In British slang, a jam sandwich is a police traffic or fast response car (as opposed to an ordinary panda car or patrol car).
The term came into common use in the 1970s, when such cars changed from the traditional blue and white colour scheme to white with a broad fluorescent orange stripe along the side. This colour scheme is reminiscent of jam sandwiched between two slices of white bread, hence the name. The slang was popularised on such TV shows as The Sweeney and Minder, as well as spreading through the use of CB radio. It is still in common use, although most forces now use different colour schemes with fluorescent stripes and Battenburg markings.
Famous quotes containing the words sandwich and/or jam:
“The result of civilization, at the Sandwich Islands and elsewhere, is found productive to the civilizers, destructive to the civilizees. It is said to be compensationa very philosophical word; but it appears to be very much on the principle of the old game, You lose, I win: good philosophy for the winner.”
—Herman Melville (18191891)
“We fight our way through the massed and leveled collective safe taste of the Top 40, just looking for a little something we can call our own. But when we find it and jam the radio to hear it again it isnt just oursit is a link to thousands of others who are sharing it with us. As a matter of a single song this might mean very little; as culture, as a way of life, you cant beat it.”
—Greil Marcus (b. 1945)