Messenger Dictionary

Based on and still consisting mainly of the SFBMA Dictionary(by America Meredith) which appeared in the "Messenger's Guidebookto San Francisco" prepared for CMWC'96, and published by the SanFrancisco Bike Messenger Association.


Aerotankn. yellow cargo bikes supplied by Aero, that, w/o their wheels weighexactly 66.6 pounds
Aggro adj. aggressive and agravating
Alcoholocaust n. mass destruction inspired by C2H60
Amateur= one step above muppet. "What do you mean you came to work withoutyour pump, you amateur"
Are ya 10-8? = Do you have any of the drugs that I am looking for? (Are you holding?)
The Bar n. The Covered Wagon Saloon
Basket Case n. someone who rides a bike with a basket
Bike Geekn. A person excited by titanium spoke nipples and purple anodized headsets
to Blankv. to ignore on the radio, also to ignore another rider when passingin the street. ("I was trying to call empty for an 'alf 'our but theFat Man just blanked me".)
Bob Marley n. a large joint (one that Bob Marley would be proud of)
Boondan. low paying deliveries
Boxn. two-way radio base station used by controllers (to be on the box- the act of controlling. "Whenever the Fat Man's on the box, allhe ever does is stitch me up." )
Breakfastn. a marijuana break
Bunny Hopv. to gracefully jump up with one's bike while in transit
Call n. a delivery (also Tag)
The Can n. the First Canadian Place Tower
Check, Checkay, O Checko=1. Yes, I understand that. 2. (a clorful remark that doesn't meananything)
Cheese Gratorsn. the metal grates above the BART tunnels on Market St. and MissionSt.
Civiliann. non-messenger
Clean adv.to be without deliveries (also Clear and Empty)
Cobyn. King Cobra (an American malt liquor)
Coffinn. car
Controller= dispatcher
Commutern. a non-messenger on a bicycle
Commien. The Commerce Court Towers (North, South, East and West)
Copsiclen. a policeman on a bicycle
The Courtn. St. Anne's Court Soho (the former location of the infamous CourtCaff, the greasiest spoon in London)
The Cutn. The Commercial Union Tower at the Toronto Dominion Centre
Da= You made a mistake! also, n the unexplainable force that drives usfrom rookiedom to messengerdom to messengerdom; also = of course!
Da Shrite Gee= that's right boy, girl
the Dancen. back and forwards movement of pedestrians
Dead Run= no pickup or call was cancelled; charge the client anyway
Death Monstern. car
Dick Scratchern. dispatcher
Docket n. tag, call
Donkey n. slow old messenger "you're slower than a crippled donkey onvalium"
Door(doored)n. to open one's car door on an oncoming cyclist (also doored)
Double-up n. two seperate dockets going in the same direction allocated to thesame rider
The Dub, C-Dubs, C&W's, the Chuckwagonn. the Covered Wagon Saloon
The Dunce Capn. the Transamerica pyramid
The Dungeonn. the courier depot in the underground of BCE Place
Eat itv. to crash one's bike
Empty = clear, clean.(no packages left)
The Evacuation. n. office workers daily rush to their trains and cars
Exercise= sarcastic remark to dispatcher for low paying calls ("I'm justhere for the exercise today!")
Eye Newt = I knew it!
False call= to give untrue information on the radio. Usually relating to location,or status in the expectation of getting desirable dockets. Also sometimesto avoid being given undesirable dockets (eg rider might say that theyhad puncture when given a stitch-up.)
the Fat Man= Lee Smith, legendarily one of the most brutal, foul-mouthed controllersin London. The inventor of the Post Haste double-up "we can double-upanything, including your invoice", and several previously unknownswear-words, too vile to repeat here.
to Feed a rider = controller allocates a lot of work to particular rider ("that27, he gets fed") that might otherwise be given to other riders, inthose riders' opinion. Generally considered a bad thing.
Five - O n the Police
Fluffbon. marijuana that has been carefully fluffed up to make it look bigger
Full Metal Basket n. the large steel wire basket on the front of a bike
Funky Chicken= the dance that jaywalking peds do when they see a messenger unexpectedlyheaded right for them - 'you put your left foot in, your left foot outetc'. The cause of much consternation to most messengers
Get Hot, Slugn. Go faster, slow person!
Get it burnin, fire it up, your turn, quit holding back= I want to smoke some of your marijuana!
Goddamn, I Love Summer! = I love this job!, also Look at all the beautiful ladies out today!
Glow in the Dark n. a cyclist that wears really bright spandex clothing
Gravy n. high paying deliveries
Gravy Dogn. a messenger doing high paying deliveries
Gravy time= paid waiting time
Gristlen. low paying deliveries
The Hall of Injusticen. the Police station at 850 Bryant St.
The Hanxn. a messenger gang named after Hank Remus, a friendly security guard
Holding v. to be in possession of a package or drugs
