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I heard this somewhere on YouTube and I wish I could recall where exactly. The person was recording himself from a dash-cam while driving, and when he noticed that a cop was following him, he said this to another person that was in a car with him

Hey, hang on. That cop is _________ me.

He used this slang word for following me that I'm curious to know.

I'm referring to American English slang.

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    ........tailing Aug 17, 2014 at 21:48
  • @EdwinAshworth: Thanks, it's a good one. But he used something else.
    – MikeF
    Aug 17, 2014 at 21:51
  • 1
    Dogging, pursuing with the intent to catch, also is a possibility. Also racially-profiling, as in “Hey, hang on. That cop is racially-profiling me.” Aug 18, 2014 at 0:35
  • tagging/trailing along/behind/after ?
    – ermanen
    Aug 18, 2014 at 1:58
  • "Tailing" is by far the most common term. Next I would say "shadowing". But there are apt to be a dozen different slang terms.
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 18, 2015 at 20:16

7 Answers 7

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I would say tailing. That cop has been tailing me for a few blocks sounds the most normal.

Tailgating is not quite what you're looking for—that implies following someone too close, and shadowing is for other contexts.

To further substantiate my answer (from the Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus)

verb
informal the paparazzi tailed them: follow, shadow, stalk, trail, track, hunt, hound, dog, pursue, chase.

on someone's tail a police car stayed on his tail: CLOSE behind, following closely, (hard) on someone's heels.

From those examples, stalk adds a whole slew of other implications to it, trail is similar and sounds awkward to me, hunt, hound, and dog also add implications. Pursue is also a good one, but isn't quite slang, is it? And chase means to chase.

And, I have even more for you—if you're okay taking it beyond slang. In my personal experiences driving around with my friends, I've said and heard things like that guy's creeping and that guy's been on my ass for a few blocks now.

Basically,

if the words suggested already aren't good enough for you, you have to make something up yourself. Whatever works with people you know, in your area. This guy on YouTube, I'd imagine, was doing just that.

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  • Awesome, man. Thanks. I think what he used was, "That cop is maddogging me."
    – MikeF
    Aug 18, 2014 at 5:43
  • huh - it sounds like "dogging" or maybe "mad-dogging" is a new slang for "tailing". thanks for that MikeF
    – Fattie
    Aug 18, 2014 at 6:56
  • Heh… that sounds a bit silly to me.
    – user85526
    Aug 18, 2014 at 12:42
  • For reference, looks like mad dogging means to give someone a glaring look (according to top googled sources).
    – user85526
    Aug 18, 2014 at 15:10
  • @GeorgePompidou: I know. But that's what slang is, silly. I believe that it might have been derived from "dogging", or maybe even vice-versa.
    – MikeF
    Aug 18, 2014 at 20:39
2

It might be shadowing. If you look up tail in a thesaurus, there are a few other colloquial terms if this isn't the one you are looking for. (trail, track, stalk, and others.)

In spycraft, surveillance techniques refer to the eye as the one tracking the rabbit. You could say that someone is eyeing your friend.

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I would use the word tailing. The cop isn't tailgating because that would mean that the cop is trailing close behind you, but doesn't necessarily mean that their following you. Tailing means they are following you.

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    Welcome to English.SE! It's generally best to read existing answers before adding your own, as tailing and tailgating have been explained in previous answers. New answers should add something new. Jan 18, 2015 at 20:18
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hang on. That cop is on to me.

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Years ago when my friends and I would ride in separate cars, one following the other, we called it a caravan. I think I also heard that word used as a verb, even if I did not, someone has probably used it that way, as in, "We're going to caravan to the party."

Note: I would simply have agreed with the answer "tailing", but OP already said that was not the word used in the video. So we're looking for other possibilities with less prior likelihood now.

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-1

I've been "made."

The cop "made" me.

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-7

Tailgating.

The cop was tailgating him.

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