|The Cons Guide to Prison Slang
Banged up locked in a cell.
Baron prisoner who controls illicit articles through bullying and other exploitative practices of the prisoners.
Beef Criminal charges, i.e. "I caught a burglary beef this time around." Is also used to mean problem, e.g. "I have a beef with that guy."
Bird prison sentence, i.e. I'm doing bird (serving time)
Bit Prison sentence, usually relatively short. "I got a three-year bit." Oppose jolt.
Bitch, bitched [v.] To be sentenced as a "habitual offender."
Bone Yard Visiting trailers, used for overnight visits of wives and/or families.
Catch a ride To ask a friend with drugs to get you high. "Can I catch a ride?"
Cell soldier A person who talks tough when the cells are locked.
The Chain The bus transports that bring prisoners to prison so called because prisoners are shackled and chained when transported. "I just got in on the chain," or "Is there anyone we know on the chain?"
Check-in Someone who has submitted to pressure and intimidation and no longer feels secure in population and "checks in" to a Protective Custody (PC) unit.
Convict men who knows the score, who have pride, and who have influence. 'Convicts' live up to the convict code, they are not stool-pidgeons (informants).
Cross-roader A travelling thief, moves around a lot working. Travels from town to town, city to city, working on hustles
Ding A disrespectful term for a mentally deranged prisoner.
Dry snitching To inform on someone indirectly by talking loud or performing suspicious actions when officers are in the area.
Dummy Up, Get on the dummy To keep your mouth shut
Fish A new arrival, a first-timer, green to prison life.
Grass prisoner who provides guards information about other prisoners
Hacks/Hogs/Pigs/Snouts/Screws/Cops/Bulls The guards
Heat Wave Being under constant suspicion, thereby bringing attention to those around you.
Hold your mud Do not tell/inform, even under pressure of punishment.
The Hole An isolation ("segregation") cell, used as punishment for offences.
Inmate Derogatory term for prisoners. Used by guards and administrators, or other inmates who are fish (first-timers and new arrivals who don't know the lingo yet), "lops," fools, dingbats, and assorted other goofball inmates.
In the car In on the "deal."
Jacket Prison file containing all information on a prisoner. Prisoners can put false jackets on other prisoners to discredit them.
Jam Roll Parole
Jolt A long sentence, as "I got a life jolt." Oppose bit.
Keister To hide something in the anal cavity. To "Keister" (pronounced Keester) something, as in, "I've got the dope stashed in the keister" or "suitcase".
Lag A convict, e.g, "He's an old lag, been at it all his life."
Meat Wagon Secure prison transport also referred to as sweatbox
Mule A person who smuggles drugs into the institution.
Nonce/beast sex offender
On the leg A prisoner who is always chatting with and befriending guards.
On your lips Very high on drugs or alcohol. Used by lops to sound hip.
Paper A small quantity of drugs packaged for selling.
Pepsi Generation Newer, younger prisoners, who lack respect for Old School ways.
Pony a crap
Punk Derogatory term meaning homosexual or weak individual.
Rat/Snitch/Stool Pidgeon [n.] informant. [v.] to inform.
Scam A well-planned scheme i.e. "he's a scammer," or "He works some good scams." Meaning a thief's hustle, his game.
Score The loot from a crime, as "I got a good score out of that place."
Send-out To send money off your books, for drugs, a wager, curio purchase, etc. or any joint transaction where you got to pay a guy for something.
Shank Homemade knife.
Shit watch A person who is suspected of hiding drugs in his anus will be placed on a shit watch.
Slammed "He's slammed down," meaning locked in the hole or ad seg
Sprung Getting out of jail or prison, as "The attorney sprung me on it," or "I did a 3-spot (three year sentence) and got sprung on that beef."
Square John A "square," doesn't know the ropes, a sucker
Stash To hide something. Can also be used to refer to drugs.
Stick Marijuana cigarette. Also called a joint, thin one, hooter, reefer, etc.
Tailor made Factory rolled cigarettes.
Tom or George "no good," (Tom) or "okay" (George). Stroking an imaginary beard is the "George" sign (re.King George), meaning it's okay to 'make a move', that no one is watching, that the coast is clear. Tweaking the nose or tugging at the ear lobe indicates the "Tom" sign, meaning it or he is not any good.
White money Currency within the institution.
Yard-in Command given to return to your cell. Closing of the recreation yard.
Yard-out Recreation yard opens.