come a cropper

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

  • Possibly from the phrase neck and crop, in which crop may refer to the backside of a horse.

Verb[edit]

come a cropper (third-person singular simple present comes a cropper, present participle coming a cropper, simple past and past participle came a cropper)

  1. (archaic) To fall headlong from a horse.
  2. (UK, idiomatic) To suffer some misfortune; to fail.
    • 1879, Anthony Trollope, The Duke's Children, ch. 67:
      I should feel certain that I should come a cropper, but still I'd try it. As you say, a fellow should try.
    • 1922, Katherine Mansfield, At The Bay, [1]:
      You couldn't help feeling he'd be caught out one day, and then what an almighty cropper he'd come!

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • "Come a cropper" in Michael Quinion, Ballyhoo, Buckaroo, and Spuds, 2004.