If you’re scrolling through social media, chances are you’ll come across loads of different words and acronyms that you just don’t know what they mean.

Recently, a lot of people have been captioning their TikTok videos with the acronym ‘ACAB’.

ACAB has a long history of being used as a slang term but its recent revival on social media comes in conjunction with the current protests in Minneapolis.

So, what does ACAB actually mean?

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What does ‘ACAB’ mean?

The word isn’t actually a word it’s an acronym, and has the meaning ‘all cops are b*stards’.

‘ACAB’ reportedly has its origins in the UK back in the 1940s; strikers adopted the term after negative interactions with the police. It then was popularised in jails and later in the 1970s punk scene.

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The term has, in some instances, also adopted the meaning ‘all capitalists are b*stards’.

‘ACAB’ dominates TikTok

Lots of people on TikTok have been putting the acronym into their captions as a slang term. The trend often involves people dressing in grungy clothes and playing the song ‘A.C.A.B’ by The 4-Skins whilst putting their middle fingers up.

The 4-Skins are a British band from the 1980s, popular on the punk scene. Their music dealt with topics from police harassment and political corruption to war and unemployment amidst the turbulent Thatcher years.

You can see an example below.


ACAB 👼 #fyp @emoxlyne I love these guys sm

♬ 1312 by the casualties – thatrueblue

‘ACAB’ takes over Twitter

The use of ACAB is very different on Twitter, as most posts are using the acronym to display their outrage at the US – and other countries’ – police force.

When news broke of Minneapolis resident George Floyd’s death on Monday, May 25th,

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