Top 12 Slang For Spies – Meaning & Usage

Spies operate in a world shrouded in mystery and secrecy, where communication is often coded and cloaked in layers of deception. Curious about the secret language that spies use to navigate their covert missions? Look no further as we unveil a list of some of the most intriguing and enigmatic slang for spies. Get ready to unlock the hidden world of espionage and add some intrigue to your vocabulary with our comprehensive guide.

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1. Spook

This term is often used to refer to a spy or intelligence agent, particularly in the context of espionage. It can also be used as a verb to describe the act of spying or gathering intelligence.

  • For example, “The government hired a team of spooks to gather information on the enemy.”
  • In a spy novel, a character might say, “I’ve been working as a spook for years, infiltrating enemy organizations.”
  • A person discussing intelligence agencies might mention, “Spooks are trained in various techniques of surveillance and information gathering.”

2. Secret Squirrel

This term refers to a covert operative or spy who operates in secret, often working on classified missions or sensitive operations. It can also be used to describe someone who is secretive or mysterious in their actions.

  • For instance, “The secret squirrel was able to infiltrate the enemy’s headquarters undetected.”
  • In a conversation about spies, one might say, “Secret squirrels are trained in advanced techniques of espionage and counterintelligence.”
  • A person discussing a mysterious individual might comment, “He’s like a secret squirrel, always disappearing and reappearing without a trace.”

3. Mole

A mole is a spy who infiltrates an organization or group with the intention of gathering information or sabotaging its activities from within. The term is often used to describe someone who is secretly working for an enemy or rival organization.

  • For example, “The intelligence agency suspected that there was a mole within their ranks.”
  • In a spy thriller, a character might say, “We need to find the mole before they compromise our mission.”
  • A person discussing espionage might mention, “Moles are often highly trained individuals who can blend in seamlessly with the target organization.”

4. Double agent

A double agent is a spy who pretends to work for one side while secretly working for the opposing side. They provide information to both sides, often with the intention of gaining the trust of one side while undermining the other.

  • For instance, “The double agent was able to feed false information to the enemy while providing valuable intelligence to their own side.”
  • In a discussion about espionage, one might say, “Double agents play a dangerous game, as they risk being discovered by both sides.”
  • A person discussing spy novels might comment, “The plot twist revealed that the main character was actually a double agent all along.”

5. Sleeper agent

A sleeper agent is a spy who is recruited and trained by an intelligence agency but remains inactive until they are activated for a specific mission or purpose. They blend into their surroundings and lead normal lives until they receive a signal or order to carry out their mission.

  • For example, “The sleeper agent had been living as a regular citizen for years, waiting for the right moment to carry out their mission.”
  • In a spy movie, a character might say, “We need to activate the sleeper agent to gather intelligence on the enemy.”
  • A person discussing covert operations might mention, “Sleeper agents are often deeply embedded in the target country, making them difficult to detect.”

6. Deep cover

This term refers to a spy or agent who assumes a false identity and infiltrates an organization or group to gather intelligence. The spy operates covertly, often for an extended period, to gain the trust of their targets.

  • For example, “The agent went deep cover in the criminal organization, posing as a trusted member.”
  • In a spy novel, a character might say, “He’s been living deep cover for years, completely cut off from his former life.”
  • A spy movie might feature a line like, “Our best agent is going deep cover to stop the terrorist plot.”

7. Asset

In the world of espionage, an asset is a person who provides valuable information to a spy agency or operative. Assets can be recruited or cultivated, and they often have access to sensitive or classified information.

  • For instance, “The spy handler met with his asset to gather the latest intel.”
  • In a TV show about spies, a character might say, “Our asset inside the enemy organization has been compromised.”
  • A spy novel might feature a scene where the protagonist meets with an asset in a dimly lit café.
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8. Handler

A handler is a person who manages and directs the activities of a spy or agent. They are responsible for providing guidance, support, and instructions to the operative in the field.

  • For example, “The handler communicated with the spy through encrypted messages.”
  • In a spy thriller, a character might say, “The handler is the spy’s lifeline, guiding them through dangerous missions.”
  • A spy movie might show a scene where the handler briefs the operative on their next assignment.

9. Dead drop

A dead drop is a method of secretly passing information between spies or operatives. It involves leaving a hidden location or object where one person can retrieve the information without direct contact.

  • For instance, “The spy left the microfilm in the dead drop, disguised as a loose brick in the wall.”
  • In a spy novel, a character might say, “Meet me at the dead drop at midnight with the package.”
  • A spy movie might feature a scene where the protagonist retrieves a message from a dead drop in a park.

10. Black ops

Black ops, short for black operations, refer to clandestine or covert military or intelligence operations. These operations are often highly classified and involve unconventional tactics and objectives.

  • For example, “The special forces unit carried out a black ops mission to rescue the hostages.”
  • In a video game about espionage, a character might say, “You’ve been selected for a black ops assignment, where stealth and precision are crucial.”
  • A spy movie might depict a team of operatives executing a black ops mission to prevent a terrorist attack.

11. Ghost

A “ghost” is a slang term for an undercover agent or spy. It refers to their ability to blend in and operate without being detected.

  • For example, a spy might be referred to as a “ghost” because they are skilled at remaining unseen and gathering information without being noticed.
  • In a spy novel, a character might say, “The ghost infiltrated the enemy’s headquarters without raising any suspicion.”
  • In a conversation about espionage, someone might ask, “Do you think there are ghosts among us, gathering intelligence?”

12. Honey trap

A “honey trap” is a term used to describe a seductive ploy used by spies to gather information or manipulate their targets. It involves using charm, attractiveness, or sexual appeal to deceive and extract information.

  • For instance, a spy might use a honey trap to seduce a high-ranking official and gain access to classified information.
  • In a spy movie, a character might say, “She’s a master of the honey trap, able to manipulate anyone with her charm.”
  • In a discussion about espionage tactics, someone might say, “Honey traps have been used throughout history to compromise individuals and extract valuable information.”