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MEATSAW
January 14, 2010, 10:19 PM
So last night I was watching TLC and a show called "Emergency Level One." Its a trauma ER hospital documentary of sorts. Anyway one of the patients that they treated on the show was black female gun shot victim. It showed a police officer question the woman about the shooting and below is the dialogue:

LEO: "Do you remember or do know what kind of gun it was?"

Woman: "No, it was just a big gun."

LEO: "Was it a chopper?"

Woman: "I don't know what a chopper is."

LEO: "An AK?"

Woman: "All I know was it was a big gun."

Now I consider myself pretty gun savvy but I have never heard the word "chopper" used to describe ANY gun that I know of, certainly not an AK47 either. Have any of you ever heard "chopper" used as gun slang for an AK? Or anything else?

The other part that irritated me (and the wife!) was why the police officer used such slang. Was it because she was black and a gun shot victim (so clearly she was in a gang and knows such slang :barf:) ? And if you are conducting such an interview why not use the actual name of the firearm in question so as not to get a possible confused answer? (ie. if I were to respond that I was shot by a chopper, but what I think is a chopper is different than what you think is a chopper, we have a problem. Now if you asked me if I was shot by an AK47 and I say yes, there isn't much confusion there.)

Also, what other gun slang are used out there that I should be aware of?

Chaz88
January 14, 2010, 10:30 PM
I have ridden a chopper. Had two wheels an engine and loud pipes. Don't care for them to much the "recoil" hurts my back. Prefer my Harley ultra classic.:)

B. Lahey
January 14, 2010, 10:35 PM
Have any of you ever heard "chopper" used as gun slang for an AK?

Yep. It's pretty common.

Maser
January 14, 2010, 10:40 PM
Cops really do have quite the vocabulary of gun lingo. They call a shotgun a "pipe".

stuffaknuckle
January 14, 2010, 10:58 PM
I was watching gangland on TV a couple of months ago and that is apperently what street gangs call ak47s. They started calling them choppers because the full auto ak's will (i guess) cut a person in half.

Bill DeShivs
January 14, 2010, 11:18 PM
"Chopper" was a 1920s gangland term for the Thompson Submachine gun.

S&W Kinda Guy
January 14, 2010, 11:22 PM
The word "chopper" is used in a lot of Hip-hop music, its another word for a gun. And I find it inappropriate that the LEO used this term.

MEATSAW
January 14, 2010, 11:44 PM
Pipe = shotgun

Chopper = AK, or Thompson, or "gun"

Wow, I guess I am pretty naive when it comes to "gangland" slang. I am glad I am learning this stuff, I felt kind of stupid when my wife asked "are AKs really called choppers?" and I clearly didn't have a clue.

Also as a side note, the woman had to have her foot amputated due to the severity of the wound.

Any more commonly used slang that anyone knows?

Maser
January 15, 2010, 12:00 AM
I have never heard a Thompson called a "chopper". "Tommy gun" and "Chicago typewriter" yeah, but never a "chopper". Didn't cops have a nickname for the BAR during Bonnie and Clyde days?

BobR
January 15, 2010, 01:07 AM
I have heard the term chopper in relation to a Thompson submachine gun, as well as it being called a Chicago Typewriter.

I didn't know an AK was a chopper.

bob

stuffaknuckle
January 15, 2010, 01:47 AM
The only other term I know of is "gat" used as slang for handguns. Short for gattling gun. I dont know how gangbangers figure a handgun and a gattling gun are even close to each other.

Swampghost
January 15, 2010, 03:48 AM
I always think Thompson.

A young, yogurt eating, PETA type TV writer may not have done his homework OR this OLD guy isn't up on his 'street' lingo, that stuff changes monthly.

aarondhgraham
January 15, 2010, 08:20 AM
A chopper was a Thompson submachine gun in all the old gangster movies,,,
It fell out of use but that's what we kids always called em.

Uncle Buck
January 15, 2010, 09:02 AM
Up until today, I was always under the impression that a chopper was either a motorcycle with really long front forks (And ape hangers to be "real") or a machine used to chop and grind feed for cattle.


... Who said you was never to old to learn new things. :)

Chaz88
January 15, 2010, 09:18 AM
a motorcycle with really long front forks (And ape hangers to be "real")

Don't forget loud pipes. Mind numbing make your teeth hurt loud pipes. Not that it is a bad thing.:D

Chipperman
January 15, 2010, 09:48 AM
Didn't cops have a nickname for the BAR during Bonnie and Clyde days?

