Breaker Breaker 19 Meaning (Why Do Truckers Say It?)

Your truck’s CB radio can help you avoid speed traps, keep track of road conditions, check weather information, and send emergency signals. However, it’ll be useless if you don’t understand trucker lingo sentences.

One of the most popular codes is breaker breaker 19. What does it mean? When a driver tunes into channel 19 and says the code, he or she wants to interrupt someone else’s transmission and send a message, usually announcing important news or contacting a specific person.

This article will explain breaker breaker 19 meaning in more detail and introduce many other jargon phrases. Keep reading!

What is Breaker Breaker 19 Meaning?

What does breaker breaker mean? The definition of “breaker breaker 19” is implied in the name itself. Breaker breaker meaning is to interrupt, and 19 means channel 19—one of the most used channels on CB radios that is open to everyone.

In other words, breaker breaker 19 response is the code truck drivers use to ask for permission to transmit on channel 19. Since channel 19 is usually busy with chatter, this code is a polite way to interrupt others and quickly deliver your message. However, note that it is pronounced “breaker breaker one nine” instead of nineteen.

After saying the code, CB operators would often transmit important news, such as unexpected speed traps or roadblocks. You can also use it to contact a specific person, then ask him or her to move to a less-busy channel to continue the conversation. You should avoid lengthy CB trucker talk on channel 19.

The term is also used in many songs’ lyrics. You might be familiar with breaker 1/9—a song released by Common in 1993. The lyrics start with Breaker 1/9 Breaker 1/9 Mayday. And if you’re looking for a country song with breaker breaker 1-9 in it, check out CB savage by Rod Hart.

Tracklist of Breaker 1/9

The tracklist of the Breaker 1/9 album by Common includes three Breaker 1/9 tracks (one instrumental, radio version, and remix) on side A and three on side B (one remix and two instrumentals).

You will find an LP radio edit, Slope remix, LP instrumental, Beat Nuts remix, Beat Nuts instrumental, and Slope instrumental.

Other Trucker Lingo Terms

Breaker breaker 1-9 is not the only trucker slang. There are approximately twenty more that you need to learn before operating a CB radio. Here, we introduce some of the most common trucker lingoes.

Numeric Codes – 10s

The 10s code system contains numerous codes starting with the number ten. One of the most popular is 10-4. Operators use it to say that the message is received, mostly used by policemen.

The reverse version of it—4-10—is said when operators want to make sure others hear them clearly.

There are also many other codes, as in the table below.

CB 10s Codes
Code Meaning
10-1 The transmission is not clear (poor reception)
10-2 The transmission is clear (good reception)
10-3 Please stop transmitting
10-6 I’m busy (please hold on)
10-9 Please repeat
10-10 The message is over (I finished transmitting)
10-17 Urgency
10-27 Let’s move to channel ….
10-38 I need an ambulance at …
10-200 I need the police at …

Codenames and Catchphrases

In addition to the numeric codes, you will encounter codenames and catchphrases. Some help shorten long messages, while some are only for funny CB radio conversations.

CB codenames and catchphrases
Phrase Meaning
The big slab The interstate or highway
Hammer lane The left lane of a highway
Granny lane The right lane of a highway
GOGO juice/Motion lotion Fuel
Chokenpuke A roadside diner
Blowing Smoke Strong signal/Good reception
Bear Police officers on the road

Frequently Asked Questions

How to talk on a CB radio?

CB radios allow you to chat with nearby truckers and pass the long hours on the open road. But how do you start a conversation?

To begin, you should tune into a clear channel and transmit your location or direction. Don’t forget to mention the interstate or highway number. Then, transmit your message briefly and clearly.

The location information will grab the attention of truckers on the same road or direction, so they will listen to your message carefully.

Why do truckers have to say Breaker Breaker 1-9 before speaking?

Channel 19 is very busy; you usually have to interrupt someone to deliver your message. So, saying “breaker breaker 1-9” is a respectful gesture before transmitting. Plus, it notifies everyone that another person is speaking.

What is Channel 19 frequency on a CB?

Channel 19 has a frequency of 27.185 MHz. It is one of the most popular CB channels that operators often tune into for highway traffic information.

Do people still use CB radio?

Yes, many still do. Despite trucking apps and smartphones, CBs remain irreplaceable. The main reason is that CBs are reliable in dead zones. You can make a CB emergency call almost everywhere.

Plus, most truckers have been in the industry for more than 20 years. They stick to their old habits, and thus many use CBs as the primary means of communication on the road.

Is FM allowed on CB radio?

Originally, all CB radios operate on SSB (single-sideband) frequencies and AM. But as of September 2021, the FCC allowed operators to use FM mode on CB radios.


To sum up, breaker breaker 1-9 is a polite phrase truckers use to interrupt others and start transmitting on channel 19. Besides learning breaker breaker 19 meaning, you should check out other jargons and familiarize yourself with them before operating a CB radio.

Then, you can understand everything other drivers transmit and sound like a pro on your CB. But don’t leave yet! Browse our website for more information about CB operation and installation!

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