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chunksmediocrites
04-20-2010, 08:22 AM
Dictionary of Prison Slang
recorded and edited 2001, revised/ re-edited 2007; 2010.

This list was composed in 2001 at Sheridan FCI, a federal medium-security men's prison in Sheridan, Oregon, USA. A number of sources were used, many of which have served decades in prison and had been incarcerated in other state and federal prisons. Some of the words in this list may have been in use outside of prison culture, and now, years later, many more certainly are in regular use. There is a definite overlap of terms and phrases, especially among groups that have a larger percentage chance of being incarcerated in comparison to their representation in general US population- Blacks and Latinos, for example; as well overlap in rap culture and gang culture is common. Some terms may merely be regional, cultural, bureaucratic or military slang unfamiliar to the author, and have origins outside of prison culture.

In reading the list, common themes emerge: violence, power, sex, drugs, degradation, race, status, crime, law, and imprisonment. Some of the terms are shocking and crude, others are wordplay and humorous; the etymology of many are obscure and not known to the author.

It is worth noting that prison culture in a men's prison is a distorted and unbalanced culture with aspects of external society exaggerated to bizarre extremes. A culture of males whose common experience involves having passed through the criminal justice system. These adult males, often with underdeveloped or anti-social coping skills, are required to live in close quarters with each other under controlled conditions. I tend to describe it as living with the worst aspects of junior high, except your peers are all physically adult, bored men and many are prone to violence.

There are debates within prison society regarding some terms and their use. For example, some prefer to be called a prisoner or a convict, rather than an inmate. To these individuals, the term ‘inmate’ implies passivity and acceptance, while ‘convict’ or ‘prisoner’ to them more accurately conveys the condition of captivity, punishment, and an oppositional relationship to imposed authority. They may refer to someone who submits to authority as an inmate, or refer to those who do not as prisoners or convicts.
Others who are incarcerated make no distinction and use these terms interchangeably. The propensity to use one term or another more often indicates how incarcerated individuals wish to be perceived, and may not correspond to actions.

Terms around sexual orientation are also hotly debated. To give some context, it should be noted that there is consensual sex in prison. While rape occurs, it may not be as common as people think considering how often it is depicted in movies, TV shows, and literature. Statistics regarding the rate of rape in prison are also debated. The conditions, security level, design, staffing, and age variances in some prisons can definitely contribute to the level of rape. But back to consensual sex: some of the people who have consensual sex were active homosexuals outside of prison, and a small percentage may have been latent or closeted homosexuals before coming to prison. It is important to note however that the majority of men who engage in sex with other men in prison still self-identify as heterosexuals. There are some common and fallacy-laden debates among prisoners, about what defines homosexuality. Some contend that having sex with another man means you are a homosexual, whether that act is undertaken once or a thousand times. Some contend that as long as you are ‘pitching’ (entering others’ orifices) as opposed to ‘catching’ (having your own orifices entered) that you are not a homosexual.
Some prisoners rationalize that they wouldn’t normally have sex with men, but because they are separated from women for so long, they have lowered their standards. The amount of time these men consider as enough time to make it acceptable to have sex with other men can be as short as a few months, to as long as a life sentence.
The author’s opinion is that the sexuality of some small number of people in prison may be bisexual (an area not well defined or understood by any), and some are homosexual, but the majority of men engaging in intercourse in prison fall under the heading of sexual opportunists. For these men, whatever is available will do. When only men are available, they have sex with men. For some of these individuals, it is (again in the author’s opinion) quite possible that if they were surrounded by farm animals, or produce, they would sexually assault or engage in sex acts with these.
There are some transsexuals in prison, though obviously if you are in a men's prison, the transition to the female gender is incomplete. These individuals are often highly sought after by segments of the prison population, while other segments of the population exhibit repulsion (real or fake) towards them.
Sex in prison, and individuals willing to have sex in prison, generally create a great deal of conflict and drama. Their relationships with boyfriends, competing beaus, domestic squabbles, jealousy, prostitution, and the ever-present specter of rape (as well as actual rape) makes the presence of sexually active prisoners disruptive and problematic for prisoners and staff.