They often called a cut down BAR or other long gun a "Whippet". They were sometimes slung over one shoulder with a short loop of rope, and left to hang down the sife of the body under a coat. When needed, the person could "Whippet" out.

Michael Anthony
January 15, 2010, 11:50 AM
Short answer: Yes. People call AK and AK variants "choppers." It is very common in the southeast.

griz
January 15, 2010, 11:56 AM
So the language has changed. Does this mean I can call that thing I stick the bullets in a "clip"?:p

firespec35
January 15, 2010, 12:12 PM
Ok I work EMS in one of the worst ghettos in the country (highland park mi) and to explain the use of slang, sometimes the people don't know the true terms because all they've ever heard is the slang. Sometimes you get one that doesn't know the slang. For example one of my interview questions with most patients is "do you have the sugars, shakes, or high blood?" What I wanna know is do you have diabetis, seizures, or hypertension but if you say those words then they have no clue.

Gun slang-
Chopper- any gun that is auto in any form wether that particular gun is or not
Cricket- mouse gun
Then they use a lot of the old ones- heat, heater, piece, strap, strapped up. And believe it or not gat is an old term too. I heard it on the rockford files the other day.

sonick808
January 15, 2010, 02:06 PM
So the language has changed. Does this mean I can call that thing I stick the bullets in a "clip"?

well, if you did call it that, you would be on the same page as the US MARSHALL that continually used the term during a manhunt yesterday on TLC.

"this here is an AK clip"
"this here is a clip for a nine"

couldn't believe a US Marshall would use that term

Chaz88
January 15, 2010, 02:16 PM
couldn't believe a US Marshall would use that term

I don't get to wound up about the terms people use. As long as they are understandable. For instance we all use the term gun on this site. But when I was in the Navy it was inappropriate to refer to a rifle as a gun. Guns were what they had on battleships and could launch a 3000 pound projectile 20 miles down range.

1911rocks
January 15, 2010, 03:35 PM
Maybe the character was "speaking the language of the subject" as an old professor use to say.

pnac
January 15, 2010, 08:40 PM
I don't think anyone mentioned "hawg leg" as slang for a large handgun. That may be a Southern/Western thing.

ENC
January 15, 2010, 09:33 PM
Baby Face Nelson in O Brother Where Art Thou? Hand me that choppa!!

Not the livestock George.

LOL

shooter_john
January 15, 2010, 10:10 PM
The other part that irritated me (and the wife!) was why the police officer used such slang. Was it because she was black and a gun shot victim (so clearly she was in a gang and knows such slang ) ? And if you are conducting such an interview why not use the actual name of the firearm in question so as not to get a possible confused answer? (ie. if I were to respond that I was shot by a chopper, but what I think is a chopper is different than what you think is a chopper, we have a problem. Now if you asked me if I was shot by an AK47 and I say yes, there isn't much confusion there.)

I would venture to say that the officer meant no insult or anything against the interviewee by using slang. The fact is that a lot of people have no idea what the real or proper name of an item is, but they are familiar with a slang term for it. Part of being a good officer is being able to communicate with any all that you come in contact with so that you can get the information you need. I've even seen instances where we've knocked on doors and announced "Sheriff's Office" clearly and loudly, yet the occupant would come out saying "who is it?... Oh it's the PO-LEASE!" Another example... If I tell you I'll be gone for a minute, I will be gone for a very short amount of time. But I've had a lot of people from other demographics use the term "minute" to describe an amount of time from six months to a year or more. "I ain't seen him in a minute". Don't instantly :barf: the officer who trying to do his job.

Dfariswheel
January 15, 2010, 10:49 PM
There are a lot of street names for shotguns. Just a few:

Bloo-Rah.
Boomer.
Tube.
Pipe.
Cannon.
Stick.
Pepper.

As example, in the most recent Joesph Wambaugh novel, the police are about to be involved in a fatal shooting incident.
One officer rests his Remington 870 over the top of his patrol unit.
Another officer screams: "Look out, Johnny's benchin' the tube, get out of the kill zone".

Rich Miranda
January 16, 2010, 04:07 AM
I saw an episode of The First 48 a while back where they referred to an AK as a Chopper. They didn't give any explanation as to why the term is used, though. I thought it odd, of course, I'm not really up on my gun slang anymore. :rolleyes:

pichon
January 17, 2010, 12:57 AM
I don't think anyone mentioned "hawg leg" as slang for a large handgun. That may be a Southern/Western thing.


