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Thread: Hey Copper

  1. #1

    Hey Copper

    I was surprised watching the "making of" dvd for "Gangs of New York." They said that the term "cop" for cops was originally a reference to the copper badges the first police wore in New York. Of course, upon further investigation it seems most historians think the term actually came from cop as in "to catch or capture." A policeman catches criminals and is therefore a copper. Don't know, but it was interesting.
    I remember taking French way back a million years ago, and one day the teacher asked anyone if they knew the French word for police. One kid suggested, "uh, le copperre?" LoL!

  2. #2
    Glen T. Brock

    Re: Hey Copper


    There are several theories on the origion of 'copper.'

    1. Officers in the London police department wore a traditional 'slicker' (raincoat)that had copper buttons. The copper buttons were large and distinctive,leading to the nickname 'coppers.'

    2. In old New York, policemen under the leadership of that great, grand, and glorious mayor 'Boss' Tweed,routinely extorted businessmen on their beat. Conducting an organized theft was called copping. Those that did it (the police)called coppers.

    By the way, The Brooklyn Dodgers were so named because their fans had the habit of jumping trolleys to get to the ball park. The practice was called 'dodging' and those that did it were called 'dodgers.'

    3. Perhaps the most respectible of the origions of 'copper' is "Constable on Patrol." When abbreviated Constable on Patrol becomes Cop.

    Long before the derogatory euphonism for policemen became 'pig' another popular meat was commonly used. 'Bulls' was popular in the 19th century, especially when referring to private cops working for the factories and railroads.

    Today, especially when stopped by a traffic officer, the best euphonism for police officer is 'sir!'

    Glen T. Brock

  3. #3
    Jay Carnine

    Re: Hey Copper

    " the best euphonism for police officer
    is 'sir!'"

    or ma'm - like in yes ma'm....

    Jay C.

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