It’s a fair cop


I deserved to be caught doing something wrong

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“Piers Morgan says police stopping him for speeding was ‘A FAIR COP’.”

Sam Elliott - Daily Mirror

Did you
know?

It’s a fair cop
informal phrase (UK/Australia/NZ)

- humorously said when being discovered doing something wrong and admitting it

- used to admit that one did something wrong and was caught fairly

Merriam-Webster / Cambridge Dictionary


ORIGIN

Interesting explanations have been put forward for the origin of "cop", including an acronym from “constable on patrol”, or from the copper badges carried by New York City’s first police sergeants, or from the copper buttons of the first London police force of the 1820s. Both these stories seem about equally unlikely.

The most probable origin is from the slang verb cop, meaning “to seize”, originally a dialect term of northern England which by the beginning of the 19th century was known throughout the country.

This can be followed back through the French caper to the Latin capere “to seize, take”, from which we also get our word capture.


“A FAIR COP!”

In one of the Monty Python movies, a woman accused of being a witch is being carted off to her destiny - she mutters under her breath, “That’s a fair cop!”

The phrase is a well-understood British expression used so often in second-rate detective stories and police television series, that it is no longer possible to use it seriously (the Monty Python team was playing on its clichéd status).

The essentially good-natured thief (with a typically British sense of "fair play") admitting that his arrest was reasonable and that he really had done what he was accused of doing, is of course a myth. You will understand that this is, and always has been, an entirely fictitious view of the relationship between British criminals and the police.


SYNONYMS

the Bill, bluecoat, bobby, boys in blue, copper, COP, constable, county mounty, crime squad, the fed, the fuzz, the heat, law enforcement, lawman, officer, patrolman, Polizei, sheriff, drug/fraud/vice squad, the rozzers, the long arm of the law


SMUGGLE OWAD into a conversation today, say something like:

“Hey, I’m a bit upset about getting a speeding ticket, but IT’S A FAIR COP, I was driving too fast.”


THANKS to Jacky for suggesting today’s phrase


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

Paul Smith

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