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What’s Your 20 Meaning: The Secret Code of Communication for Location

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Do you ever hear someone ask, “What’s your 20?” and wonder what it means?  In this article, we’ll explore the meaning and origins of “What’s your 20?” and how it’s used in different contexts. Whether you’re a traveler, a truck driver, or just curious about language, this guide will help you understand the significance of “What’s your 20?” and how it can simplify communication and coordination.

What’s Your 20 Meaning

What's Your 20 Meaning: The Secret Code of Communication for Location

What’s Your 20 Meaning

What Does What’s Your 20? Mean?

The phrase “What’s your 20?” is a code phrase similar to Amateur Radio Operators’ use of Q-signals. The phrase is a part of the 10-code language used in CB radio communication. The 10-code language was developed to reduce the time needed to transmit and interpret a message.

The 10-code language is a system of communication that assigns numbers to common phrases and messages. For example, the number 10-4 means “message received” or “affirmative.” The number 10-20 means “location” or “where are you?” When someone asks “What’s your 20?” they are asking for your location.

Here are a few example sentences that demonstrate the use of “What’s your 20?”:

  • “Hey, Bob, what’s your 20? I’m heading your way and wanted to know if you need me to bring anything.”
  • “Officer, what’s your 20? We need backup at the corner of Main and Elm.”
  • “Truckers, what’s your 20? We’ve got a convoy forming and need to know where everyone is.”

Origins of ‘What’s Your 20?’

If you’ve ever watched a police procedural on TV or listened to truckers on a CB radio, you’ve probably heard the phrase “What’s your 20?” But where did this phrase come from?

The origins of “What’s your 20?” can be traced back to the 10-code system, a shorthand radio communication language primarily used by law enforcement agencies. Specifically, “10-20” stands for location, leading to the usage of “20” as a synonym for location.

The 10-code system was developed during the 1930s by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International and has been widely used by police forces in the USA. The system was designed to allow for brevity and clarity in radio communications, which is essential in emergency situations.

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The phrase “What’s your 20?” emerged as a way to seek another’s whereabouts. It spread into CB radio in the late 1940s and into truck-driving culture in the 1970-80s. Today, it’s a common way to ask someone where they are, whether on a CB radio or in everyday conversation.

Usage in CB Radio Communication

If you’re new to CB radio communication, you might have heard the phrase “What’s your 20?” being used by truckers and other CB radio users. This phrase is a part of the CB radio code language and is used to ask for someone’s location. In this section, we’ll explore the usage of “What’s your 20?” in CB radio communication.

Code Language

CB radio communication has its own set of codes and lingo to make communication more efficient and effective. The use of these codes helps to save time and reduce confusion. One of the most common codes used in CB radio communication is the 10-code system.

The 10-code system includes a series of numbers that represent different phrases or messages. For example, the number 10-4 means “message received.” Similarly, the number 10-20 is used to ask for someone’s location. When someone asks “What’s your 20?” on a CB radio, they are asking for your location.

Importance in Trucking Industry

The phrase “What’s your 20?” is particularly important in the trucking industry. Truckers spend a lot of time on the road, and CB radio communication is an essential tool for them to stay connected with other drivers and get information about road conditions, traffic, and other important updates.

In the trucking industry, knowing someone’s location is crucial for coordinating deliveries, finding rest stops, and avoiding traffic jams. Truckers use CB radios to communicate with other drivers and ask for their location using the phrase “What’s your 20?”

Application in Film Production

As a film production assistant, it’s important to understand the lingo used on set, including the meaning and usage of “What’s your 20?” This CB radio term is commonly used on set for location management and on-set communication.

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On-Set Communication

Effective communication is crucial for a successful film production, and “What’s your 20?” is a commonly used phrase for on-set communication. It’s a quick and efficient way to ask for someone’s location without having to explain the entire situation. For example, if a PA needs to deliver a package to the director, they can quickly ask “What’s your 20?” to find out where the director is located.

Location Management

Location management is an important aspect of film production, and “What’s your 20?” can be used to keep track of everyone’s location. This is especially important when filming on location, where the crew may be spread out over a large area. By asking “What’s your 20?” crew members can quickly and efficiently communicate their location to others on set.

