crime, danger, 911

officer enforcement jail



authority, care

cop, man, law, guns, violence, car, donuts, badge

uniforms, tickets, siren

cars, lights, uniform

police force, blue

violence, crime, prison

blue, badge

car, gun, robber

corrupt, law

pigs, blue, car



authority, order, mean

pigs, speeding, flshing lights


donuts, gun, uniform

safety, uniforms, cops

force, law, agression

Blue uniforms, badges, safety

Crime, Protection

riots, tickets,

cars, blue, serious

blue, mean

blue, man ,happy

jail, crime

 loi, bleu, arme

Loi, ordre, circulation

enquêtes, justice, PJ

autorité, pouvoir, ordre


arrestation, ordre, uniforme

loi, gendarmerie, commissariat

ordre manifestation répression sécurité

prison, sécurité, enquête

arrestation, ordre, uniforme

contravention, lois,

CRS, manifestations

uniforme, loi


problème, force, loi


flics, sécurité, bavures


rigidité, répression, sécurité


prévention, répression, sécurité

loi,organe d'état,répression,ordre



contravention, commissaire, sécurité

protection , répression , radar

ordre, loi

Surveillance, sécurité

répression, action


Often times the word "pig" is said after someone has been arrested, pulled over for speeding, or some other offense. Instead of thinking of the police officer's attempts to attain order for the better good of society, we think that they are out to abuse their power. I think that we have the image of cops stopping at the donut shop for donuts and coffee is merely a stereotype... I have yet to see a police officer eating donuts on the side of the road. Since they have so much power, we assume that they abuse their position by taking breaks and eating 'lazy' food.

Hello, I am working on word associations and particularly on the word police. I quote that you see the police by its apparence and not by its fonction. In France, judging from what French students wrote, we insisted on the aspect of security, protection, order. I don't really understand why you see the police like that as if the police does not protect yourself. Moreover I want to ask you why do you call the police : pigs, donuts ? In France we call them chickens. See you Xavier

Il me semble que la police en France paraît plus positive : les mots sécurité, ordre, loi reviennent souvent. Alors que les mots américains sont plus négatifs violence, crime, gun. La violence semble très caractéristique de la police même si les mots law, protection apparaissent aussi. Est-ce que la police aux Etats-unis semble vraiment inefficace, et même violente ? (would you prefer I write in english?)

It is not necessarily true that Americans see the police force as being ineffective, or even as being unnecessary. I think the reason Americans are so negative about the police is because they don't like any of their actions being controlled; they want complete freedom to do as they please. But in the same token, I think we are all aware that without the police, our country would be even more corrupt with violence and crime than it is now. I guess it's one of those things that Americans don't like living with, but know they can't live without.

Il est intéressant que constster que les Américains associent beaucoup le mot "police" aux accesoires utilisés par les policiers (flashing lights, badges, siren, ...), un peu a la façon des films américains (tiens...), alors que les français s'intéressent beaucoup plus à l'aspect abstrait de la chose (loi, ordre, sécurité)

A propos de sécurité justement, je remarque que les français ont tendance à associer ce mot à "police" alors que les Américains ont plutôt à lui associer des mots de sens contraire : "danger", "violence".

I just posted a message about the government, in that field, the us poll showed that the government was sometimes seen as a 'big brother', the conspiracy was even mentionned. Logically, the police is the tool of that government but in the word association questionnaire results, that aspect does not appear. Why is that ? The police appears here to be some institution not linked to power.!

oh là là! police is "pigs"? "Violence"? "guns"? Who is the bad guy and who is the good one? For us it means most of the time "sécurité", and that's all. Maybe we have less problems than you with violence, and that's why police and violence is associated in America. But what do you think is the problem? cops or killers?

Ah donuts! I dont know in general, but the officers around here consume so much of it, that they have become associated with that oh-so-american baked food. Certainly on campus, every joke about the Campus Police (and this is another institution that could only exist in the US) involves donuts in some way.

Pigs and Doughnuts are negative words associated with the Police. Many policemen here are fat and enjoy eating Doughnuts which are fried dough. Police are also called "pigs" because they are "dirty"="dishonest". Many people see them as a violent and corrupt entity which is "above the law". In other words, the police here can do whatever they want, even if it is illegal.

I am really suspicious about how much of this image is based on reality, rather than police movies. The very popular B movie genre always portrays the force in a very negative way.