My grandpa had what he called a hawg leg but it was a sawed off double barrel shotgun.

gyvel
January 17, 2010, 05:18 AM
I have never heard a Thompson called a "chopper". "Tommy gun" and "Chicago typewriter" yeah, but never a "chopper". Didn't cops have a nickname for the BAR during Bonnie and Clyde days?

"Chopper" was indeed a common term for a Thompson in the days of yore, and, in addition to "Chicago Typewriter," I also heard the term years ago of "Chicago Piano."

Don't know of any nicknames for the BAR, but Colt, I believe, called it the "Monitor."

Dfariswheel
January 17, 2010, 07:24 PM
The Colt Monitor was an actual brand name for a commercial version of the military BAR made by Colt for police use.

orangello
January 17, 2010, 08:12 PM
The term "chopper" was common in Memphis, TN a few years ago; i never really understood why particularly.

Glenn Dee
January 18, 2010, 06:07 AM
Being on Telivision does strange things to people. Sometimes they become very creative. Although "Chopper" is fine as a slang. it holds no evidentiary value. Especially if the statement turns out to be a "death bed statement"

I dont believe that Police Officer meant any disrespect, and may have been using the ghetto venacular to incourage the victim to make a full statement.
Contrary to popular belief, most people living in the "ghetto" speak normal every day english. But the police rarely have to deal with normal everyday people.

In my neck of the woods the an AK is as much a status symbol as it is a weapon. So people refer to the, as an AK. Having a tenage son I get to listen to some of the more ignorant music. (or noise as I prefer) I havent heard the use of the word "Chopper" but I'll be looking for it...lol.

I am however concerned as an armed citizen that the AK is becoming so popular with the gangbanger/armed robber ilk. It makes most of us who carry underarmed. It's caused me to rethink my everyday tactics.

MEATSAW
January 18, 2010, 02:27 PM
The term "chopper" was common in Memphis, TN a few years ago

The show is taped at Vanderbilt Medical Center (or something to that effect) which is outside of Nashville, TN.

Although "Chopper" is fine as a slang. it holds no evidentiary value.

What do you mean? Are you saying use of slang wouldn't hold up in court?

I would venture to say that the officer meant no insult or anything against the interviewee by using slang

I would agree, but I still think considering the context that it lacked professionalism.

Glenn Dee
January 18, 2010, 03:23 PM
Hey MEATSAW

Good question. If the victim dont survive, their statement will be admited into court, even as hearsay. If the Victim makes a statement it should be taken down just as given. An officer may ask a witness for clarification, but not make any suggestions. Using slang not stated by the witness would only serve to confuse the statement. There may be members on the jury who remember that a chopper was a Thompson. Or there may be members on the jury who are totally ignorant of gun slang, or street slang.

When taking a statement the police should allow the witness to use his/her own words, and report the statement just as it was taken/given. The entire statement could be impeached because an officer changed some part of it. Or because the officer made suggestions to the witness.

I hope this helps you understand my origonal statement.


Glenn Dee

Glenn Dee
January 18, 2010, 03:26 PM
OK I just checked with my 15 year old... In the street venacular of today.. it's called an "A/K"... or a "CHOPPER"... Live n learn huh?

The Tourist
January 18, 2010, 03:49 PM
I have ridden a chopper. Had two wheels an engine and loud pipes.

Yikes, there's a concept I haven't heard in about thirty years. Terms like "chopper" went out with mullet haircuts. It's "custom."

As for guns, I have to agree that I always related 'chopper' to the Thompson.

pnac
January 18, 2010, 05:52 PM
Being on Telivision does strange things to people. Sometimes they become very creative. Although "Chopper" is fine as a slang. it holds no evidentiary value. Especially if the statement turns out to be a "death bed statement"

I dont believe that Police Officer meant any disrespect, and may have been using the ghetto venacular to incourage the victim to make a full statement.
Contrary to popular belief, most people living in the "ghetto" speak normal every day engish. But the police rarely have to deal with normal everyday people.

I sat in on a court case once where a man was accused of shooting his wife and her lover after catching them in the "act". The defendant cracked up everybody when he admitted "I pulled out my piece and smoked 'em both".