In addition to “What’s your 20?”, there are other commonly used phrases in film production that you should be familiar with. For example, “Abby Singer” is a term used to refer to the second-to-last shot of the day, while “Martini Shot” refers to the final shot of the day.

Influence on Pop Culture

The phrase “What’s your 20?” has made its way into pop culture and has been referenced in various forms of media. Here are some examples of how this phrase has influenced pop culture.

In Music

Several musicians have referenced the phrase “What’s your 20?” in their songs. For instance, the country music band Florida Georgia Line used the phrase in their song “Cruise.” The lyrics go, “Baby you a song, you make me wanna roll my windows down and cruise, down a back road blowin’ stop signs through the middle, every little farm town with you, in this brand new Chevy with a lift kit, would look a hell of a lot better with you up in it, so baby you a song, you make me wanna roll my windows down and cruise, hey baby, what’s your 20?”

Another example is the song “Truckin'” by the Grateful Dead. The lyrics include the line, “What a long, strange trip it

Modern Day Usage

In modern times, the phrase “What’s your 20?” is still commonly used in radio communication, especially among law enforcement and emergency services. However, it has also become a popular slang term used in everyday language.

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For example, if you’re meeting up with a friend and you’re not sure where they are, you might text them, “Hey, what’s your 20?” to ask for their location. Similarly, if you’re on a road trip with friends and you need to make a pit stop, you might ask, “Does anyone need to give their 20?”

The phrase has even made its way into pop culture, appearing in movies, TV shows, and songs. In the 2001 film “Ocean’s Eleven,” George Clooney‘s character asks Brad Pitt’s character, “What’s your 20?” when he wants to know where he is. In the TV show “Breaking Bad,” the character Jesse Pinkman uses the phrase to ask for someone’s location.

While the origin of the phrase may be rooted in police and emergency services communication, its widespread usage in modern times shows how language and slang can evolve and adapt over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the origin of the phrase ‘What’s your 20?’

The phrase ‘What’s your 20?’ originated in the United States in the 1950s. It was first used by police officers to ask about the location of their colleagues. Later, it became popular among truck drivers who used CB radios to communicate with each other.

What does ‘What’s your 20?’ mean in CB radio communication?

In CB radio communication, ‘What’s your 20?’ means ‘What is your location?’ It is a way to ask someone where they are. The phrase is still commonly used among truck drivers and other CB radio users today.

What are some common responses to ‘What’s your 20?’?

Some common responses to ‘What’s your 20?’ include giving your current location, providing directions to your location, or saying that you are not sure of your location.

What are some other CB radio slang terms?

CB radio slang terms include ‘breaker breaker’, which means ‘can I come in?’, ’10-4′, which means ‘message received’, and ‘smokey’, which means ‘police officer’.

What is the significance of the number 20 in CB radio slang?

The number 20 in CB radio slang refers to location. It is believed to have originated from the police 10-code ’10-20′, which means ‘location’. CB radio users adopted this code and shortened it to ’20’ to ask about someone’s location.

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The phrase 'What's your 20?' originated in the United States in the 1950s. It was first used by police officers to ask about the location of their colleagues. Later, it became popular among truck drivers who used CB radios to communicate with each other.

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In CB radio communication, 'What's your 20?' means 'What is your location?' It is a way to ask someone where they are. The phrase is still commonly used among truck drivers and other CB radio users today.

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What are some common responses to 'What's your 20?'?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

Some common responses to 'What's your 20?' include giving your current location, providing directions to your location, or saying that you are not sure of your location.

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What are some other CB radio slang terms?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

CB radio slang terms include 'breaker breaker', which means 'can I come in?', '10-4', which means 'message received', and 'smokey', which means 'police officer'.

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What is the significance of the number 20 in CB radio slang?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

The number 20 in CB radio slang refers to location. It is believed to have originated from the police 10-code '10-20', which means 'location'. CB radio users adopted this code and shortened it to '20' to ask about someone's location.

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What are some examples of using 'What's your 20?' in conversation?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

Example 1:\nTruck Driver 1: \"What's your 20?\"\nTruck Driver 2: \"I'm at the rest stop on I-80.\"

\n

Example 2:\nCB Radio User 1: \"What's your 20, over?\"\nCB Radio User 2: \"I'm at the intersection of Main Street and First Avenue, over.\"

"}}]}

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