Glossary of Terms

Many of these come from Ronald Kessler's excellent book The FBI which I strongly recommend. Others come from the FBI Handbook For New Employees. Others, I have obviously made up.
ADIC
(pronounced "ay-dick".) Assistant Director. There are ten publicly known Assistant Directors of the FBI: the eleventh, Assistant Director Levy, has direct control over the Special Affairs Division. The title is honorary, but reflects the generally higher rank of SAD agents.
The Agency
The CIA. Also, "the Company", "Intelligence", and "penny-loafers." (The origin of "penny-loafers" is an interesting story.) Rarely refers to the NSA.
Agent
1. An employee of the FBI. (The corresponding term in the CIA and NSA is 'officer'.) 2. In intelligence, someone besides an intelligence officer who provides intelligence.
Asset
Any human or technical resource.
Backstop
In-depth cover stories. For example, if someone is investigating an agent, and goes to their fictional place of business, and the agency has put a false business with false employees there, they are said to have 'run up against the backstop'.
Balloon
To leave the office for the afternoon, to leave the office early.
Betty Bureau
A female employee "married to the Bureau", generally support staff, but occasionally applied to an agent.
Black Sky Case
SAD only. Refers to a case involving unexplained incidents involving unidentified flying objects and related issues, including conspiracy to destroy evidence of such. See "Blue Rose" and "Pig's Wings" Cases.
Blowback
When propaganda in another country is picked up by domestic news services and spread as truth in this country. For example, if the CIA spreads rumors that the President of Honduras is about to be overwhelmingly voted out, and the New York Times prints it as a news story, that's "blowback."
Bluebooks
National Intelligence Estimates, bound in blue covers, generally address a specific topic. They are of varying security classifications.
Blue Rose Case
SAD only. Refers to a case involving paranormal activity normally associated with accepted, European legends of the supernatural, including vampires, werewolves, and events of that ilk. Non-European legends are sometimes called "Black Roses", but this term is not widespread. See "Black Sky" and "Pig's Wings" cases.
Bogie
In counterintelligence, a visitor to an official establishment whose identity is not known. Also, 'stray'.
Brick Agent
A field agent, also called a "street agent".
Bubird
A Bureau airplane or helicopter.
Bucar
(pronounced "Boo-car"). Bureau vehicle. Also "Buc" ("boo-see") and "Busteed" ("boo-steed"). One of the "Three B's". See below.
The Bureau
The FBI. Few agents refer to it any other way when speaking to other agents.
The Bureau Proper
SAD only. The FBI, excluding the Special Affairs Department.
'BZ'
Hallucinogen approximately ten times the strength of LSD, used in experiments on US soldiers by the CIA.
Case Agent
The agent in charge of a particular case. Generally only assigned to high-profile or extremely wide-ranging cases.
Case Death
When a case fails for mysterious reasons, leads going nowhere, etc.
CI
Criminal Investigation. (pronounced "see-eye") A division of the Bureau.
COMINT
Communications Intelligence
CONUS
Continental United States
Cousins
British intelligence slang for the CIA.
Customers
In the intelligence world, policymakers and elected officials.
Creds
Short for credentials. See "roast beef".
Doodys and Judys
SAD only. Puppets of the paranormal, male and female respectively. (from Howdy Doody and Judy of Punch and Judy.) Derogatory.
Dry Cleaning
Attempting to detect surveillance.
ELINT
Electronic Intelligence.
The Farm
The CIA training facility near Williamsburg, VA, operated under the guise of Camp Peary. Also, a private intelligence training facility outside Atlanta, Georgia, operated mostly by former federal intelligence officers.
FCI
Foreign Counterintelligence. A slight misnomer, but plain "CI" means Criminal Investigation, so no change has been made. (pronounced "eff-see-eye")
Feebie
In the intelligence community, a FBI agent. Often abbreviated to "feeb."
The Firm
MI-6, the British foreign intelligence service.
Flutter
To use a polygraph examination with extremely stressful and/or personal questions and/or accusations in intelligence personnel testing.
40 Committee
An interdepartmental committee which sets the secret foreign policy agenda for the United States, including the action of the CIA.
Four-bagger
Internal discipline standard for the Bureau: censure, transfer, suspension and probation.
The Game
Intelligence work.
HBO
High Bureau Official. Informal term.
Honey Trap
Sexual blackmail.
Hush Puppy
In intelligence, a silenced automatic pistol whose action has been altered to prevent it from ejecting an empty shell after firing. In more general gun parlance, a weapon expressly designed to work with a silencer.
The Institute
The Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service.
KMA
Short for "kiss my ass", active agents who have passed the retirement age.
