Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 22:36:21 -0600 From: "Donald M. Lance" Subject: Re: For the Love of Mike; Let's Go!; Cop; The Jinx >COP > > Evan Morris's Sunday Daily News column explained "Cop." I like the >little poem in this explanation, from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Everybody's >Column, 19 February 1905, pg. 8, col. 7: > > A "COP" (C. B. L.).--"Please tell me in Everybody's Column how the word >"cop" came to be applied to the policemen. > > There has been a favorite rhyme among English schoolboys for generations >past which says: >"He that cops what isn't his'n, >Will be copped and put to prison." > This verb "to cop," you see, is an old-timer, meaning "to take," "to >catch," "to capture;" naturally enough a "copper" is a "catcher" (a >policeman); and (although none of our dictionaries says so) "cop" seems to us >to be nothing more than a free-and-easy popular abbreviation of "copper." ......................... I wonder if "to cop a plea" is related to the 'take' use of 'cop'. Barry, have you traced this one? I suppose I oughta look in my reference books before posting this question, but I'm running out of spare time tonight.