You’ve been “teed” (AT&T’d)

I remember when I got my first cell phone — actually it was a car phone. It was mounted in the center column of my 1987 Acura Legend. I was proud of it. When I drove around Berkeley and Oakland, it worked perfectly.

But on a longer trip to the South Bay, there would be several places where I could expect the cell phone coverage to fail. A few years later, I bought a Motorola Startac phone. It had AT&T coverage. Ironically, it had superb coverage throughout the Bay Area, never dropping a call. It was on the old TDMA network.

Before the iPhone came out, I used an HTC telephone on the AT&T network. It wasn’t great, but I had decent coverage in most of the Bay Area. Of course, I bought an iPhone. And now, like the rest of you, I am experiencing cell coverage that is substantially worse than cell phone coverage was in 1987. I have started to use a new word, “tee”,  to indicate a condition in which your cell phone coverage has been cut off.

See below:


TEE  (Sometimes T) – verb

Pronunciation: tea
Etymology: variant on “AT&T”, a telephony company founded in 20th century USA.
Date: 2009

1. To unexpectedly interrupt a service that otherwise is expected to be constant.
2. Reflexive: to be the victim of an unexpected interruption.

Use: “I was teed when I lost cell phone coverage in down town San Francisco.”  “Damn, AT&T has teed me again!” “I’ve been teed!”

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