In higher security prisons, prisoners tend to segregate themselves by race into groups. Some of this may reflect the social groups the prisoners associated with outside prison, but much of this has to do with group protection and power. In higher security prisons, the prisoners defend themselves against predation in the case of power struggles or in riots; though this protection may not defend them against predation within their own group. A person without tribal affiliation is more likely to be seen as prey by the predatory. A person with tribal affiliation is protected to a degree by their affiliation, and in turn may be called on to protect others.
This relationship can be detrimental and extremely polarizing, but is the common position of race in the prison system. Most prisoners in higher-security prisons cell with others of their race, and eat in designated sections of the chow hall with others of their race, watch TV in TV rooms segregated by race, and hang out primarily with others of their race. This relationship does not extend to business transactions generally, except when by preference; as well work assignments and sports activities may be extremely mixed.
Some of these groupings have correlations outside prison. Many minority groups have experience in organizing in groups before coming to prison. Many minority group gangs may carry over into the prison system.
White prisoners are today less well organized in prison than other groups. The most organized White organizations are White supremacists and White biker gangs; these groups actively recruit in prison in an attempt to further their own agendas and in an attempt to build some sense of security in an environment where they are on equal footing or a minority themselves.
This racial divide is in part encouraged by the prison staff, and also somewhat required for prisons to function. As one prisoner put it, "If we all went in the chow hall and at every table there was a Black, a Latino, a White, and an Islander or Native American or Asian, the prison would go to lock-down right away. No way could they handle all these groups working together." Prisons require a divided and relatively complacent population to function, as prisoners provide almost all of the labor that keeps the prison functioning.
Racial polarization is less extreme in lower-security prisons. It has also shifted with the drug war, as more unaffiliated and non-career criminals end up in the prisons; their identity around race is often less absolutist, and in low-security prisons the likelihood of riots or power struggles beyond the inter-personal are much lower.

Prisons are fascinating and strange habitats, and the language of prison culture gives some insight into the minds, interactions, and lives lived behind fences, razor wire, guards, and walls.



A
AB (Aryan Brotherhood): White prison gang.
ain’t fittin’ to bust a grape: you won’t do anything about a situation no matter what happens. Refers to hemorrhoids and the person who has them being afraid or reluctant to bear down or push to defecate, ie. making an effort that might cause pain or discomfort.
air lats: describes guys who walk around in an exaggerated, muscle-bound swagger, as if their latissimus dorsi were so over-developed that they could not put their arms down by their sides. see ILS
ain’t no joke: serious, real. “Did you see him on the basketball court? Dude ain’t no joke.”
ain’t trying to go/ to see me: doesn’t want to fight.
ain’t trying to hear that / it / all this: what you are saying is not worth consideration.
(doing) all day: a life sentence.
all that: special.

B
balloon: a tied-off rubber balloon or condom filled with drugs, swallowed by an individual to transport the drugs covertly.
barnyard pimp: a rooster, though normally used to refer to chicken in general.
(the) beat down: badly injured.
beat feet: take off, leave, run away.
beat up from the feet up: worn out, extremely tired, in bad condition. see tore up from the floor up
beef: a criminal charge.
be havin’ things: Black slang for the accumulation of personal wealth.
bent spokes: stretched out sphincter, implying a history of anal sex. see blown out spokes or broken spokes
big yard: in prisons with two exercise yards, the larger area that is regulated by the stronger, more aggressive prisoners.
binky: a home-made intravenous needle. see spike
bleeder: a knife, often home-made. see piece, shank, shiv, sticker
blew up: refers to losing bets on a gambling ticket: “I had a four-pick on Miami- I was sure it was a lock, but that shit blew up.”
the block: cell block.
blood on my knife or shit on my dick: submit to anal rape or be stabbed.
blown out (spokes): stretched or damaged sphincter, implying a history of anal sex. see broken spokes or bent spokes
booking whammers: performing fellatio, repeatedly and for pay.
books: refers to ‘books’ of 20 postage stamps, often used as currency, especially for gambling. Generally devalued from the actual face amount.
bone-crusher: an extremely large knife.
border brother: racial epithet for a Latino. see south-sider, third-worlder, wet-back
break me off some: give me some of that; usually in reference to food, information, or sex.
broken spokes, broken drawstring: a damaged sphincter, implying a history of anal sex. see blown out spokes or bent spokes
broke weak: did something after resolving not to.
brown eye: anus.
buck: rebel, refuse, or resist authority.
the bucket: special housing unit where inmates are kept in high security lock-down for disciplinary, investigative, or other reasons, including protective custody. see the hole, seg, SHU
buffin’: lifting weights, working out.
bull: corrections officer. see CO, hack, turn-key
bum beef: charged for a crime or activity you didn’t commit.
burnt: ripped off, or cheated of your due.
bust a move: take action, take the initiative, go for it, or attempt to pull something off.
bust you open like a shotgun: anally rape you. Reference to shotguns that ‘break’ (hinge) open at the base of the barrel to be reloaded.
buster: without sophistication, tact, or savvy; undignified or ‘countrified’.

