1. running away, escaping, on the run; thus fig. unawares.
|‘Letter from a Highwayman’ in Morn. Post 13 Dec. 4/3: If it had not been for that d—’d Newcastle trap, we might still have been on the hop with you.|
|‘’Arry on the Elections’ in Punch 12 Dec. 277/2: And them Rads ’aven’t ’ad a look in, Sir. We’ve landed ’em fair on the ’op.|
|Sporting Times 25 Jan. 1/3: The motorist, grinning a venomous grin / At thus catching both birds on the hop.‘Winning the Rubber’|
|White Teeth 16: We have caught him on the hop.|
|Base Nature [ebook] ‘You caught me on the hop’.|
2. busy, active.
|N.Z. Thames Star 23 July 4/3: The general here is a pure Napoleon [...] ‘always on the hop’ .|
|Dead March in the Desert 196: I knew Steve would be looking for me [...] and I meant to keep him on the hop till I got tired of it.|
|Tough Guy [ebook] He kept his boys on the hop.|
3. (Irish) truanting.
|(con. 1970s) Pictures in my Head 67: ‘Haven’t seen you at lectures for eons.’ ‘He was on the hop,’ said Pat.|
|Everyday Eng. and Sl. 🌐 Hop, on the (n): bunk school, playing truant.|
1. to run around from place to place.
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 3 Feb. 3/2: And therefore he had gone on the grand hop and got the cash.|
2. to play truant from school.
|Taunton Courier 25 Sept. n.p.: ‘To play the hop’ is, perhaps, the most usual, whilst to ‘play the wag’ and to ‘play the Charley’ are frequently used.|
|(con. 1950s) Coronation Cups and Jam Jars 132: I used to play the hop more times than a flea on a dog’s arse. I hated school and my asthma was a good excuse to stay away.|
|(con. 1930s) Shawlies, Echo Boys, the Marsh and the Lanes 100: When I used to go to school, I was a wild character. I used to go on the hop. Wouldn’t go to school at all.|
|My East End 87: And it was harder for kids to play the hop. If one of your ‘aunties’ saw you hanging about when you should have been at school they wouldn’t look the other way.(con. 1950s)|
(US) to run away; to escape.
|(con. 1950s) Unit Pride (1981) 272: ‘Take it on the hop, creeps,’ she said. ‘We wouldn’t be seen dead with soldiers.’.|
|Howard Street 52: Take it on the hop, man. I don’t wanna hear that shit.|
|Ripping and Running 164: Take It on The Arches – split (Leave).|
|(con. 1975–6) Steel Toes 80: Lily ain’t gonna take it on the hop, runnin’ cross-country, robbin’ and stealin’.|