lotus

previous page: 85 "catch-22" (Word origins - alt.usage.english)
  
page up: English Usage FAQ
  
next page: 87 "copacetic" (Word origins - alt.usage.english)

86 "cop" (Word origins - alt.usage.english)




Description

This article is from the alt.usage.english FAQ, by Mark Israel misrael@scripps.edu with numerous contributions by others.

86 "cop" (Word origins - alt.usage.english)


does not stand for "constable on patrol" or "constabulary of police".
The noun "cop" (first attested meaning "policeman" in 1859) is short
for "copper" (first attested meaning "policeman" in 1846). "Copper"
in this sense is unlikely to derive from copper buttons or shields
worn by early policemen. Rather, dictionaries derive it from "to
cop" (first attested meaning "to grab" in 1704 and meaning "to
arrest" in 1844). "To cop" may come Dutch "kapen" = "to steal"; or
it may come from Old French dialect "caper" = "to take", from Latin
"capere".

 

Continue to:













TOP
previous page: 85 "catch-22" (Word origins - alt.usage.english)
  
page up: English Usage FAQ
  
next page: 87 "copacetic" (Word origins - alt.usage.english)