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September 16, 2004

Slang of the Week: lot lizard (noun phrase)
a prostitute who works at truck stops

As a female trucker, Maxine was careful about where she stopped because she was afraid of being mistaken for a lot lizard.

Celebrity quote:
“Virginia was a lot lizard from F.L.A.
She had a compound fracture in the trunk.”
-Green Day, from the song Misery

In the 1978 movie Convoy, hundreds of truckers banded together as a convoy to help a driver nicknamed “Rubber Duck” escape a state trooper who was chasing him across the country. This film, based on a popular C. W. McCall song of the same name, introduced CB (Citizens Band) radio slang to the general public.

For example, state troopers were called bears or smokies, because their hats made them look like Smokey Bear, the spokes “person” for the National Forest Service. (Smokey is a talking bear, for those of you who don’t live stateside.) Breaker 1-9 meant, “I want to break into this conversation.” 10-4 meant “okay” and good buddy meant “friend.”

The big trucker story in People magazine these days might be the now-fashionable trucker hats worn by rappers (often just called truckers). But the news story that caught my attention recently was an article in Discover (August 2004) on a controversial study about how these truck stop prostitutes affect the spread of HIV.

Lot lizards normally get customers by asking drivers on CB radio if they are interested in “commercial company,” as do good buddies (an expression that has changed meaning since the 70s and is now slang for male truck stop prostitutes). Some lot lizards are more aggressive and will knock on cab doors at night to find business. makes several interesting recommendations for men who would rather sleep, including “Travel with a yapping dog,” and “Put a Bible or a lighted cross in the window.”

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