C
casper: racial epithet for a White person; i.e. Casper the friendly ghost. see cracker
cell time: time you can spend in your cell without your cell-mate(s).
cell warrior: an inmate who makes threats or talks tough when they are locked inside a cell, but then backpedal or are meek when outside their cell.
cellie: cell-mate.
chai-yaah: (pronounced loudly in a falsetto) Latino expression, meaning “Oh, yeah!” or “Wow!”.
channel check: imperative to change the channel to something better.
check in: ask prison staff to put you in protective custody for any number of reasons: threats of violence, usually, due to owing money for drugs, gambling, or commissary items bought from a store man; being known as a snitch, or being pressured for sex or money. see PC move, PC up
check this out: listen to me.
checked: stopped an associate and confronted / advised them on their past, present, or future activities. see pulled up
chester: a child molester.
chi-mo: child molester.
chicken hawk: sexual predator.
CO: corrections officer. see bull, hack, turn-key
cock-hound: a homosexual.
co-defendant: an associate charged with a crime and involved in your case.
cold-trailing: a prisoner persistently pursuing someone, or constantly ogling someone. “You see that new teacher working in the education department? That dude Ron’s been seriously cold-trailing her for a month.”
compound: the prison grounds.
commissary fuck-boy / commissary queen: a prisoner who takes commissary items as payment for sex.
cop-out: a regularly used standardized form filled out by prisoners to make a written, formal request to a prison staff member.
count these nuts: a response to the call of ‘count time’ by prison staff at regular daily intervals. The phrase has three simultaneous meanings: 1. That the prisoner resents being told what to do; 2. That correctional officers have difficulty with counting numbers higher than two (that some officers have to recount prisoners in an area more than once is not unusual); 3. Suggesting that the prison staff can perform fellatio on the prisoner.
corner: a portion of drugs folded into the corner of an envelope.
courtesy flush: flushing the toilet often while in use to reduce odors.
cracker: racial epithet for a White person. see casper
crimey / crime partner: a person you committed crimes with, in good standing.

D
the deuces: body alarm for immediate assistance / emergency that all correctional staff wear (usually part of their walkie-talkie).
ding: mental case.
ding biscuit: psychotropic medication.
Dirty White Boys: White prison gang.
dog: “dude” or “man” equivalent.
dope-fiend sandwich: a snickers bar squashed between two ‘Grandma’s’ brand soft cookies, or any similar combination of excessive sweets, often eaten by prisoners going through withdrawal, to take the edge off by inducing a sugar high.
double-digit midget: a prisoner with less than 100 days left before their prison term is completed.
down: 1. a person of reputable criminal character. 2. in the know or knowledgeable. 3. ready to take violent or criminal action without hesitation.
down for real: hardcore convict, who personifies a convict code of conduct and is dedicated to life as a criminal. see down
down like a clown: an activity happening in a serious or weighty manner
down ‘wood: a White supremacist of reputable criminal character, as defined by other White supremacists. see peckerwood
drag: an often heard sob-story, an over-used excuse, or a worn out and self-pitying tale that the listener is tired of.
drama: activities causing alarm, gossip, intrigue, or excitement; generally used to suggest that a situation was created unnecessarily to attract attention or stroke egos.
dry cell: to put a prisoner suspected of bringing in contraband into a cell without a toilet in segregated housing. The prisoner is given a bucket to defecate in, for the pupose of having staff members examine the feces for balloons or condoms with drugs inside.
dry snitching: uncomprehendingly or ‘accidentally’ informing on someone, through loud talk, inferences, or other activities.

