What does ACAB mean?

ACAB- Is ACAB a Derogatory Term?

ACAB is a catty/ insulting term that means ‘All Cops Are Bastard/ All Coppers Are Bastards’ and used to entirely abolish the police. It serves the same purpose as 1312 that is its numeric variant. Let’s discuss whether ACAB is a derogatory term, how it first originated, and what are some interesting facts about it.

Is ACAB a Derogatory Term?

The term ACAB is a universal anti-police slogan used by people when the police in an area do something wrong. It is definitely a derogatory term used by people to show their solidarity with the general public and insult the police department. 

Most people use it in their graffiti art, tattoos, and print them on their t-shirts or headbands that they wear in protests, especially against the police. People have been using the term is ACAB for decades, and it depicts a very strong power dynamic between people of a state and the rulers of a state. 

Origin of the Term ACAB

According to research, the term ACAB was first used in the 1940s in Britain by workers on strike. In 1958, boys made videos of them belting ACAB on streets; however, the term became extremely popular when it was first used as a heading by the Daily Mirror in the 1970s and became the leading cause of a punk movement. 

It became so popular that punk musicians like 4-Skins started publicly using the term in their songs. And in no time, all the people who were tired of the police’s immoral acts from Britain to the US and from Indonesia to Germany started using ACAB to express their anger. 

However, the term ACAB gained a renewed popularity since the Black Lives Matter movement started to condemn black people’s brutal killings and tortures by the police and society. In 2020, a policeman named Derek Chauvin in America killed an innocent black man named George Floyd by putting pressure on his neck with one of his knees for more than 8 minutes while several other policemen were watching him. 

The killing of Floyd was an actual trigger, and it provoked protests all over in the United States, and the BLM movement was renewed worldwide with an unstoppable intensity. People started shaming the police using ACAB, and since then, it has not stopped. 

Interesting Facts about ACAB

  • The term ACAB is written outside the Churchill Statue in London and Utah State Capitol. 
  • Many brands make huge profits by selling streetwear with ACAB imprinted on them.
  • Some people think that the abbreviation of ACAB is ‘All Cops Are Bad’ even though it is ‘All Cops Are Bastards.’
  • The term ACAB is the most used in the United States because it is thought to be the country with the highest police brutality cases.
  • ACAB started in the Southern United States in the 18th century when white volunteers tried to enforce slavery laws. 
  • ACAB also got its popularity among young adults through social media memes and videos. Tiktok alone was responsible for more than a billion videos with the hashtag ACAB.

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