Most likely, you’ve seen Tweets, videos, and other posts on social media in the past few weeks that talk about police officers. As you read them, you may notice that a lot of people call the police “12.”
Most of the time, the “12” is followed by something that makes it clear that the person posting dislikes the cops. Because of how these posts work, they tend to spread quickly around the internet, leading to more and more people using the term, but do they know what it means? What does the number “12” mean?
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Why Are Police Officers Called ’12’?
In the Southern States of the United States, people often call police officers “12.” When people use the number 12 to talk about police officers, they make a negative statement about the violent past of police work in the United States as reported by Tuko.co.ke.
Where did the word “12” come from as a slang term?
There are a few theories about how the slang term “12” came to be used to refer to the police, but no one knows for sure why the term is so common. But people have settled on a few theories because they seem the most likely.
One popular theory is that the phrase comes from the police radio code system 10-12, which says there are civilians in the area where police officers are patrolling. This method was made in the 1930s to help police officers talk on the radio in a more standardized way.
Another idea is that 12 comes from the TV show Adam-12, which played in the late 1960s and early 1970s and followed two police officers as they patrolled the streets of Los Angeles in their patrol unit, 1-Adam-12.
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Another idea says that 12 is about police officers who deal with drugs. People point to the rap song “F–k 12” by Migos as the main proof. There are lines in the music that says, “Aye, throw that s—t, throw that s—t, 12 outside.” If you don’t want to get caught by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), you should throw away drugs.
Since then, many people have used the term to tell a crowd that the police are nearby quickly. Gucci Mane and Quavo, two well-known rappers, have also used the phrase “F*** 12” in their songs, which has helped it become more famous in pop culture.
When did the cops turn to be ’12’?
In the late 1960s, people started calling police officers “12,” the name quickly spread to the general public. Today, the phrase is often used on the streets to let people know that police have come or are on their way so they can get away from the law. The term has become more common in recent years because it is a meaningful way to inform people that police are nearby. But it’s unclear where the phrase came from, and several ideas exist.
How did the word “police” get started?
The word “police” was first used in the early 1500s to describe many public policies. The word “police” comes from the Greek word “polis,” which means “city” or “polity.” It is also related to the Latin word “politia,” which means “citizen.” Part of a police officer’s job is to enforce the rules and keep things in order.
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