E
eye-fucking: staring aggressively. see stink eye

F
feed the warden: defecate in the toilet.
fell out: 1. Passed out. 2. Lost consciousness from heroin use.
fiend books: pornographic magazines.
fifi-bag: a home-made masturbation aid simulating an orifice. One example: cut the top off a shampoo bottle, use warm liquid and / or soft materials to line the interior, then put in a latex glove or plastic wrap, and seal to the outside of the opening with rubber bands, lubricate the interior of the glove.
flying kites: sending notes to prison staff to tell on a prisoner.
Fulsom karate: fellatio, performed by another prisoner. In describing someone who was performing said act, one drops into a martial arts crouch, with both hands in front of the face, as if grasping a penis in front of one’s mouth.
freak: 1. A social undesirable. “That freak lives on pill-line and and is always running his neck.” 2. A female sexual deviant or nymphomaniac. “That freak could go all night and into the next morning, too.” 3. Obsessive. “He has serious BO but is a freak about tattoo art, if you’re looking for a design.”
fronted off: exposed someone’s personal, private, or covert interests, especially business interests, by speaking openly about it, especially where others could hear. see put on front street

G
G: “dude” or “man” equivalent.
GP: general principles. ”I knew I had nothing coming, but I asked anyway just on GP.”
gaffled up: shackled, handcuffed, and / or chained up.
get-away sticks: legs, especially skinny legs.
get in a wreck: your actions will lead to a violent confrontation.
get mine: achieve my goal at any cost; usually pertaining to monetary success.
get my lift on / get my drive on: going to lift weights.
get somewhere: go somewhere else now, expressed aggressively.
gettin’ down first: the first person to tell. Implies that there are numerous snitches
competing to be first to tell or trade information for leniency / favors.
gettin’ some: sex or masturbation.
getting over: manipulating people or events to get your way or a desired outcome; scamming. see trying to get over
get your money: work at something with pay value, or do what you do well that others admire.
get your shit / get your piece: go get your knife right now because we are going to fight.
god squad: prisoners who spend all their free time at the prison chapel.
go hard: fight and resist all authority and attempts to be controlled. Sometimes used sarcastically when someone caves in to authority.
go to war: arm oneself, possibly put on primitive armor (thick layers of paper under the shirt and at the waist-line to stop knives) and go to fight or kill.
going fishing: transferring materials from one locked cell to another by sliding a comb, tied to a length of dental floss, under your cell door, towards another comb and floss line coming from the under another cell door, and hooking one on the other, to create a line to which other materials can be attached.
going to the neck: eating a large amount, eating quickly, or feasting.
good lookin’ (out): thanks for having consideration for me, or letting me know about something.
goon squad: correctional officers in riot gear who train together to quell riots.
got action: 1. things are going my way, I’m getting what I wanted. 2. a court motion or appeal has been ruled in my favor.
got it like that: having privilege, position, power, or ability.
got nothing coming: not getting any breaks, nor getting what you wanted.
got something for ya: I’ll hurt you later.
gowed out: extremely loaded on heroin.
green monkey: HIV/AIDS. see the package
Gregory: a person without criminal savvy.

H
hack: corrections officer. see bull, CO, turn-key
hack in black: prison chaplain.
hamster: racial epithet for a Black person. see hammer, jigaboo, jungle bunny, potato bug, toad
hammer: racial epithet for a Black person. see hamster, jigaboo, jungle bunny, potato bug, toad
hater: someone who is jealous of your success, or, someone who doesn’t bend to your desires, competes with you, or works against you. see player-hater
hating on a mother-fucker: not doing what another wants; sabotaging or reversing another’s activities.
heading up top: going to the recreation yard.
he’s like that: he has privilege, position, power, or ability.
hit the clicker: change the TV channel to check sports scores.
hog: a person who lifts weights as a lifestyle.
hoggie / hog-dog: a person who eats a lot of ice-cream from the commissary, i.e. ‘hagendazs’ brand.
hog slayer: weightlifting fanatic (outdated term as free weights are mostly gone from federal prisons today).
hold me down: save my place, seat, or spot for me.
the hole: special housing unit where inmates are kept in high security lock-down for disiplinary, investigative, or other reasons, including protective custody. see the bucket, seg, SHU
holmes: “dude” or “man” equivalent.
the ‘hood: the neighborhood.
hot: angry, ready to fight.
house mouse: an inmate who doesn’t come out of his cell much or go out to the recreation yard.
hustle: a means of making money, i.e. a laundry hustle, a kitchen hustle, a gambling hustle, a store hustle, etc.

