informal term for "traffic warden" in AE?

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Senior Member

I know there's several threads about the topic, but I just can't seem to get conclusive information about this: what's the AE term for "traffic warden" that one would use in an everyday conversation?
Surely the term "parking enforcement officer" is too formal, like e.g. in "That damn parking enforcement officer fined me again! I hate his guts!"...

Parking meter man/guy maybe...?
  • kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Way back when, they were frequently women and they were called "meter maids".

    Since times have changed (in many ways) I don't know if there is a set term any more. I can't think of one.

    I wouldn't know what a PEO was if it was mentioned in casual conversation. (Well, I might now. :))

    Where I live you wouldn't know the person who gave you a ticket so you would just say something like, "Crap, I got another parking ticket!"


    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I speak AE, but I don't know what a "traffic warden" is, since that is BE and not used in AE.

    In the US we have "traffic cops", who are full policemen who direct traffic (over-riding traffic lights). Those are local police (part of the city or town government). They give traffic tickets to cars that break local traffic rules.

    Policemen driving police cars on highways, monitoring highway traffic, are "state police" (part of the state government -- the US has 50 states). They give tickets to speeders and other law-violators, help with accidents, help fix traffic jams, and handle other highway problems.

    We also have "meter maids" who are not policemen, but are authorized to give parking tickets to any car parked illegally. I don't know a male term for that job, though I'm sure some of them are male. They work for the city or town.


    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I've heard the term "meter cop" although technically a "meter cop" is not an official policeman. Meter maid/meter cop are the two terms I use, one for female, one for male.

    Side Bar: A dying profession for the most part. Cities have found that keeping someone on the payroll simply to collect the cash in the meters and to issue largely disregarded tickets is not economical. Like public telephone "booths", one still sees these meters in downtown city streets....but they are mostly not working relics of a bygone era.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    When was the last time you were "downtown"? A lot of them are electronic now and you can pay with a card or with your phone, in addition to coins. That's usually done from one kiosk per block, instead of at each spot. And they still give tickets.
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