Essential Guide To Walkie Talkie Communication Lingo

Essential Guide To Walkie Talkie Communication Lingo

2022-10-28 By UNIWA

Have you ever been communicating over walkie talkie and heard radio lingo that had you scratching your head?

Say you finished saying something important and the person you were speaking to responded “10-4,” or “Roger that.” Maybe they even replied with a “Sure, what’s your 20?” when you talked about meeting up.

These phrases are examples of short-hand radio lingo that’s been in place for decades, all designed to create succinct and crystal clear communications for radio users.

Unfortunately, things aren’t that clear when you aren’t familiar with the terminology.

To help you understand some of the most popular radio lingo used today, we broke it down here. Over.

DMR POC Walkie Talkie UNIWA P4 (8)
DMR POC Walkie Talkie UNIWA P4

Roger that = “Message received and understood”

Roger so far = Confirming part way through a long message that you’ve understood the message so far

Affirmative = Yes

Negative = No

Come in = Asking another party to acknowledge they can hear you

Go ahead = I am ready for your message

Say again = Repeat all of your last message

Say all before/after = Repeat all before/after a certain phrase or word if you didn’t catch part of the message

Over = Message finished, inviting others to respond if needed

Out = Conversation is finished, no answer is required or expected

Radio check = What’s my signal strength? Can you hear me?

Read you loud and clear = Your transmission signal is good, I can hear you fine

Wilco = Abbreviation of “I will comply”, means the speaker will complete the task that’s been asked of them

Break, break = Interruption to a transmission to communicate urgently

Emergency, emergency = Distress call, only to be used when there is an imminent danger to life and immediate assistance is required

Stand by = Wait for a short period and I will get back to you

Wait out = Waiting period is longer than I expected, I will get back to you as soon as possible

I spell = The next word will be spelled out using the phonetic alphabet

Mayday=I need help

Correction=I made a mistake. Correct version is…

PoC Walkie Talkie UNIWA F80S (4)
PoC Walkie Talkie UNIWA F80S

The 10-Codes

10-codes provide a succinct way of communicating via walkie talkie that spans users and industries. You’re just as likely to hear a 10-code working in the public safety arena as you are in a manufacturing company.

In short, 10-codes (or 10-signals) are numbers that stand in for phrases. Here are the popular 10-codes and what they mean: 

10-1. Receiving poorly
10-2. Receiving well
10-3. Stop transmitting
10-4. Message received
10-5. Relay message
10-6. Busy, please stand by
10-7. Out of service, leaving the air
10-8. In service, subject to call
10-9. Repeat message
10-10. Transmission completed, standing by
10-11. Talking too rapidly
10-12. Visitors present
10-13. Advise Weather/Road conditions
10-16. Make pick up at_

10-17. Urgent business
10-18. Anything for us?
10-19. Nothing for you, return to base
10-20. My location is _(for example, “what is your 20?”)

Phonetic Alphabet

It is almost certain that you will have to use the phonetic alphabet in your conversations over a walkie talkie. Many letters and words sound alike so in order to make sure you are communicating clearly you can use the phonetic equivalents of letters that are often confused such as ‘F’ and ‘S’, ‘T’ and ‘C’, or ‘M’ and ‘N’.


This is just a small selection of the walkie talkie communication lingo. If you are interested, you can learn more on the Internet.

Of course, you can just talk normally using your walkie talkie, but in situations where a fast response is needed, or perhaps you can only give short answers, these lingoes can be a really useful tool and help you get the most out of your walkie-talkie.

Would you like to purchase new walkie talkies? Whether you want them for business or leisure, we’ll have the radio right for you. Contact us here!

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