Knuckle Dragger
Military personnel assigned to intelligence work.
Legend
A cover story, including documentation.
Linear Drawer Foot
The amount of paper it takes to fill a one-foot-long file drawer completely. Example: A House Armed Services Committee in 1969 discovered that there were 517 linear drawer feet of unalayzed intelligence regarding Southeast Asia on file with various US intelligence agencies.
Mahogany Row
The high-security area of the J. Edgar Hoover building in Washington DC. An elaborate security process must be done to enter the area: top secret documents are viewed there, and the FCI program often operates from the area. To reach the SAD offices, you must pass through Mahogany Row.
Make
To recognize someone. As in "I've been made." or "I've made the subject."
Mirrors
SAD only. Other government agents on a case, be they fellow investigators, adversaries, conspirators in a coverup, or merely interested parties.
Moonshine
SAD only. Shapeshifter involvement.
NID
National Intelligence Daily, an UMBRA TOP SECRET document that summarizes the main intelligence items of the previous day. About 200 copies are printed.
Ninja
A SWAT team member in full gear.
Notional
In intelligence, ficticious.
OPR
Office of Professional Responsibility. The FBI internal inspection body, which investigates the activities of the Bureau. The OPR often comes into conflict with SAD.
Parole
A prearranged verbal exchange by which intelligence personnel identify each other. What is in layman's terms, 'sign and countersign'.
PHOTINT
Photographic Intelligence.
Pig's Wings Case
SAD only. A term for a case that is truly bizarre, involving strangeness nowhere else classifiable. A common SAD motto is "All cases are Pig's Wings." See also "Blue Rose" and "Black Sky" cases.
Poof
SAD only. To disappear. Can be used as an active or passive verb. "The subject poofed." "He poofed the subject." "The subject was poofed."
RADINT
Radar Intelligence.
Rent-A-Goon
Informal term for agents from other field offices temporarily assigned to an investigation. Not derogatory, believe it or not.
Resident Agency
A smaller satellite of a field office, employing anywhere from one to twenty agents. Agents assigned to Resident Agencies are called "RA"s (like the Agency itself,) or "Resident Agents". See "SARA"
Rices
SAD only. Vampires. "Throwing rice" and "baking rice" are euphemisms for destroying a vampire. "Fried rice" is a rarety, a vampire corpse, also referred to as a "Lugosi". "Rice paper" is documents or money indicating vampiric influence.
Roast Beef
Credentials, or, to show credentials, as in "I roast beefed the subject." There is, of course, a story behind this term.
SAC
Special Agent in Charge, pronounsed "ess-ay-cee". SACs are in charge of a field office in the Bureau Proper, but are often used as Case agents in SAD.
SARA
Special Affairs Resident Agent. Pronounced "Sair-uh".
Schnoblin's Goblins
SAD/CIA only. An informal term for Operations Group C972 of the Central Intelligence Agency, headed by Senior Comptroller Robert A. "Bob" Schnoblin.
SCI
1. SAD only. (pronounced "ess-see-eye") Formerly "Supernatural Counterintelligence", renamed in 1976 to "Strategic Counterintelligence." Many agents still use the first meaning. 2. Sensitive Compartmentalized Information. The process of restricting access to sensitive information by imposing special controls and handling. TOP SECRET UMBRA and TOP SECRET COSMIC documents are two examples of this sort of compartmentalization.
Shave
SAD only. To destroy a shapeshifter.
Sheep-Dip
To be sheep-dipped is to resign an overt military post for reasons of covert operations with the understanding that you would be returned to overt military duty after the operation is concluded. Sometimes, arrangements are made so that time spent on the covert operation counts towards pension and retirement time.
Soap
Sodium pentothal. Rarely used to refer to other interrogation drugs.
Soundman
Agent who places electronic surveillance equipment.
Split-Tails
Term for female agents. Also "skirts" (no joke) and, a term originating in California, "breast-Feds".
The Three B's
The three things most likely to get an FBI agent in trouble: booze, broads and Bucars. (See "Bucar")
Too-Hard Box
A mythical box between "In" and "Out" for impossible cases. Assistant Director Levy of Special Affairs supposedly has one.
UACB
Unless Advised to the Contrary by the Bureau.
Unsub
The unknown subject of an investigation.
Wise Men
National Intelligence Officers, a small group of senior intelligence officials who prepare "blue books" of varying security levels for policymakers from intelligence sources.



The terms in this glossary are just that: terms. They are distinct from 'code words', which are assigned (supposedly) at random. Here is a list of cryptonyms which might be of interest.
Take me back to the FBI-SAD Page.