Green’s Dictionary of Slang

cop it v.

[cop v. (3a) + SE it; ‘it’ being trouble]

1. to get into trouble, to receive a severe reprimand.

[UK] ‘’Arry on Law and Order’ in Punch 26 Nov. 249/1: Beastly shame, and no error, my pippin! Me cop it! It’s too jolly rum.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 29 Nov. 6/3: And he smiled as he thought how they’d ‘cop’ it.
[UK]Marvel III:62 26: Oh crikey! [...] You won’t half cop it for breakin’ these chinas!
[UK]Wodehouse Psmith in the City (1993) 111: Jackson isn’t half copping it from old Bick.
[UK]‘Bartimeus’ ‘A Flower of the Sea’ in Seaways 272: ‘This’ll learn ’im’ . . . ‘’E’s copped it this time.’.
[UK]E. Garnett Family from One End Street 40: ‘You’ll cop it!’ said a voice from above.
[UK]J. Phelan Letters from the Big House 36: He won’t half cop it.
[UK]C. Harris Three-Ha’Pence to the Angel 64: Now I’ll cop it.
[Aus]F.J. Hardy Yarns of Billy Borker 29: Old Truthful copped it from those mosquitoes, I can tell you, on account he was a white man.
[NZ]R. Morrieson Pallet on the Floor 111: Looks like he’s copped it awright.
[UK]S. Gee Never in My Lifetime in Best Radio Plays (1984) 69: He copped it because he was careless.
[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 50: cop, denoting a profitable operation of some kind, a term also used in the wider Lingo with a similar meaning in the combination a sweet cop or to cop it sweet though one may also cop it, of course, which means getting into trouble.
[UK]B. Hare Urban Grimshaw 281: Thieving Little Simpkins also copped it [...] She got to spend a year with a crowd of murderous lesbians.
[Aus]P. Temple Broken Shore (2007) [ebook] Sam’s in shit because he’s bad news and now he has to cop it.
C. Hammer Scrublands [ebook] ‘I’m going to be the sacrificial lamb [...] No need for you to cop it as well’.

2. (also cop) to be hit, to suffer in a given way, to die.

[UK]Punch 7 Feb. 98: ‘The Boers’ll cop it now!’ ‘Wot’s up?’.
[Ire]L. Doyle Ballygullion 201: Give me your hand, man [...] hould on, hould on, you’ll cowp it!
[UK]‘Sapper’ Human Touch 62: No use this time, sir. I’ve blinking well copped it through the back!
[UK]Wodehouse Carry on, Jeeves 204: Even if this particular cocktail wasn’t poisoned, he was bound to cop it later on.
[NZ]J. Henderson Gunner Inglorious (1974) 170: I’ve got the wind up over those knives since – since Ed and Jim copped it.
[Aus]‘Neville Shute’ On the Beach 65: We may be going to cop it in June, for all that anybody knows.
[Aus](con. 1944) L. Glassop Rats in New Guinea 150: Jock Milne [...] copped it back near Strip Point.
[UK]P. Theroux Family Arsenal 176: When he copped it I cried like he was my own brother.
[UK]S. Gee Never in My Lifetime in Best Radio Plays (1984) [radio script] A lad copped it from Keighley a couple of weeks ago.
[SA]R. Malan My Traitor’s Heart (1991) 260: They have probably shot a rioter or [...] ten, and came to copping it themselves on at least one occasion.
[UK]Guardian Guide 15–21 May 16: A terminally ill photographer Rea who decides to exact revenge on everyone [...] before he cops it.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 6 Jan. 5: The triceratops that were being laughed at for insisting that there was a very real danger must have felt pretty smug in the last few seconds before they all copped it.
[US]T. Udo Vatican Bloodbath 49: You could be drawing your pension yourself before she cops.
[UK]T. Black Artefacts of the Dead [ebook] I want to know what they had for breakfast the day Urquhart copped it.

3. (Aus. prison) to be the passive member of a homosexual couple.

[Aus]Tupper & Wortley Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. [Internet] 5. To be the recipient of homosexual activity. Thus, ‘copping it’ is to be somebody’s catamite.

In phrases

cop it hot (v.) [hot adv.]

to get into trouble, to receive a severe reprimand.

[UK]Dundee Courier (Scot.) 29 Apr. 7/3: It’s all up, I reckon, Polly [...] I shall cop it hot this time.
[UK]Albert Chevalier ‘The Cockney Tragedian’ [lyrics] The Press, too, ain’t been kind to me, I’ve copped it from ’em ’ot; I’ve ’ad a pile of notices, not one good one in the lot.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘A Derry on a Cove’ in Roderick (1967–9) I 173: Beyond the grave you’ll cop it hot, by Jove!
[UK]D. Stewart Shadows of the Night in Illus. Police News 22 June 12/3: ‘He was copping it ’ot from some bookies for passing some snide finnufs (five pound notes)’.
[UK]E. Pugh Cockney At Home 239: I copped it twice as hot as what the others did.
[UK]M. Harrison Reported Safe Arrival 13: If it ’adner been a Chink, I’d a copped it ’ot.
cop it sweet (v.) [sweet adv.2 (1)] (Aus.)

1. to accept problems without complaining; to get one’s due deserts.

Law Reports, Victoria Supreme Court 271: He refused to disclose the name of the person who had shot him [...] saying that he would ‘cop it sweet’ and in effect would attend to the matter himself.
[Aus] ‘Whisper All Aussie Dict.’ in Kings Cross Whisper (Sydney) xxxiii 4/4: cop it sweet: Never divulging information to the police. Take the blame rightly or wrongly.
[Aus]R. Aven-Bray Ridgey-Didge Oz Jack Lang 10: ‘O.K. – cop it sweet,’ was the response.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett You Wouldn’t Be Dead for Quids (1989) 84: He copped it sweet for almost three weeks.
[Aus]Tupper & Wortley Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. [Internet] ‘cop it sweet’, ie accept what comes.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Davo’s Little Something 6: So Davo just had to cop it sweet as they say.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read Chopper 4 183: ‘Teacup’ would always spit on the ground when walking past a Calabrian [...] and fully-grown men would cop this sweet and walk on.

2. to have a stroke of luck.

[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 50: cop, denoting a profitable operation of some kind, a term also used in the wider Lingo with a similar meaning in the combination a sweet cop or to cop it sweet.

3. to relax.

[Aus]R. Beckett Dinkum Aussie Dict. 16: Copping it sweet: Taking things easy; having a quiet and pleasant day with a case of beer and a bag of prawns.