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Monday, January 10, 2011

The History of Cops


Cop. A colloquialism for a police officer.

The term came into our language around the turn of the twentieth century when policemen walked their beats wearing boots with copper toe tips both as an offensive “weapon” and as protection for the toes of their boots. “Cop” became identified with copper toes.

(Information provided by “The Complete Footwear Dictionary: Second Edition” by Dr. William A. Rossi, 2000.)

22 comments:

  1. Oh that was informative. I think it is in London that they call him the Bobby or something like that if I am not mistaken. I think I am speaking nonsense. Lol. This was really informative, thank you :D

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  2. I always thought it was an acronym for "citizen on patrol." Thank you, Police Academy!

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  3. This would also explain where the term "coppers" comes from.

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  4. Dawn...Thank you. I thought it was a neat little fact as well. Yeah, I think I have heard something like that before like "bobby" or "booby" (Yes, I meant "booby!") I'll see if I can find something on it.

    Matt...That could have been something the polica academy came up with to make "cop" more offical sounding instead of something the "peasants" came up with.

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  5. You know I was referring to the movie, right?

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  6. "Bobby" would be correct for a British Police Officer. Sir Robert Peel set up the first organised Police department in London in the early nineteenth century. They were also called "Peelers" but that term didn't stick for some reason.

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  7. Matt...No, never seen it.

    Maine Mommy...Very interesting. Thanks for letting us know! Problem solved.

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  8. I saw a documentary about Robert Peel - interesting. Hey lady - More teachings of off the wall facts. If I went to parties I'd be totally set up - ;) XX

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  9. You haven't seen the Police Academy comedies? That's a shame.

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  10. Hi AubrieAnne;

    Thanks for the comment you left me on A Cup of Romance, greatly appreciated =)

    Sandie lee

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  11. Shah...lol. I do like having random things in my arsenal.

    Matt...Maybe one day. I don't watch too many comedies. Some feel too slap happy.

    Sandie Lee...You're welcome.

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  12. WOW! That's really interesting. I found a huge interest in their boots - I didn't know that they had boots with copper toe tips. interest in the Very Informative.

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  13. Wow! I never knew that! Interesting! Stopping by from Magical Mondays! Happy Monday!

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  14. Well, those movies are definitely "slap-happy," but they're culturally significant, at least for Michael Winslow's vocal sound effects.

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  15. It used to be a derogatory remark, but not so much today. Even police officers refer to themselves as cops. Maybe that's just because it would not sound right to have a TV show called Police Officers, and the song would not be catchy (excuse the pun).

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  16. i'm following from the give it to me monday hop! i'd love if you could stop by my blog and follow back :)

    best,
    april
    www.marineparents-blog.com

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  17. dtwilight...Thanks. I thought it was pretty interesting as well!

    Kassi...Thanks for stopping by!

    Matt...I won't entirely rule them out. Maybe one of my friends has them and will let me borrow them.

    JJ...Yes, that makes sense. Thanks for the information!

    April...Thanks and welcome.

    Tanya...Yeah, I thought it would be good for a lazy Monday. I keep this random stuff in my back pocket. :)

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  18. Ohh Now that's where Bobby came from! Nice! XD

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  19. I call BS. "Cop" is a corruption of the Latin word "carpe" meaning "to catch or seize". The word has been used to mean "catch" in English for more than a century as in "Its a fair cop." or "Cop a feel." or "Cop a plea." A "copper" is one who cops, or catches criminals.

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  20. Thomas...that sounds like a reasonable explanation. It would be hard to tell considering both arguments are from the same time. Right around the turn of the 20th century. It would be interesting to look into further. What is your source?

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