1. an unpleasant person; thus copperheaded adj., unpleasant.
|Knickerbocker (N.Y.) VI iv: They were the men who vegetated in the mud [...] being of the race of genuine copperheads.|
|Sword and the Distaff 507: It is sich a little mean copper-headed son of a skunk that has the impudence to come here and seize the rightful property of a gentleman. [...] Come, copper head! march!|
2. a Native American.
|Southern Literary Messenger IV 295/1: He said [...] it would be a sin to kill one, but if he was to go he should want to kill one of the damned copper-heads [DA].|
|DA].Shot in Eye (1855) 132: He had a hatred for the ‘yaller bellies,’ and ‘copper-heads,’ as he called the Mexicans and Indians, which was refreshingly orthodox [|
|Canoe and the Saddle (1883) 145: Five foul copper heads [...] lurked among the plunder.|
|in Literary Curiosities.|
3. (also cop, copper) a Northerner who backed the Confederacy; also attrib.
|Lawrence Republican 11 Sept. 4/1: That faction of the Democracy who sympathises with the rebels are known [...] in Kansas as ‘jayhawkers,’ in Kentucky as ‘bushwhackers,’ and in Indiana as ‘copperheads’ [DA].|
|Bill Arp 143: Mr. Johnson ain’t got no more respect for ’em than I have. We want to trade ’em off. By hoky, we’ll give two of ’em for one copperhead, and ax nothin to boot.|
|‘What are they thinking of?’ Grant Songster 6: What are the ‘Coppers’ thinking of?|
|‘Is it for honest Loyalty?’ Grant Songster 9: Give fools their silks, and ‘Cops’ their wine.|
|Chambers’s Journal 13 Mar. 172/2: During the rebellion, the Peace party, being suspected of favouring the South, were nicknamed Copperheads or Cops [DA].|
|Living London (1883) Mar. 115: To the American Civil War the Lingua Balatronica owes the revival, if not the invention, of [...] ‘copperhead’.in|
|Things I Have Seen I 218: A group of [...] politicians, and journalists who were a little more than Democrats. They were known as ‘Copperheads.’.|
|DN III iii 184: copperhead, n. A northerner who was opposed to the war for the preservation of the Union.‘Word-List from Hampstead, N.H.’ in|
|(con. 1908) Adventures of a Woman Hobo 104: ‘They call him an old Copperhead.’ [...] ‘I fought for the South.’.|
|Sucker’s Progress 277: During the War the Spencer House was known as a ‘copperhead hotel,’ and the soundproof room was frequently used for meetings of Southern spies and sympathizers.|
|Kingsblood Royal (2001) 237: The Deep South had again seceded from the American Constitution, and this time they were supported by more Northern Copperheads.|