From Code Adam to 10-10, find out the codes that authorities use to communicate in public without tipping you off.

When you’re in a public place and some weird string of letters or numbers comes over the loudspeaker, do you wonder what the authorities are really saying? Many organizations use response codes to communicate quickly—or to avoid alerting the public. Airports, police departments, and public transportation hubs all have their own special lingo, and it’s often purposely impenetrable if you’re not an employee.

Of course, we hate missing out on big secrets, so we looked into a few of the most common emergency codes. For instance…

1. Police Department 10 Codes

Decades ago, police departments developed codes beginning with the number 10 to quickly share information with each other. These codes covered most conceivable situations from a 10-44 (riot in progress) to a 10-68 (livestock in roadway). You’re probably the most familiar with 10-4, which means “okay” or “affirmative.”

2. Operation Bright Star on a Cruise

When you’re chilling on the deck of a cruise liner, the last thing you want to hear is that a fellow passenger is sick or injured. If you hear staff talking about Operation Bright Star, though, that means there’s a medical emergency on board.

This code is usually associated with a lot of running around and looking concerned. Stay out of the crew’s way if you hear it on a cruise ship.

The related “Operation Rising Star” means that a passenger has passed away, according to The Telegraph. However, it’s also the name of a talent show for members of the United States military, so as with many of the other codes on this list, context is key.

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