Imagine the following situation. You are talking with your friends. You are having a good chat about all kinds of things and having a good time. Suddenly, a friend mentions a word you have never heard of. It is the kind of word everyone seems to be aware of, except you, who has no idea of what it means. Such situations can break the flow of interesting conversations as you lose track of what the other person wants to say. Worse, you don’t want to ask them the meaning as it might seem silly or embarrassing.
A similar situation can occur online on Snapchat or any other platform when the word “12” suddenly pops up in a chat. Whether you’re chatting with a friend or in a group chat, seeing someone mention “12” in their sentence can seem pretty out-of-context at best.
If you are here wondering what on earth this term means, you are in the right place. Read on to learn everything you need to know about “12” and how you, too, can use it in your conversations.
What does “12” mean on Snapchat?
We know how confusingly weird it might be to open a chat and see someone talking about something called “12” out of the blue. While you won’t find everyone talking about this term, some people can. So, it’s best to know the meaning of this term to end your confusion once and for all.
If you see someone mentioning “12” in their messages without any apparent context, it likely means they are referring to the police.
Yes, you read that right. “12” is a slang term that refers to the police. Sometimes, the term might also mean other law enforcement agencies like drug enforcement agencies. In any case, “12” means any kind of law enforcement agency or officials in general.
Therefore, you might see messages like these in your conversations:
Fear the 12.
Watch out for the 12.
The 12 are coming.
My dad works for 12.
I don’t fear the 12.
You see, you can use this term in any form or in any sentence. Just replace the term “12” with “police,” and you will get your mystery solved in no time.
Should you use this term in conversations?
The term “12” might seem confusing at first. But if you realize that someone is using this term to refer to the police, drug enforcement agency, or any other law enforcement agency, there can be several reasons why they are using it.
The slang is not very well known nowadays. Does that mean the person using the term wants to convey a message secretly? Or is it just because they are familiar with the term and want to use it in their conversation casually?
If you discover something serious in their conversation, you should take necessary actions and avoid getting involved in any illegal stuff. It can get you into trouble with both the police and Snapchat.
That said, just using this term is perfectly normal and not offensive or vulgar in any way. You can use 12 as a synonym for the police; it’s perfectly legal.
Where did this slang come from?
After learning about this slang and its meaning, you must be wondering how and when this weird slang came into existence. Well, it’s an old and long story.
As with many other slangs, it is unclear exactly when and how “12” became a synonym for law enforcement agencies or officials. However, we have some possible semi-conclusive roots that can be responsible for the origin of this slang. There are mainly two possible origins.
The police use several radio codes to communicate with officials. All these codes start from 10. One of these codes is 10-12, which means “Visitors are present (be discrete)” or “Standby,” depending on the situation. This code can be an early source of this slang.
Another, more realistic and convincing theory dates back to the year 1968. A TV show named Adam-12 portrayed the adventures and investigations of two police officers who patrolled the streets and met with all kinds of incidents. The patrol car of the police in this show was labeled 1-Adam-12.
The popularity of this show is likely credited with popularizing the term “12” as a synonym for the police or other law-enforcement officials.
In the end
Slang words can creep into conversations in the most unexpected ways. But sometimes, you might encounter a term that seems totally unfamiliar. “12” is one such slang term.
We discussed how “12” might likely mean something related to the police and law enforcement agency. The term can be used casually and is totally harmless until you use it for some sort of secret conversation about dark, illegal things.
If this blog helped you learn the meaning of “12” and how to use it, share it with your friends. Bookmark our site for more such interesting blogs.