I
if that was a dick you’d have caught it: your athleticism is eclipsed by your homosexual desires- where you are more motivated.
ILS (imaginary lat syndrome): describes guys who walk around in an exagerrated, muscle-bound swagger, as if their latissimus dorsi were so over-developed that they could not put their arms down by their sides. see air lats
in my pocket: under my control.
in the car: part of a group activity, usually work-out partners.
I don’t owe you, and I don’t know you: we have some conflict between us: here is what I owe you, we are now even, and I want nothing further to do with you.
I’ll bust you up: I will hurt you.
I got you (covered): I’ll come through on my end, or I’ll take care of it for you.
I got your back: I’ll stand with you through this situation, and look out for you. Refers to warning / preventing attacks on your ally when their back is turned.
I see you: I recognize your effort, actions, or ability.
islander: Samoan, Filipino, Guamanian, or Hawaiian.
issue / ish: standard ration, portion, or the items given to you when you enter the prison general population.
it’s a lock: we’ve agreed on a deal or a bet.
it’s on / it’s on like Donkey Kong: 1. it is happening immediately, it has started. 2. a person starts fighting.
It’s your story - you tell it: don’t ask me to affirm what you are saying while you relate it, I won’t vouch for you. Implies inaccuracy, bias, or exaggeration.
I’ll hollah at ya: I’ll talk to you later or get back to you on that- Black slang.

J
jack shack: the cell of a frequent masturbator, or when alone in your cell spending your time masturbating.
jigaboo: racial epithet for a Black person. see hamster, hammer, jungle bunny, potato bug, toad
Jodie: derogatory term for the guy who is now intimate with your girlfriend/ ex-girlfriend/ wife/ ex-wife/ mother(s) of your child(ren), while you are in prison. see Sancho
juice card: having an uncommon (and perhaps suspicious?) privelege or ability to get things done when most cannot.
jungle bunny: racial epithet for a Black person. see hamster, hammer, jigaboo, potato bug, toad
jump: 1. Did something first. 2. Start fighting.
junior CO: a prisoner who is acting like he has authority over other convicts.
just drove up: a person new to prison, though more often a prisoner new to this prison, or newly returned to prison.

K
keep jigs: stand look-out for others engaged in punishable, criminal, or violent activity, to warn of approaching staff or witnesses.
keester it / keester stash: to hide contraband, usually drugs, in one’s rectum. see take it to the hoop
kick-down: 1.Share that with me. 2. Describes bartered payment for work. “At the end of the chow hall shift, the CO kicked-down the left-over pastries to the kitchen crew.”
kick rocks: leave, you aren’t wanted here.
kicked to the curb: abandoned, left behind, no longer associated with.
killer-dope-fiend-bikers-from-California: derogatory term for swaggering addicts from California who attempt to give themselves a dangerous criminal image as hard bikers. Implies drug addiction as a weakness that undermines the aggressiveness and ability of the group and their recruits.
know one thing: listen carefully to me.

L
lame: someone lacking social acceptance, basic interpersonal skills, savvy, street smarts, or intelligence.
let me find out: you had better not be doing that.
let me tell you what’s not going to happen: I am not allowing or accepting the following:
like that, huh?: now that you treat me inconsiderately, I have realized that this is your true character and that you lack respect.
lock it in: make a binding agreement. Usually completed with a ritualized fist-bump where both parties then rotate their fists at contact, as if turning a key in a lock.
looking to go: wanting to fight.
lop: someone without guile or street smarts; dense or stupid.
long-necking: staring, ogling.

M
El M / El Eme(pronounced em-ay): Mexican gang.
the man: a corrections officer, prison staff member, or anyone in law enforcement.
man down!: shouted out to alert staff that a prisoner is having a medical emergency.
man walking: declaration by one prisoner to others that a corrections officer is moving around the housing unit, so hide any illicit activities.
meat-wrangler: homosexual. see pole-sitter or sword-swallower
messed up: mentally damaged.
mugging: dirty looks, scowls.
mule: an intermediary who delivers drugs or contraband for someone.
my bad: my mistake, my fault.

[B]N
new beef: being convicted for a new crime. “I thought Joe was back on a parole violation but it turns out he’s got a new beef, too.”
new fish / new meat: a person entering jail or prison for the first time.
nodding off / nodding out / on the nod: slipping into unconsciousness, usually due to being on heroin.
no doubt / no question: that’s true, I agree with what you are saying.
no good: of questionable character, referencing individuals primarily.
Northaniels: Latino prison gang - northerners.
nutted up: became violently and insanely enraged.

