FBI Slang and Anecdotes
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This section is all taken from Ronald Kessler's very useful and
book "The FBI", published by Pocket Books.
FBI slang is often called "bu-ease"
This refers to what agents really call things. They are
to call things by long, complicated Bureaucratic names. You don't
a suspect; you "contact them telephonically." You
them with documents, and "afford" them their rights. The
doesn't merely do work; it "accomplishes its
Agents are often said to pick up bad writing habits, since they
conform to the complicated Bureau-speak when writing reports.
Anyway, here's the slang...
Bureau cars are described by a variety of names. It seems
as if each
local office has its own favourite. (In Jersey Devil, we see
Mulder ask for a
Bureau car, so we know that Mulder and Scully use them.)
Buc (pronounced bu-see)
Bureau planes (of which it has over a hundred, piloted by
are also pilots) are often referred to by the name
- Bureau Employees
Assistant Director is abbreviated to "ADIC"
ay-dick). He, and others high up in the Bureau hierarchy, is an
or High Bureau Official
As we hear in "Young at Heart", among others, the
Special Agent in Charge, abbreviated to ASAC, is pronounced
His superior, the Special Agent in Charge, though, is pronounced in
not as "sack"
An agent who works the streets in the local offices, actually
cases, is called a brick agent or a street agent
Agents, when joining the FBI, are sometimes told that they have
their name, to avoid duplication (No two agents can have the same
usually consists of nothing more than using their middle name
instead of their
first name, or whatever. This working name is, for obvious reasons,
Female agents are variously referred to as "split-
and, in California, "breast-feds". it is to assumed that
none of these
are considered very polite!
A member of the female support staff who has worked for
for her whole life and is "married to the Bureau" is
called a "Betty
And agent who started as a clerk and then was trained as an agent
derisively called a "clagent"
A newly trained agent on his first assignment is called a
office agent". When he, or any other agent, wants to
another office and has a particular one in mind, he signs up on a
for his "office of preference", and hopes.
Rent-a-goons are agents from another office who are loaned,
temporarily, to help out on a case. (Could this term apply to Mulder
in many of their cases?). When the OPR performs its inspections of a
it sends its own agents in to work alongside agents in the division
inspecting, and these agents are also called rent-a-goons.
KMA, or "Kiss My Ass", refers to Agents who are
for retirement so don't have to put up with any "guff from the
(as the book says)
A SWAT team member, all dressed up and ready to go, is
- An Agent's Work
To take time off for the afternoon, signing off at the end of
but actually leaving early, is called "to balloon"
needs to take time off because of the size of his "Too-Hard
which is the mythical box between his in-box and his out-box
Discipline: "Beach time" is slang for
A "four-bagger" consists of censure, transfer,
and probation, so is, presumably, only for very serious
Agents are most likely to require discipline after offences
involving one of
the "Three Bs" - Broads, Booze and Bucars (ie
A teletype is a Bureau communication demanding very urgent
attention. An airtel requires urgent attention , but is of slightly
Agents may be given orders UACB - "unless advised to the
A "Roscoe" is a gun
"Creds" are your FBI badge, identification, etc.
On a case: The local office which is handling the case is
of Origin". This means that it originated the case, and that
one of its own
agents is in charge of the case. They may be investigating an
- the unknown subject.
Roast beef: Kessler's book tells a nice little story about
in New York who thought that FBI agents were allowed special deals
in a local
deli. When his sandwich came, he showed his credentials and said
roast beef." Apparently, this story is known across the whole
agents who are dissatisfied with something will say "more roast
and agents telling their boss how they showed their credentials to
say "I roast beefed him".
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