cop on

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Alternative forms[edit]



cop on

  1. (Ireland, informal, idiomatic) Common sense.
    That idiot has no cop on.
    • 2008, Joseph Dolan, "Hazards caused by pedestrians" (letter to the editor), Irish Independent, 22 November 2008:
      While she is right that some cyclists do cycle in a dangerous manner, pedestrians need to have some "cop on" as well.
    • 2011, "Broadside at Croke Park", The Meath Chronicle, 11 May 2011:
      Fixtures' secretary Jimmy Henry refuted the comments. "I wouldn't have got this job if I hadn't some cop on," he said.
    • 2012, Martina Nee, "Student with no ‘cop on’ fined for using his scientific brilliance for cannabis growing", Galway Advertiser, 29 March 2012:
      Molloy’s solicitor said that there was a[sic] element of naivety here in that his client, who is “quite brilliant” in his studies in physics, has “no cop on” and took a “scientist’s approach” to growing cannabis.


cop on (third-person singular simple present cops on, present participle copping on, simple past and past participle copped on)

  1. (Ireland, informal, idiomatic) to stop behaving immaturely; behave, grow up.
    You'll get in trouble with the boss if you don't cop on.
    • 2006, Johnny Fallon, Party Time: Growing Up in Politics, Mercier Press (2006), →ISBN, page 110:
      Drink, drink and more drink. Ulster Bank, College Green, was filled with sore heads for the entire month of the world cup. I knew it was time to start copping on when my housemate, O'Dea, who was a much harder drinker than I ever was, said to me, 'Jaysus, I was fierce worried about you during the World Cup, you were on the lash every fuckin' night, fallin' home in some state.'
    • 2011, Donnacha O'Callaghan, Joking Apart: My Autobiography, Transworld Ireland (2011), →ISBN, page 124:
      After a while, though, we matured and copped on.
    • 2011, Daniel McConnell, "Tough rehab, yes -- but mind you don't end up killing the patient", Irish Independent, 23 October 2011:
      The inference was clear. You Irish were all very naughty and it's time you copped on and grew up.
  2. (Ireland, informal, Britain, dialectal) to come to understand; twig, cotton on