Green’s Dictionary of Slang

cop v.

[OF caper, to seize]

1. in senses of catching or holding.

(a) [mid-19C] (UK Und., also cob) to imprison.

(b) [mid-19C] to catch a disease.

(c) [mid-19C+] to arrest.

(d) [mid-19C+] (also cob) of people, to catch, to catch out.

(e) [19C+] (also cob) in fig. sense of sense 1c, to ‘catch’ someone with a blow.

(f) [1920+] (Aus./juv., also cob) to forcefully pull down a boy’s pants to see his penis.

2. in senses of obtaining, getting hold of.

(a) [mid-19C+] (US) of objects, to obtain, to purchase, to acquire; 1950s+ use spec. to buy drugs.

(b) [mid-19C+] (US) to grab for oneself, esp. unfairly; thus copping n.

(c) [late 19C+] (also cob) to steal.

(d) [1920s+] (UK Und.) to receive bribes, esp. of a police officer.

3. in fig. uses of sense 2.

(a) [mid-19C+] to experience, to undergo, e.g. cop a beating.

(b) [mid-19C+] (orig. Aus.) to notice, to look at; esp. in phr. used by one man to another, indicating an attractive woman, cop a load of that... or cop that lot! look at them!

(c) [late 19C+] to take in an abstract sense; usu. in combs. (see also cop a... v.).

(d) [1940s–60s] (orig. US black, also cop on) to understand, to ‘get’, to realize.

(e) [1940s+] (US black) to affect a manner, to pose; esp. in phr. cop an attitude under attitude n.

4. in senses of lit. or fig. communication.

(a) [late 19C–1920s] to take in, to persuade.

(b) [1910s] (also cop out) to win over.

5. in lit. or fig. senses meaning to overcome, to defeat.

(a) [20C+] to win, e.g. a bet, a fight.

(b) [20C+] (US) to kill, to shoot dead.

(c) [1920s+] (orig. US) other than of a pimp, to seduce; thus, of a man, to have sexual intercourse.

(d) [1940s] (US Und., also cob) of a confidence man, to win money from a victim.

(e) [1970s+] (US black) of a pimp, to seduce a girl, spec. with the intention of making her into a prostitute.

6. [1960s+] usu. of a prostitute, to fellate; also lesbian use, i.e. to perform cunnilingus.

7. [1990s+] (Aus.) to tolerate.

8. see cop it v. (2)

In derivatives

copper (n.)

a thief.

In compounds

cop money (n.)

[1970s+] (drugs) money set aside for the purchase of drugs.

copping clothes (n.)

[1960s+] (US) of a pimp, a particularly smart, legitimate suit of clothes, worn spec. to entice and seduce potential prostitutes.

copping corner (n.)

[1980s+] (US drugs) a street corner on which drug dealers collect to sell their wares.

copping fuck (n.) [fuck n. (1a)]

[1970s] (US Und.) the initiatory act of sexual intercourse between a newly recruited whore and her pimp.

copping zone (n.)

[1980s+] (drugs) that area of a town or city where users will find the main drug market.

In phrases

all cop and no blue

[late 19C] a phr. used to describe a mean person or attitude, lit. ‘all take and no give’.

cop a... (v.)

see separate entry.

cop and blow (v.)

1. [1910s–40s] (US Und.) of a confidence trickster, to lure in a victim to a dice or card game by playing fair, i.e. by winning and losing as dictated by the law of averages.

2. [1920s+] (US Und.) to perform any kind of quick swindle.

3. [20C+] (US) to do something quickly and then leave, e.g. a theft, a quick purchase (of fast food, drugs, prostitutes etc).

4. [1940s–50s] (US black teen) to run off.

5. [1950s–60s] (US black) to exploit an unsatisfactory prostitute for as much money as possible.

cop and pass (n.) [1950s] (UK prison)

the act of transferring contraband from one prisoner to another.

cop it (v.)

see separate entry.

cop, lock and block (v.) [SE lock + cock block v. (1)]

[1970s] (US black pimp) to obtain a prostitute, to secure her to one’s stable n. (2) and to ensure that no other pimp is able to lure her away.

cop low (v.)

[1950s] (US teen) to reprimand, to tell off.

cop off (v.)

see separate entries.

cop on

see separate entries.

cop one (v.)

[late 19C–1930s] to be hit.

cop one’s doss (v.)

[1910s] (Aus.) to get one’s deserts.

cop out

see separate entries.

cop shit (v.) [shit n. (3h)]

[1980s] to suffer verbal abuse.

cop socko (v.) [sock n.2 (1)]

[1910s] (Aus.) to receive a blow.

cop someone’s drawers (v.)

[1960s+] (US) of a man, to seduce a woman.

cop (some) Zs (v.)

see under z n.1

cop the... (v.)

see also under relevant n.

cop the brewery (v.) (also cop the brewer)

[mid-19C–1900s] to get drunk.

cop the crow (v.)

[1940s+] (Aus.) to be put at a disadvantage.

cop the flick (v.) [a dismissive flick of the fingers]

[1990s+] (Aus.) to be dismissed from one’s employment.

cop the lot (v.)

[late 19C+] to gain or receive everything, either positively or negatively.

cop up (v.)

[1960s+] (drugs) to buy drugs.

on the cop

[1900s] (Aus.) engaged in theft.