I think that television (Hollywood, movies, news) has a lot to do with the way that we perceive police. Shows and movies such as "911", "Cops", and "Police Academy" instill the image of police as crime and violence fighters within our nation's inner cities. It is this same concrete image that, in my opinion, led us to associate words such as blue, cars, guns. I think that it is very respectable of the French to think so highly of the role and function of a police officer. I certainly think the same of the police in my hometown, but they are not who I think of when I think of police; I think of the high speed car chases with flashing lights and sirens that I've grown up watching on television (though I've never seen a high speed car chase, or any car chase for that matter, in person). Do you find that your media and television shows portray police in the same way that you perceive them?

I agree that movies have a lot to do with our portrayal of police. The police are either corrupt or very stupid. I know in my own town at home, I generally regard the police as an organization to avoid, and not attract the attention of. They are around to give speeding tickets and generally be suspicious of what you might be doing. Is this totally different in France?

La police, en France, est certainement moins stupide et moins corrompue qu`aux US mais elle n`est souvent pas tres appreciee surtout par les jeunes qui veulent n`en faire qu`a leur tete. La police a surtout un role repressif c`est a dire : arrestations, amendes. On peut toutefois souligner que sans la police ce serait l`anarchie. Dans les milieux difficiles (cites, banlieues...) on ne voit que peu souvent des uniformes car ils ont peur de la violence qui y regne.

Il serait faux de dire qu'en France il n'existe pas de policiers (ou gendarmes) corrompus ni de policiers (ou gendames ) stupides qui cherchent à embêter le peuple, mais je pense que cela est une population minoritaire chez les policiers et les gendarmes. N'oublions pas que certains d'entre eux sont toujours là (désolée Steph...)quand il s'agit de discuter avec les jeunes des cités, de t'aider si tu as un problème sur la route, dans la rue ou chez toi, d'assurer la sécurité lors dévènements exceptionnels (je pense au Mondial...), de transporter en urgence des organes à transplanter, d'enquêter sur des affaires horribles même s'ils reçoivent des menaces pour eux et leur famille... En conclusion, je pense que mon (car certains français pensent peut-être différemment) opinion sur la police et la gendarmerie est radicalement différente de la tienne. P.S: Je tiens à préciser que ni dans ma famille ni dans mes proches il n'existe de policiers ou de gendarmes.

I found it interesting that the french perception of police is more positive than that of americans. you associated the police with order and security whereas we americans tend to associate police with words of a stronger negative connotation such as corrupt.

When someone is pulled over, for example, they would like to place the blame on the police officer for using his/her power to make our lives difficult. They call the officer a pig. It is really our fault, though, because we have broken the law. It is difficult for some people to accept blame, especially when the law that was broken is something that might seem unreasonable, like a speed limit that is lower than necessary. When it is a matter of violence or major crimes, then I think that the police are viewed much more positively because they are trying to protect our safety.

Quick to cent to jump on the bandwagon, doughnuts, self explenatory, i had a friend work for a doughnut shop and the cops stop by so often they started naming the product after them, and offering special to police only (but on the ohter hadn they never got held up cuz hte would be robbers always knew that there are cops near by the doughnut shops) second the negative imagie of police in us. two reasons, most of us belive that they are uneffective, and the only contact we have with the police is usually for something stupid like speeding tickets ( i know i got plenty of those) thus we only see them as harmfull to us (more specificlaly out pockets), thus all images of cops would also be based on personal expireince.

Cher Thomas, nous avons plusieurs types de policiers: - ceux qui sont sur les routes et qui cherchent a nous mettre des contraventions(ceux-la nous ne les aimons pas vraiment) - ceux qui font partie de la PJ (police judiciare) et qui menent les enquetes(nous avons plein de series televisees les concernant -Navarro, Moulin, Lescaut, Cordier-) - il y a egalement les gendarmes qui font partie de l'armee...etc en fait nous n'avons l'habitude de traiter nos policiers de cochons mais par contre nous avons une devise: ils ne sont jamais la quand on a besoin d'eux....

est ce que la police a tous les droits? doit on arriver a un systeme sur le style de new york ou les policiers sont biens payes ;ais ont une obligation de resultats? cette question a du pour et du contre et est tres interessante en france car le probleme des banlieues demande une reforme de la police evidente. que pensez vous de votre systeme de police ? et de votre systeme carceral ?