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Amateur radio abbreviations and jargon

This activity introduces the concept of coordinated universal time and provides practice in its use.


Amateur radio operators often speak in code, using CW abbreviations or jargon. CW is itself an abbreviation for Continuous Wave, meaning Morse code. It takes a long time to send a message in CW, so common words and phrases are abbreviated. Sometimes these codes continue to be used by the same operators during “phone” or voice contacts. Other Amateur Radio code words have evolved over time to become part of the Amateur Radio “lingo” and are used quite frequently.

Abbreviations chart


Hand out copies of the above chart.


  1. Students take turns using the abbreviations in a sentence, like: "I've been rag-chewing with you on my rig all day, OM. How about an eye-ball?"
  2. Students listen to on-air conversations and call out the meaning of any amateur radio abbreviations or jargon used.


Try using amateur radio abbreviations and jargon at home or with your mates: "Roger, mum, I'll be back for dinner. 73."