Do garbagemen have a language of their own?

Sometimes early in the morning, I am awoken by the arrival of my local garbagemen (or sanitation engineers, for the politically correct amongst you). On these occasions, I am always intrigued by the way they communicate with each other. It seems to be a series of whistles and yells, but when they yell, it doesn’t seem to be in any recognizable language. Since I have never known anyone who has worked in this trade, I’m wondering if there are any amongst the teeming millions who can explain their unique communication methods?

Every occupation has their own nomenclature. Lawyers (for example) don’t memorize those words just to confuse you. They also can communicate with other “brothers” more quickly.

OR: United two fifty-two, taxi one seven left via Victor, Bravo and Yankee. Jasper 7 departure. Flight level 235 after passing Newark two three five radial. Squak 3122. Departure will be one one eight point three. Contact tower, one one eight point seven when ready.

Just imagine how long the previous paragraph would take if they had to speak in complete coherent sentences that everyone could interpret.

Most jargons are subsets of local languages. For example, when the computer techie says “The stack has overflowed and your machine is dumping packets all over the floor.” (I defy you to translate that into basic English in one sentence.) he is clearly speaking English, just with some special meanings for his terms. Of course, the legal and medical professions like to use Latin for historical reasons dating right back to Rome, where those professions took on something resembling a modern form. Unless the OP has misheard the garbagemen they are not using English much at all, something I find strange. After all, jargons are usually easy to learn once you begin to work in that environment, and I fail to see how someone could easily pick up a system of whistles and yells.

There’s a special language spoken amongst most of the security and parking personnel at Denver International Airport. I’ve been told it’s called “Ethiopian.” Anyone know anything about it?


Your computer cannot deal with incoming information fast enough so any new information is being ignored.

When I used to work in a tire and brake garage we developed out own ‘language.’ I think this is a normal part of human behavior, because there wasn’t much reason for it. The ‘language’ was a mixture of english, french, spanish, black english, hoots, whistles, and hand signs. The way I noticed it working was that one employee would call an object an unsual name and the the others would adopt that name. The hoots, whistles, and hand signs were used when the shop was noisy which was most of the time, and this system developed with plan or organization.

An interesting side note: For some reason all the guys in the shop refered to each other as bill. Every guy call every other guy bill, but noone in the shop was named bill. They only did this when we were working, and called everyone by their correct name when we were at lunch and after work.