Phrasal verbs with ‘Cop’ in English

COP TO SOMETHING | English meaning. cop - Verb Forms

Everything about the word ‘Cop’ in English

When watching movies or hearing the word “Cop” [kɒp] in other contexts, you likely understood it to mean “police officer” in most cases. However, the word “cop” has several meanings in English.

As a noun, “cop” can refer to a police officer or catching/getting something. For example:

  • The cops arrested the thief.
  • She got a cop of the latest fashion magazine.

As a verb, “cop” can mean to get/obtain, experience, or avoid something. For example:

  • He copped an award for his performance.
  • They copped a lot of trouble after the accident.
  • She copped out of the difficult task.

As a phrasal verb, “cop” can combine with prepositions or adverbs to form different expressions that alter its meaning. For example:

  • Cop it: suffer punishment or retribution. E.g.:
    • They really copped it when they got caught shoplifting.
  • Cop off: leave work/school early, kiss/pet/have sex with someone. E.g.:
    • We copped off early on Friday because there was nothing to do.
    • She copped off with Damian at the end-of-term party.
  • Cop out: choose the easier option, refuse/avoid something. E.g.:
    • She was going to take a Master’s degree but copped out and chose the Diploma course instead.

The Most Popular Phrasal Verbs and Expressions with ‘Cop’ in English

Розглянемо детальніше найпопулярніші фразові дієслова із “Cop” в англійській мові.

Cop out

The phrase ‘cop out’ is an informal phrasal verb that’s commonly heard in English speech. The term ‘cop’ in this context doesn’t relate to police but is slang for ‘opt out’ or ‘evade’. To ‘cop out’ means to avoid taking responsibility, to back out of an obligation, or to give up easily instead of seeing things through.

  • Example: “He was supposed to help us move on Saturday, but he copped out at the last minute, saying he needed to wash his car.”

Cop to (something)

When someone ‘cops to’ something, they are admitting or acknowledging their involvement, often reluctantly or under pressure. It’s akin to confessing, and it carries a sense of giving in to questioning or suspicion.

  • Example: “After the overwhelming evidence was presented, he finally copped to the crime.”

Cop off (with someone)

This British English phrasal verb takes on a meaning far removed from policing or normal responsibility. “Cop off” refers to having romantic relations with someone or kissing someone, often casually or on a one-time basis.

  • Example: “I can’t believe Dave copped off with someone from the party last night!”

Usage note: While “cop off” may be a popular phrase in Great Britain, it is not widely used in American English, where the term “hook up” is more often heard with the same meaning.

Cop (something) or Cop it

To ‘cop’ something can mean to receive or endure something, often something negative or undesired. ‘Copping it’ can imply bearing the brunt of the consequences or coming off worse in an encounter.

  • Example: “He really copped it from the teacher for not doing his homework again.”

Cop on to

To comprehend or understand something, often after a period of confusion.

  • Example: It took him a while, but eventually, he copped on to the fact that the meeting had been rescheduled.

Cop out of

To avoid a responsibility or obligation.

  • Example: He tried to cop out of his duties by feigning illness, but his boss wasn’t fooled.

Cop a feel

Touching someone inappropriately, often without consent.

  • Example: The inappropriate behavior at the party led to complaints, as some individuals felt they were copped a feel.

Cop a plea

To plead guilty to a lesser charge in order to receive a lighter sentence.

  • Example: Faced with overwhelming evidence, the defendant decided to cop a plea rather than risk a harsher punishment at trial.

Cop it sweet

To accept something, especially criticism or punishment, without complaint.

  • Example: After breaking the rules, he had to cop it sweet and face the consequences of his actions.

Cop a load of

To experience or endure a difficult or challenging situation.

  • Example: When she heard the news, she realized she was about to cop a load of problems at work.

Cop hold of

To obtain or acquire something, often through effort or skill.

  • Example: The entrepreneur managed to cop hold of a rare opportunity that transformed her business.

Cop out on

To abandon or fail to fulfill a commitment or promise.

  • Example: He copped out on his friends by canceling the plans at the last minute.

Understanding phrasal verbs with “cop” enhances one’s communication skills, especially when dealing with colloquial English. Remember that phrasal verbs can be highly informal, vary greatly across English-speaking cultures, and their meanings can shift over time. Some of these expressions are casual slang more common in certain dialects of English, such as British English.

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