unreasonable search and seizure.

Fratricide: The killing of one’s brother.

FTD: Fixing To Die (often used when describing a severely injured victim of a vehicle crash).“Rescue is on the way to the ER with the driver, but he’s FTD.”

Fresh Pursuit (Hot Pursuit): An immediate, ongoing chase of a fleeing criminal suspect who is attempting to avoid capture. During a fresh pursuit, officers may cross jurisdictional boundaries, and they’re permitted to make an arrest of the fleeing subject without a warrant.


Gabaloo: a real dumbass who believes he’s heaven’s gift to everything on earth—the best singer, the sexiest, etc.

Gag Order: When a defendant becomes unruly a judge may order that he be bound and gagged to prevent further disruptions. The term is also used when a judge orders attorneys, witnesses, etc. to not discuss a case outside the courtroom. Note – Some would prefer the bound and gagging approach be used on attorneys as well as a defendant/client.

Gear Hound: An officer who has far more equipment than that issued by the department. A gear hound is frequently seen shopping in police supply stores.

Get Small: Hide, or run away.

Ghetto Bird: Police helicopter.

Ghetto Cattle: A pack of feral or abandoned dogs.

Ghost Riding: A patrol car rolling down the street without a driver. Officers sometimes are in such a hurry when arriving at the scene they simply forget to shift to park.

GGW: Girls gone wild.

Ghetto: Gangster

Good Cause: A legal excuse for doing something that’s typically considered illegal. (Think politicians).

Good Moral CharacterDo NOT think politicians.

Gorilla Anus/Gorilla Ass: term used when someone refuses to do something you want them to do. “No, Lil’ Dirt Bag won’t go to the store to get me no Cheetos. He’s being a real gorilla ass.”

Gorilla Biscuits: an old street term for meth.  Zookeepers may have another definition.

Grass Widow: A woman separated from her husband by abandonment.

Grill: Teeth, or face.



Habeus CorpusTo bring a party before the judge.  The most common of the writs is to release a prisoner from unlawful imprisonment. Jailhouse lawyers make a living drafting these for fellow inmates.

Habeus Grab-Ass: To catch/arrest a suspect.

Hairbag: Rookie who thinks he knows it all, even if he’s only been on the job for an hour.

Hatch Act: Statute prohibiting federal, state, and local employees from participating in certain political activities.

Hats and Bats: Riot gear—helmets and batons.

Horner: A person/addict who inhales/snorts heroin rather than inject it.

Hillbilly Meth: Mountain Dew (soft drink). The soda was given the nickname due to its high sugar content.

Holster SnifferA woman who has sex with cops simply because they’re cops. AKA – Holster Humper, Cop Stalker, Badge Bunny.

Horizontal Highway Hostess: Prostitute who works the streets.

House Mouse: Officer who typically works behind a desk.


Hurrication: Time off work due to do storms.

Hooptie: Any car that’s still rolling despite troubles, such as windows that won’t roll up or down, hood or trunk lid wired shut with baling wire, missing window glasses covered with garbage bags and duct tape, broken taillights covered with red duct tape, missing hubcaps, radio antennae missing but replaced with coat hanger, and so on. “Lawdy, is Bubba still driving that old hooptie car his daddy bought from the junk yard? “

Hot BloodWhen someone’s emotions/passions have been heightened to an uncontrollable degree. A case of “hot blood” may be cause to reduce a murderer’s charge to a lesser offense.

Hydrant Humper: Firefighter.

Hulk-Out: To become extremely angry in an instant. “Seargent, be careful with that guy. He’ll hulk-out on you in a heartbeat. Took six of us to get him cuffed last time.”



ICE: Immigration and Customs Enforcement

ICE is also an acronym for “in case of emergency,” and it’s a nickname for methamphetamine.

Illegal: Not authorized by law.

Illegally Obtained Evidence: Evidence obtained in violation of a person’s rights (officers had no warrant or probable cause to arrest, seize property, etc.).

Imminent: Near at hand. “The threat to his life was imminent.”

Imprisonment: Detention of a person against their will/wishes.


Indecent: Offensive. Obscene. Vulgar. (See politician).

§ 18.2-67.2. Inanimate object sexual penetration; penalty. (Virginia law) An accused shall be guilty of inanimate or animate object sexual penetration if he or she penetrates the labia majora or anus of a complaining witness, whether or not his or her spouse, other than for a bona fide medical purpose, or causes such complaining witness to so penetrate his or her own body with an object or causes a complaining witness, whether or not his or her spouse, to engage in such acts with any other person or to penetrate, or to be penetrated by, an animal, and

1. The complaining witness is less than 13 years of age; or

2. The act is accomplished against the will of the complaining witness, by force, threat or intimidation of or against the complaining witness or another person, or through the use of the complaining witness’s mental incapacity or physical helplessness.

Indictment: A charge, in writing, investigated and found by a grand jury.

Informer: A person who discloses information regarding violations of the law.

In jure: According to the law.

Innocent: Free from guilt.

In The Pipe: A weapon with one round in the chamber.

New Picture (6)

In The WindThe suspect is a runner/has fled the scene. “Little Earl took off as soon as he saw the police car. Man, he was in the wind.”

Quiz time! Now that you know the terms, can you put the quoted statements (found at the beginning of the post) into words the rest of the world can understand? Leave me your answer in the comment section.

Fadar was a bit shocking– those little buggers had me fooled. And who doesn’t like Gabaloo? I’ve personally known plenty of Gabaloos in my time. Now, I know what to call them. But I think Holster Humper/Holster Sniffer is my favorite here. What’s yours and why?


11 thoughts on “Cop Talk: Crime Writer’s Dictionary F – I

  1. Pingback: Cop Talk: Crime Writer’s Dictionary J – M | Crime Fiction Writer Sue Coletta

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