Walkie Talkie Codes and Lingo To Use For Clearer Communication

Speaking in a regular tone when using Walkie Talkies can be troublesome, words are often garbled and understanding the conversation or instructions given may be difficult. This is precisely the reason why Walkie Talkie communication is often done in specific code words as it helps to make the conversation easier to understand.

As well as knowing these specific code words it also helps to learn how to speak into a Walkie Talkie device so that even the simplest of words such as ‘yes’ or ‘no’ doesn’t get lost in translation.

Here are all the ins and outs when it comes to Walkie talkie codes and Lingo:

Most of these code words are standard and are often known and understood by many, so using these particular words helps to simplify matters:

  • Affirmative When a response is given using the word Affirmative it means ‘YES’ so that the word is clear and never misunderstood.
  • Negative This is the opposite of Affirmative, so when you use the word negative, you are actually saying ‘NO’ to the recipient.
  • Copy Copy is extremely well known as it’s often one of the most coded Walkie Talkie words used. ‘Copy that’ is used when a recipient is expressing that they’ve understood the instruction or conversation but doesn’t mean that they are in total agreement just that they got the message loud and clear. ‘Do you copy’ however is what is said to a recipient when asking if they have understood.
  • Standby/Standing by – both these words are similar, but their meaning is different. These two words mean two different things. For instance, if you say ‘Standby’ you are basically expressing that you’ve got the message but are not in a position to respond at the moment. ‘Standing by’ means that you are ready and waiting for further instruction.
  • Beaker 1-9 This is code for expressing that you want to start a transmission.
  • What’s your 20? – This is a simple ‘Where are you?’ message when asking the recipient ‘What’s your 20?’ you are asking for their current location.
  • Walkie Check users tend to use this code message before starting a conversation with the other person; its meaning is a simple one asking if their device is all good and working as normal.
  • Good check – You respond with ‘Good check’ meaning all is good when asked the question ‘Walkie Check’ and everything is fine with your device.

Once you’ve learned the codes you’re set for life, they rarely change in meaning, if ever at all. All of those words are used over a broad range of industries, from police and military to Airline workers and even on movie sets.

However, Police forces tend to use their very own ‘ten code words’ even more simplified than those mentioned above. These codes were invented by the police force themselves and date back to 1937 when they were first invented by Illinois State Police Force.

Here is the quick low down on those particular codes:

  • 10-1 Unclear transmission, cannot read properly.
  • 10-2 Clear transmission, connection is readable.
  • 10-4 Message is understood loud and clear.
  • 10-5 Meaning can you pass the message on to another colleague.
  • 10-6 Meaning busy at the moment, can you please standby.
  • 10-9 Message not clearly understood, please repeat.
  • 10-20 What is your location, where are you?

Letter and spelling

When trying to spell words out over Walkie Talkie transmission, it can be difficult, especially since some letters are not clear, for instance, M and N sound too similar. Many use the technique known worldwide as the NATO Phonetic Alphabet when spelling over telephone conversations and it’s highly recommended that the same procedure is used when spelling over radio transmissions too. So now may be the time to get to grips with your A for Alpha, D for delta and N for November and so on!

  • A – Alpha
  • B – Bravo
  • C – Charlie
  • D – Delta
  • E – Echo
  • F – Foxtrot
  • G – Golf
  • H – Hotel
  • I – India
  • J – Juliet
  • K – Kilo
  • L – Lima
  • M – Mike
  • N – November
  • O – Oscar
  • P – Papa
  • Q – Quebec
  • R – Romeo
  • S – Sierra
  • T – Tango
  • U – Uniform
  • V – Victor
  • W – Whiskey
  • X – Xray
  • Y – Yankee
  • Z – Zulu


All numbers are as normal when expressed over radio transmission, nothing to learn here apart from the number 9, which is often referred to as ‘niner’.

Those codes mentioned above are commonly known worldwide and are used over many different professions and roles. Knowing the basics is a good place to start and can help immensely if your job role requires the frequent use of radio control Walkie talkies.