ACAB Meaning: How Do You Define The Acronym “ACAB”?

The acronym “ACAB” is used by some as a means to bring attention to the behavior of a group of people. If you have come here after hearing or seeing this term used for the first time because you were wondering what it means, then you have come to the right place. Here you will find the meaning of this term, the details of its origin, and some other meanings if there are any. Example conversations are also provided for you to read and understand how the term is used properly in context and to help you further understand its meaning. Finally, you will see some like terms that can be used to replace this acronym and the phrase it represents because these alternative terms mean the same thing or something similar.

ACAB Meaning

What Does ACAB Mean?

This acronym is used mostly on the internet in chatting and in text messaging to represent the phrase “all cops are bastards.” It is used to bring attention to police behavior that is considered unethical. It is popularly used in tattooing, graffiti, and other social media imagery as well.

Origin of ACAB 

This acronym has been used in the manner stated above at least since the 1920s. It was popularized in the 1980s by a punk rock band named 4-Skins when they released a song using the acronym as its title.

Other Meanings

Like most acronyms, this one can represent many other phrases as well that are random or relate to specific situations. Some of the other things that this term can represent are “”Always Carry A Bible,” “All Cats Are Beautiful,” “All Communists Are Bastards,” “All Colors Are Beautiful,” and “Air Cavalry Attack Brigade.” This is just a small handful of examples as there are too many possibilities to mention them all here.

Conversation Examples

A conversation between two friends via text message.

  • Friend 1: Someone painted ACAB on one of the stalls in the girl’s bathroom in the downstairs hallway at school.
  • Friend 2: Seriously? I get that some cops are bad, but not all of them. Did you tell someone at school?
  • Friend 1: I told Mr. Williams about it. He is looking into it but there is not much they can do. They aren’t going to be able to identify who did it because there are no cameras in the bathrooms.

An online discussion between two Instagram users.

  • User 1: (posts a picture) This is spray-painted under the bridge downtown. Does anyone know what it means?
  • User 2: Yeah, its ACAB. It means all cops are bastards.
  • User 1: Oh, wow! I can’t believe someone would write that!
  • User 2: Why not? Have you not seen the way they behave? Some of them are so unethical!
  • User 1: Exactly! SOME of them are, not ALL of them!

Synonyms of ACAB

The acronym is also known to be represented by the numbers 1312. The numbers related directly to the appearance of the letter in the alphabet to mean the same thing as the original acronym. Other than this, there are no other synonyms for this term.

ACAB Meaning

ACAB Meaning: How Do You Define The Useful Acronym "ACAB"?

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No need for a shallow grave
No need for a shallow grave
1 month ago

Thanks for elaborating on the street meaning of ACAB. Here is my take: A very few humans are bastards even when you don’t give them a reason to be. If those are also cops, they will mistreat people under the color of law. But in reality they seem rare. In my case, even when I have pulled a boner that requires interaction with the Police, not being a bastard to THEM in those situation has worked wonders. At worst, I have received a slap on the wrist later by a court magistrate. At best I get a talking to by… Read more »

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