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You’ve probably seen a few tweets, videos, and other social media posts in recent weeks that talk about police officers. You might notice that many of them use the number 12 to refer to the police. To put it mildly, the phrase “f–k 12” typically comes before the number 12 and makes it abundantly clear that the person who posted it truly despises the police.
Why are police called “12”?
There are almost as many people asking why “12” means “the police” for every Tweet and video that uses the number “12” to refer to police officers. The answer doesn’t seem to come from a single source, but there are a few theories that people seem to have settled on, and one seems to be the most likely one.
The most common, though odd, etymology holds that the name “12” comes from the show “Adam-12,” which was about cops and ran from 1968 to 1974. The show follows two police officers as they operate their patrol vehicle, 1-Adam-12, on the streets of Los Angeles.
This is similar to the origin of the term “5-0” (or “five-oh”), which refers to Hawaii 5-0, another cop show from the same era. Despite the fact that it may seem odd for contemporary slang to refer to a television show that has been running for more than 50 years,
According to another theory, “12” specifically refers to narcotics officers (not all police officers in general). The lyrics to Migos’ “F–k 12,” which go something like this: “Aye throw that s–t, throw that s–t, 12 outside,” are the primary source of support for this theory. essentially advising people to throw drugs outside to avoid being caught by the DEA.
According to yet another theory, “12” derives from the sum of the numbers 911 and 12. However, since they add up to 11, that one is eliminated.
Last but not least, the most recent theory makes use of the initialism “ACAB,” which translates to “All Cops Are B—-ds.”The letters ACAB are sometimes substituted for the number 1312, with 1 representing A, 3 representing C, and 2 representing B.
According to this theory, the phrase is being reduced to just “12.”However, since it would make more sense to use “13” (which means “All Cops”) in this situation, we are fairly certain that this is also a false etymology.
Taking everything into consideration, it would appear that the television series Adam-12 is the most likely source of the usage of the number 12 to refer to police officers. Despite the fact that a huge part of individuals utilizing “12” to talk about cops most likely haven’t seen (or knew about!)Given its widespread use both online and offline, the show demonstrates that the term has some staying power. The more you understand!
Where did the phrase “police” originate?
The term “police” was first used to describe a variety of public policies at the beginning of the 15th century.
The Greek word for “city” or “polity,” polis, is where the word “police” comes from.
It also comes from the Latin word for citizenship, “politia.”
Policing the public and maintaining order are two aspects of law enforcement’s responsibilities.
What does ACAB mean?
ACAB, which stands for “All Cops Are B******s,” is a political slogan associated with dissidents who oppose the police.
In public artwork, such as graffiti, tattoos, or other images, it is frequently written as a catchphrase.
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