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LEARN LONDON TAXI SLANG: ‘The Butterboy Copperbottom has gone for a Churchill!’

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

The London taxi industry has a steep history dating back to when the first Hackney Cabs were licensed in 1662.

Over that time cabbies have adopted their own language and form of slang for words associated with the industry and places in the capital when chatting to colleagues on ranks and in taxi cafes.

Here's a LONG list of the most commonly used language unique to the taxi trade in London.

A Churchill - Refers to a meal. Winston Churchill kindly gave cabbies the right to refuse a fare whilst eating.

B&B - Badge & Bill licence check.

Berty Popped - Albert Hall emptying with possible customers.

Bill - A taxi license.

Bilker - Someone who runs off without paying.

Billy or Billies - A customer or customers.

Broom - Pushing a fare you don't want onto another driver.

Burst - Customers exiting a venue on mass.

Butterboy - A driver that has been a cabbie for less than three years.

Cabbed Out - A full rank.

Cab Law - Cab etiquette.

Clipboard Johnny - Person directing people out of venues into minicabs

Copperbottom - A taxi driver who works long hours.

Dinosaur - A driver that doesn't use modern technology like mobile apps or take credit cards.

Dried Up - A burst has finished.

Droshky - Slang for taxi. An old horse drawn taxi.

FP - Fixed Price

Hands Up - Customers looking for taxis.

Hanging Up - Cabbies parked up with light off choosing work they want.

Hairdrier - Police officer with speed gun.

Hickory - A taxi meter.

Kojac - Police officer with speed gun.

Legalled/Legal - Customer pays the exact fare. No tip.

Leather Arse - A taxi driver who works long hours.

Musher - A driver that owns their vehicle.

On and Off - Set down a customer and pick up straight away.

On Point - The taxi at the front of a rank.

Pax - Passenger.

Penguins - People attending black tie events.

POB - Passenger On Board

Putting on Foul - Over ranking.

Roader - A long distance fare.

Scab - An illegal minicab.

Sherbet/Sherb - A sherbet dab slang for cab.

Showing Out - Customers looking for cabs with their hands out.

Single Pin - A single passenger.

Toes Up - Slow down for police checks.


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