The Holen. The Standby Cafe or Breadspreads (Toronto); Moorefields EC2 (London)- the hole in the London Wall
Hortonsn. police (as in Tim Horton Donuts)
House of Painn. the labyrinth of office cubicles at 1 South Van Ness
Houston n. dispatcher, or the messenger office base
Huffbo n. marijuana
Huffbo Chenten. 1. strong marijuana; 2. a defunct messenger zine
Indon. 1. strong marijuana; 2. an independently employed messenger
Jackson Parkn. Sydney Walton Park
The Jaksn. an intelligent skateboard gang, whose members include the Day GloAbortions and many S.F. messengers
Jerry Mahonyn. a stupid person ( named after a 1950's ventrilliquist and his doll)
Messenger Showern. rain during work hours
Messenger Vacationn. an accident on the job that gets you a disability check or settlement
Messengerdom n. the world of messengering
Milk n. beer
Moody call= false call
Monsoon Seasonn. rainy windy S.F, wintertime
Muppet n. rookie, or useless messenger "62, you muppet, what are youdoing out there?"
Murphyn. police
Neg! = No!
North Shoren. the parking lot @ 5th St. and Folsom
Nosmosisn. the absorbtion of alcohol to the point of saturation
Oh easy Butchkins!= (a clorful remark that doesn't really mean anything)
On the circuit= to work as a messenger. "How long has that muppet been on thecircuit for?"
On the plot = empty and on the list of empty riders "got you on the plot,there 27"
O.T. = (an abbreviation for overtime)
Panties n. nylon helmet covering
The Park n. Sydney Walton Park
Ped = (an abbreviation for pedestrian)
The Penguin March= the daily rush of commuters to their trains and cars
Pigeonn someone who wants to smoke your marijuana
POB = parcel on board.
P.O.D. (or Pod)= proof of delivery, the signature of the person who received the package
P.O.W.= pedestrian on wheels, a non-messenger cyclist
Projn. 1. marijuana; 2. to smoke marijuana
Puff n. grass, hash, proj.
Punkrock!= (an enthusiastic interjection)
The Rat n. the Royal Trust Tower at the Toronto Dominion Centre
Reggie= regular service or low paying delivery
Roadrashn. painful, slow healing surface wounds from crashing
Roger = 10-4 (if you say 10-4 on the radio in London you get laughed at)
Roll down your window= Clear your head and pay attention!
Rollersn. police in cars
Rookien. someone who just started messebgering, or acts like they just startedmessengering
Runn. a collection of deliveries dispatched at one time
Say again = 10-9
Saladn. some of my marijuana & some of yours
Scoobs= That's cool!
Scratchv. dispatch
The Shaftv. receiving low paying deliveries from your dispatcher
Skonskin. beer
Slap = a job that goes a long way with little prospect of doubling up. "Fuckme, that's a bit of a slap!"
Slugn. slow rider
The Squaren. Soho Square, Soho.
to Stack v. to crash
Startled deerpose adopted by jaywalking peds when they unexpectedly see a messengerheaded right for them. (only slightly less dangerous that the funky chicken)
The Stepsthe steps outside 11 Marshall St Soho
Stitch-up = situation where a rider is allocated a docket that does not fit inwith work that s/he already has, or has to go a long way to get on board."That's a stitch-up, that job." "It's a total stitch-up"."I bin stitched-up like a kipper."
Spoke Pokern. the game of finding cards in the street and putting them in yourspokes, to hopefully come up with a royal flush
Spunn. adj. suffering from the adverse effects of long term meth amphetamineuse
Stand-byn. a break in working resulting from a lack of deliveries
to Step onv. to call across another rider who is already talking on the radio.("shut up 62, you complete amateur, you keep stepping on 27")see also walk
Suit n. office worker (also penguin)
Surfing v. riding one's bike, standing on the top bar
Tag n. 1. a delivery; 2. a graffiti pseudonym; 3. to write one's graffitipseudonym
The Tag Catalystv. opening an beer (as soon as you do your dispatcher will call you)
Tattoo v. dispatcher gives a rider a call that requires riding a long wayfor low pay (as in "sorry I have to tattoo you")
Talking out of a hole in my footv. making no sense, babbling
Techno Weenien. one whose obsession with buying bike parts eclipses their enjoymentof actually riding a bike
Top Dog n. the messenger who makes the most money at a company
Touch n. easy job
10-9?= What?
10-Q = Thank you
10 - 100= to pass water (D.C.)
10 - 200= to pass solids (D.C.)
That's Raw = That's not enjoyable
2Can= 2 First Canadian Place
Urban Food Logn. burito
the Wall n. the sitting wall at Sansome St. and Market St.
to Walkv. to interrupt someone on the radio ("these rookies are doingmore walking than riding")
Zxeischen. the sound of a raincoat or spandex rubbing between two street cars
Zitty Gritty, the Geist n. Zeitgeist
Zo Bagn. single shoulder messenger bag

Thanks to Buffalo Bill for additional definitions

Any more to add? Contact me.


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