[B]O
off the hook: 1.exceptional; excellent. 2. extremely busy or active.
on a mission: searching for something intently or deeply involved in completing a task.
on the leg: flattering and sucking up to someone, particularly a prison staff member, i.e. humping one’s leg like a dog.
on my baby’s mama: I swear on the mother of my child(ren).
on my skin/ I put that on my skin: I swear on my racial pride.
out of gas: tired.
out of pocket: being out of line; violating protocol.
out of validation: when a prisoner has spent the maximum allowed on non-essential commissary items, and must wait for re-validation within 30 days. (2001 limit at FCI Sheridan: $225.)

P
the package: HIV/AIDS. see green monkey
paper pimp: someone who collects, trades, sells, or rents pornographic magazines. see smut-king
paperwork: the written pre-sentencing investigation report that gives a detailed accounting of an individual’s criminal history and present conviction. Considered important, if a question of character arises, in determining whether a person informed on other criminals or co-defendants, has a history of sex crimes, or has actually done the crimes he claims to be imprisoned for. Not 100% reliable, as these reports can be forged. see PSI
parole dust / parole plan B: fog, implying improved chances for an escape attempt. Parole plan B is also synonymous with escape.
PC move, PC up: ask prison staff to put you in protective custody for any number of reasons: threats of violence, usually, due to owing money for drugs, gambling, or commissary items bought from a store man; being known as a snitch, or being pressured for sex or money. see check in
peckerwood: a White supremacist of reputable criminal character, as defined by other White supremacists. see down ‘wood
peeled: stripped down out of one’s clothing.
peeled his wig: beat him up badly, metaphorically ‘scalped’.
penitentiary rules: if I knock you out, I may anally rape you while you are unconscious.
perro: “dude” or “man” equivalent; dog in Spanish.
(two) pick, (three) pick, etc: multiple bets on aspects of an upcoming sports event; the odds get worse and the payout higher as more aspects are simultaneously bet upon.
piece: a knife, often home-made. see bleeder, shank, shiv, sticker
pile: area in the recreation yard where exercise machines and free weights are. Rare now in a lot of prisons, due to security concerns regarding restraining extremely muscular prisoners, use of weights in fights as well as riots, and costs to replace damaged equipment. see weight pile
pill-liner: someone who regularly (often by mandate) goes to the pharmacy (and stands in the pharmacy line), implying a psychological disorder.
player: a person who achieves goals of wealth, power, status and success. This includes sociopaths who use any means, including scams, hustles, manipulation and activities of questionable morality and legality.
player hater: a person who resents, is jealous, or does not support others’ abilities and efforts to achieve their goals of status, power, and wealth.
‘plexed: perplexed.
pole-sitter: homosexual. see meat-wrangler or sword-swallower
poopenhousen: defecating in the cell toilet
potato bug: racial epithet for a Black person. see hamster, hammer, jigaboo, jungle bunny, toad
public pretender: public defender.
predator: a person who preys on those weaker than him, using threats, intimidation, and violence.
pruno: “wine” made from any number of fermented foodstuffs.
PSI: the written pre-sentencing investigation report that gives a detailed accounting of an individual’s criminal history and present conviction. Considered important, if a question of character arises, in determining whether a person informed on other criminals or co-defendants, has a history of sex crimes, or has actually done the crimes he claims to be imprisoned for. Not 100% reliable, as these reports can be forged. see paperwork
pulled over: a corrections officer stops you for a search, especially during movement from one part of the prison to another.
pulled up: stopped an associate and confronted / advised them on their past, present, or future activities. see checked
punk / punk status: a person who is seen as easily preyed on for sex or money, and / or is a coward or a snitch.
punked out: backed down, shown to be weak, taken advantage of, or used sexually.
punished: badly defeated someone, or worked something to its limitations.
put hands on: initiated physical violence against another. see socked up or touched up
put on front street: exposed someone’s personal, private, or covert interests, especially business interests, by speaking openly about it, especially where others could hear. see fronted off
put some water on that: imperative to flush the toilet more often to keep the odor down while you are using it.
put the hurt on: cause physical injury or pain.
put the sign up: put a marked envelope, paper, or object in the window of the cell door or between the door and the door jamb to indicate that the cell is in use and the prisoner wants privacy, usually for defecation or masturbation.

