Page 2 of 2 [ 17 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

Trogluddite
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 2 Feb 2016
Age: 48
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,024
Location: Yorkshire, UK

15 Oct 2019, 5:09 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
The only problem is...if youre a juvenile delinquent who...cops a feel from a girl, and then goes out and cops some weed, and then gets COPPED by the cops, and forces his parents to cop a plea for you in court... all of those usages of cop except the one that's capitalized are strictly American. To BE copped is solely British. You can cop weed, but the authorities don't cop YOU in America.

That's my sentence of the day; masterfully done! Not only all the usages but a mention as well - bravo! :D

I find the folk etymologies as fascinating as the researched and cited ones very often; they can be remarkably creative sometimes (though I agree, the acronymic ones do get tiresome after a while) - it's always amazing how adept people are at squeezing in a sexual reference of some kind, too!

And we haven't even started on our regional nick-names for the police yet! My generation up here would call them "Rozzers" (origin uncertain), though one that's supposedly gaining ground with the younger generation is "The Feds" - I wonder where they might have got that from!


_________________
When you are fighting an invisible monster, first throw a bucket of paint over it.


naturalplastic
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Aug 2010
Age: 64
Gender: Male
Posts: 21,941
Location: temperate zone

16 Oct 2019, 8:07 pm

Trogluddite wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
The only problem is...if youre a juvenile delinquent who...cops a feel from a girl, and then goes out and cops some weed, and then gets COPPED by the cops, and forces his parents to cop a plea for you in court... all of those usages of cop except the one that's capitalized are strictly American. To BE copped is solely British. You can cop weed, but the authorities don't cop YOU in America.

That's my sentence of the day; masterfully done! Not only all the usages but a mention as well - bravo! :D

I find the folk etymologies as fascinating as the researched and cited ones very often; they can be remarkably creative sometimes (though I agree, the acronymic ones do get tiresome after a while) - it's always amazing how adept people are at squeezing in a sexual reference of some kind, too!

And we haven't even started on our regional nick-names for the police yet! My generation up here would call them "Rozzers" (origin uncertain), though one that's supposedly gaining ground with the younger generation is "The Feds" - I wonder where they might have got that from!


Thank you!

Yes..."folk etymology" can be as interesting as real etymology: the crazy stuff that folks come up with to explain the origin of words can be as interesting as real word origins.

And neither should be confused with "entomology" (the scientific study of bugs).

Folks LOVE acronyms and often imagine words were originally acronyms - even imagining that for back in eras when most folks were illiterate and would not have even used acronyms. For example the real etymology of the F word probably goes WAY back into the common origins of the Germanic languages and probably came from either original Anglo Saxon, or from Norse via the Viking invaders of England, or from both. But Americans have this notion that it came from Elizabethan times and that they would put you in the stocks for doing fornication or adultery or something. And that they would hang a sign on you that would say "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge". Total rubbish.

Likewise you hear radio announcer repeating the nonsense that the expression "minding your Ps and Qs" comes from English pubs where you have to "mind your pints and quarts". There is no way that that pub theory could be right. Minding your ps and qs is about focusing on tiny nit picking details. Even for a far gone alcholic a whole quart is a huge amount of liquid to put down. Its not a trifling nit pick to "mind". Further... for most of history most working class blokes who drank in taverns were illiterate anyway and wouldn't know what letter pint or quart started with. And it takes just as long to say "ps and qs" as it does to say "pints and quarts" anyway.

The more likely explanation is that it came from the trade of printing. A printer has to arrange the lead type (the "letters") in a composing stick before placing it into the press for the ink to be printed. And you have to proof read it while it's still in the composing stick. And because its type to be printed its backwards and upside down from how it will appear on the page. So its very easy to confuse your Ps with your lowercase q's.

On the other hand I saw a Brit on U Tube demonstrate how one acronym theory might be true. He said that the word "tip" ( as in tipping a waiter) came from the initials for "to insure promptness" by showing the viewer a centuries old restaurant that had a box by the door with a slot for money with "T.I.P." actually printed on it. :)