Green’s Dictionary of Slang

cop n.2

[cop v. (2)]

1. a successful bet; thus ext. as any form of ‘sure thing’ or certainty.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 7 Nov. 12/2: Unlucky dog! I lost the scent / When I went Nap. on Rocket; / They told me she must get a ‘shop’ – / No mortal means could stop her; / I thought I had a blooming ‘cop’ – / I’ve not a blooming copper.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Trick Baby (1996) 93: Blue is gonna gaff that wheel on your number and heave you a heavy cop.
[UK]Guardian Editor 2 July n.p.: Cop: Win. ‘You had a nice cop there, mate!’.
[Aus]T. Peacock More You Bet 6: A ‘good thing’ might also have been referred to as a ‘sure thing,’ or a ‘certain cop,’ or a ‘sure cop,’ or a ‘dead bird’ or a ‘dead cert’.

2. a theft.

[UK]Mirror of Life 15 Dec. 3/2: [W]hen Josh exhibited the rag and its contents [...] his friend congratulated him on [...] his most successful ‘cop’.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 55: Cop. – [...] A theft or unlawful acquisition.

3. (Aus./N.Z.) a good job obtained by shrewdness or luck; an agreeable proposition; a bit of luck or a trick that leads to large profits; often ext. to soft cop

[UK]B. Pain De Omnibus 125: Garn, Jeckson [...] yer don’t tike me in with none o’ them ole cops.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 15 Sept. 13/1: ‘Well, wotchadoinow?’ sezzi, / Alludin’ to ’is work. / ‘I aven gotakop,’ sezee, / ‘At presen’. Wot’s your lurk?’.
[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘Mar’ in Songs of a Sentimental Bloke 67: An’ then I tells ’er ’ow I got a job / [...] A decent sorter cop at fifty bob.
[Aus]Baker Popular Dict. Aus. Sl. 20: Cop, a good job obtained by shrewdness or luck: an agreeable proposition: a bit of luck.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 161: I was working out the details of how I could get out of the fight game and make a good big cop into the bargain.
[Aus]B. Humphries Barry McKenzie [comic strip] in Complete Barry McKenzie (1988) 98: I’m onto a good cop working here. Piss-up every day.
[Aus]D. Niland Pairs and Loners 80: My marble’s good there for a cushy job and a few quid picking apples and pears. It’s a cop.

4. (US) an acquisition.

[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 21 5/2: [of a girlfriend] You have got the best cop ever you had, old boy, so stick to it, and not to old Nell.
[UK]W. Hall The Long and the Short and the Tall Act II: He’s no cop to us. He’s lost his value.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 74: My first step had to be a fast cop.
[US]D. Goines Street Players 44: Earl watched them depart, pleased with his brand new cop.

5. (Aus.) profit.

[Aus]Drew & Evans Grafter (1922) 25: ‘He has only to stake to win. It’s all cop with him’.

6. (Aus.) an experience.

[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘A Letter to the Front’ in Moods of Ginger Mick 87: When orl the cheerin’ dies away, an’ ’ero-worship flops, / Yeh’ll ’ave to face the ole tame life – ’ard yakker or ’ard cops.

7. (US Und.) the money that confidence men allow a victim to win.

[US]D. Maurer Big Con 293: cop. The money which a mark is allowed to win.

8. (US black) an act of sexual intercourse.

[US]W. King ‘The Game’ in King Black Short Story Anthol. (1972) 302: Looking drugged ’cause I done blew his fast cop. He musta got there two-three seconds before I did ’cause it don’t take too long to cop Glorie.
[Scot]I. Welsh ‘The Granton Star Cause’ in Acid House 130: Ye hud the power tae git oot fae under yir ma n dad’s feet, so’s they could have a decent cowp in piece.

In phrases

no cop (also not much cop, any cop)

of no or little value or use, worthless.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 16 May 10/2: ‘It’s getting quite serious, old man;’ / Brown said at the Statue last week, / ‘If we don’t quickly hit on a plan / The chinks will take charge of our fleet.’ / But that wouldn’t be much of a cop; / In fact, it would be a good scheme / If we packed off the ’ole blessed lot / For a cruise in the old Wolverene.
[UK]H. Champion ‘On Top’ 🎵 Poor old soul! for her it was ‘no cop’.
[UK]T. Norman Penny Showman 83: Neither of the latter two being much cop – but they answered the purpose.
[UK]F. Jennings Tramping with Tramps 176: My mates tried to dissuade me [...] saying it was ‘no cop’.
[UK]J. Curtis They Drive by Night 261: That Charley of hers wasn’t much cop.
[UK]R. Llewellyn None But the Lonely Heart 180: ‘Your father was a great artist [...] I thought you were going to be one, too.’ ‘I found it ain’t much cop.’.
[UK]J. Maclaren-Ross Swag, the Spy and the Soldier in Lehmann Penguin New Writing No. 26 39: Art don’t seem to be much cop.
[UK]H. Pinter Caretaker Act I: They’re no good but at least they’re comfortable. Not much cop, but I mean they don’t hurt.
[UK]P. Terson Night to Make the Angels Weep (1967) II xvi: Man as con’t keep his wife ain’t no cop.
[Aus]J. Wynnum I’m a Jack, All Right 125: ‘You couldn’t say she was much of a cop.’ [...] ‘When you’re stoking the fire, you don’t look at the mantel-piece’.
[UK]A. Sillitoe Start in Life (1979) 84: For a couple of years I got regular meals, even though they weren’t much cop.
[UK]C. Dexter Daughters of Cain (1995) 372: I’m not much cop at writing.
[UK]K. Waterhouse Soho 167: Better wait and see if he was any cop first.
soft cop (n.)

(Aus.) anything seen as easy; esp. in phr. be on a soft cop, to have it easy.

R.M. Oliver Verses by a Soldier ‘over there’ 15: But I wouldn’t change foot sloggin’ / For a soft cop, or nice toggin’ / Of a job behind the line.
[Aus]T.A.G. Hungerford Ridge and River 80: He’s on a soft cop, all right, getting his leafie built and his blasted tucker cooked and everything!
[Aus]A. Buzo Rooted I iii: It’s a pretty soft cop.
[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 49: Since then the word has been used in the wider Lingo as a description of a criminal or, at least, a dubious scheme of some kind [...] and, more generally, to mean a soft cop, an easy and/or remunerative job or activity.
sure cop (n.)

(Aus.) an absolute certainty, a ‘sure thing’, a ‘dead cert’.

Sydney Sportsman (Surrey Hills, NSW) 6 Nov. 4/3: The three cards, purse trick, break point, back-up, and thimble and pea are all fairly deadly, but for a sure ‘cop’ are not in the same street as the artful and audacious [...] Pak-a-pu joints.
[Aus]Register (Adelaide) 13 July 4/6: Even when a house looks a sure cop we have to be ready [...] to meet a man with a gun [...] on the lookout for us gents.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 21 July 4s/2: When we’ve tramped the final round, / There’s a ‘sure cop’ underground.
S.H. Adams From a Bench in Our Square 113: This is a hoss. Seven to one and a sure cop [...] You can’t afford not to have something down.
[Aus]Baker Aus. Lang. 174: Australian equivalents [of dead cert] are dead bird, [...] sure cop.
[Aus]B. Hornadge Aus. Slanguage.