Q
quit swinging on these nuts: stop telling me what you think I want to hear; stop sucking up to me.

R
race car: a group having beliefs involving racial separatism or superiority.
rapo issue: an unfair or undersized portion, often referring to food given out at the chow hall.
rat: a person who tells or informs on other criminals or prisoners. see snitch
rat-hole: hide, save, or put something away until later.
rat status: reference to a prisoner being a known informer.
rest your neck: stop talking.
rig: intravenous drug injection kit.
road dog: 1. an associate you knew from outside of prison. 2. someone you participated in criminal activity with, in good standing.
roll out: walk off, leave.
roll up on him: approach someone in an aggressive manner.
rookie looking for a cookie: a new corrections officer trying to make points with their superiors, overzealous in their searches, pat-downs, aggressive stance towards prisoners, obeying the letter of the rules, trying to look good because of scrutiny by management.
runner: someone who takes betting tickets for a bookie.
running your neck: speaking too much or out of turn.

S
Sancho: derogatory term for the guy who is now intimate with your girlfriend/ ex-girlfriend/ wife/ ex-wife/ mother(s) of your child(ren), while you are in prison. see Jodie
sand nigger: racial epithet for Arabs or anyone from the Middle East. Used by Whites primarily. see towel-head
seg: special housing unit where inmates are kept in high security lock-down for disiplinary, investigative, or other reasons, including protective custody. see the hole, the bucket, SHU
selling wolf tickets: an activity where a prisoner is talking loudly to someone, or starting a fight with someone, in front of prison staff or witnesses, with the intent to avoid serious harm or loss of face by drawing attention to the conflict.
shakedown: 1. emptying your pockets and submitting to a pat-down. 2. having your cell searched by a corrections officer.
shank: a knife, often home-made. see bleeder, piece, shiv, sticker
Sheridan shank: (specific to Sheridan FCI) the act of pointing a finger, referring to Sheridan FCI’s low incidence of violence and high rate of informants and snitching, circa late 90’s early 00’s.
shiv: a knife, often home-made. see bleeder, piece, shank, sticker
shoot that over to: deliver something, or have something delivered.
short/ short-timer: a prisoner with a subjectively short amount of time left to their sentence.
shot out: a person damaged mentally or physically.
shower buddy: a page out of a pornographic magazine brought to a shower stall as a masturbation aid, either single use or laminated. The water droplets on the shower wall allow the page to adhere to the wall, leaving the hands free.
SHU: Special Housing Unit where inmates are kept in high security lock-down for disiplinary, investigative, or other reasons, including protective custody. see the hole, seg, the bucket
side-buster: a person who inappropriately joins in on a conversation, without invitation.
skeetin’: masturbating.
skin beef: a rape or molestation charge.
skin it: swear to it, with emphasis on racial pride.
smoking pole: performing fellatio.
smut king: someone who collects, trades, sells, or rents pornographic magazines. see paper pimp
snitch: a person who tells or informs on other criminals or prisoners. see rat
solid: a convict of reputable character, i.e. pays his debts, does not tell, stands up for himself; a man of his word, dependable.
socked up: initiated physical violence against another. see put hands on or touched up
south-sider: racial epithet for a Latino. see border brother, third-worlder, wet-back
spike: a home-made intravenous needle. see binky
spin, lame: go away, bumbling fool.
spun out/ spun cookie: mentally ill.
sticker: a knife, often home-made. see bleeder, piece, shank, shiv
stink eye: heavy eye contact or intimidating stares. Islander slang. see eye fucking
store man: a prisoner who sells commissary items from his cell, usually on credit towards the next commissary day when he will be paid back, with interest. Generally a rate of three for every two, or two for every one item purchased; store men will calculate the monetary value and give debtors a list of items to buy on store day to pay off the debt.
straight up: 1. truthful. 2. a person who is a man of his word
sucked up: 1. angry, defensive, or sulky. 2. skinny or underweight, usually from heavy drug use or physical trauma.
suitcased: the condition of lying flat on one’s stomach, with the hands and feet shackled together behind the back.
Sureńos: Latino prison gang - southerners.
sweatin’: constantly bothering a person for something or putting pressure on them, causing irritation or stress. “He knows I work in the veg-prep room so he’s always sweatin’ me for tomatoes.”
swingin’ on the nut sack: a description of a person trying to curry favor, flatter, or brown-nose another prisoner or prison staff.
swole / big swole: muscular (as in swollen).
sword-swallower: homosexual. see pole-sitter or meat-wrangler

T
take it to the hoop: to hide contraband, usually drugs, in one’s rectum. see keester it / keester stash
talk greasy: speaking with intentions to insult.
talking out the side of your neck: lying ,exaggerating, bull-shitting.
talking out your neck: speaking on a subject or situation you know nothing about, bull-shitting, or lying.
tatted up: heavily tatooed.
teaser: an extra side bet on a gambling ticket.
there it is there: that is the essence of what you are saying.
third-worlder: racial epithet for a Latino. see border brother, south-sider, wet-back
ticket: a gambling form, usually for football or basketball.
‘til the wheels fall off: going all out, seeing it through, sticking together no matter what.
thorazine shuffle: the characteristically slow, zombie-like movements of prisoners on the powerful psychotropic.
toad: racial epithet for a Black person. see hamster, hammer, jigaboo, potato bug, jungle bunny
too hard for the yard: a prisoner who emphasizes how tough and violent they are to such a degree that others suspect it is an act initiated by the prisoner’s own insecurities.
top nest: Black slang for one’s chest or pectoral muscles. see upper heezy
tore back: a person in bad physical and / or mental condition.
tore up from the floor up: worn out, extremely tired, in bad condition. see beat up from the feet up
touched up: initiated physical violence against another. see put hands on or socked up
towel-head: racial epithet for Arabs or anyone from the Middle East. Used by Whites primarily. see sand nigger
treat me/ you/ him like a red-headed step-child: treated badly
trick bag: a compromising and stressful situation involving conflicting interests, with a negative outcome likely.
trying to get action: working to have things happen the way you want, or wanting to get in on a good deal.
trying to get over: manipulating people or events to get your way or a desired outcome; scamming. see getting over
(dump) truck: a person who is useless, dead weight, or a liability.
trying to go/ to see me: wanting to fight.
turn-key: corrections officer. see bull, CO, hack

U
upper heezy: chest area, pectoral muscles. Black slang. see top nest
USP: United States Penitentiary. High-security federal prisons for prisoners with higher violence levels and longer sentences. USP Leavenworth, etc.

V
W
wannabe: aspires to be like the people he hangs around or emulates.
weight pile: area in the recreation yard where exercise machines and free weights are. Rare now in a lot of prisons, due to security concerns regarding restraining extremely muscular prisoners, use of weights in fights as well as riots, and costs to replace damaged equipment. see pile
wet-back: racial epithet for a Latino. see border brother, south-sider, third-worlder
wham-whams: slang for candy bought at commissary. see zu-zus
wigger: a derogatory term for a White person who identifies with Black culture or hangs out with Blacks; i.e. White nigger.
wing-nut: a mentally ill person.
work: tatooing.
work me like a Hebrew slave: a Black expression emphasizing forced labor in prison, and the condition of captivity, referencing the ancient tribulations of the Jews in Egypt under the Pharaoh.
works: an intravenous drug injection kit or paraphernalia.
X
Y
yolked up: extremely muscular.
you’re beat: you are not going to get out of me what you are asking for, or think I owe you, period.
you’re paid: 1. I am not honoring the debt because of what I believe are extenuating circumstances entirely of your making. 2. I am simply flat-out not paying you.

Z
zu-zus: slang for candy bought at commissary. see wham-whams


[B]5-K: a notation on a PSI (pre-sentence investigation) indicating the person cooperated with the government and gave information; i.e. a snitch.
two for one/ three for two: refers to rates for commissary sold in a prisoner’s ‘store’- a 100% to 200% mark-up.
two-piece / three-piece: hit someone, twice being a ‘two-piece’, three times being a ‘three-piece’.
12-dick-a-day habit: active homosexual
$20 commissary word: a word not commonly in the individual’s vocabulary, implying that the person is putting on intellectual airs.
$100 paper/ $50 paper: priced powder drugs folded into a small square of paper.
5150 (fifty-one fifty): California state prison designation for a mental case.

erimir
04-22-2010, 10:58 PM
I never knew that "Sancho" in the Sublime song Santeria was a prison slang for the replacement guy...

Ensign Steve
04-23-2010, 01:26 AM
Me either, I thought it was his name.

parnello
04-26-2010, 11:33 PM
For me, the fall television season begins tonight with Prison Break.