‘Get police bad excuse’ – meanings & uses of Cop, Cop-out

If you’ve listened to English for long enough, you’ve probably heard the word “cop” before. It can have a couple of different meanings, though. We’ll take a look at these differing definitions with some explanations and some dialogue using our old trusty friend, Charles. Let’s read along!

Cop (n)

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Like I said, Cop can have a number of meanings in English slang. The most common meaning is a “police officer.” This use is used a lot by people all over the world and is not seen as particularly informal or rude to say. Copper is a more old-fashioned or silly way to say this, but it means the same thing. Don’t confuse it with the metal, copper, though.

dialogue

Jonah was rustling through his carry-on bag as the airplane gates closed. In his movements he disturbed Charles a bit, knocking him with his elbows. Other passengers were looking at him suspiciously.

Charles — What are you doing, man? You lose something? You keep hitting me with your arms, making everybody nervous.

Jonah — Oh, my fault. I’m just checking here. Gotta make sure I don’t have any weapons on me.

Charles — What are you talking about? Security already checked all that.

Jonah — Didn’t you hear the flight attendant? They said the cops are coming on the plane to search for some criminal.

  • The police are coming.

Charles — Well, it isn’t you. I hope …

Some police officers stepped onto the plane. Jonah started to panic.

Jonah — Oh, shoot! It’s the coppers. Put your head down!

  • It’s the police (in a silly or sarcastic tone).

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To Cop (v)

“Cop” has a different meaning when used as a verb. To Cop can mean to get or obtain something, usually from buying it. In this way, it’s normally used as “cop something,” as in, some object or item.

Read more: Cop

dialogue

Some of the nearby passengers gave Jonah a weird look. He was seriously being overly dramatic.

Charles — Calm down! Why in the world are you so scared for? You’re just going to call more attention to yourself.

Jonah — Nah, they’re probably gonna try to arrest me. I got all this cash on me. And look at my watch! It’s way too fancy to go with this face.

He pointed at himself in the face. This made Charles laugh.

Charles — You’re crazy. Where’d you get that watch from anyway? It’s nice.

Jonah — Oh, this old thing? I copped it from that rapper you went to see over on the east side.

  • I bought it, he gave it to me, I received it in some way.

Charles — Really? You know Lil B Dowry?

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Cop out (v)

Another use is as a phrasal verb, combined to make it “cop out.” This is when someone doesn’t stay true to who they are. It is mostly used when someone becomes rich, famous, successful, or just has their reputation threatened. These situations can make a person do things that are not like them, act in a “bad” character, or with poor morals. In a similar way, to Cop out can also be when someone falls back on something they promised to do. This usually isn’t malicious or intentional, but it is a way for the person to escape responsibility or not admit to doing something. It often is when the person is afraid to face the consequences of their actions.

dialogue

Jonah — Yeah, I know him. He’s a cool dude. He gave me this watch, afterall.

Charles — I thought he lived in a much nicer part of town. He’s a smart guy and he’s always dressed up nice.

Jonah — Well, I’m not surprised. Most of these rappers come from neighborhoods like that. Then they all cop out and forget who their friends are. Sad.

  • They all forget where they came from, stop caring about their friends, change their character.

At this moment, the police were finishing their search and were leaving the airplane. Jonah hadn’t noticed.

Charles — I’m sure he won’t do that. Lil B seems pretty down-to-earth. I can’t see him turning his back on people like that.

Jonah — I’m just saying, he wouldn’t be the first artist from the hood who says he’s gonna help out his block only to get rich and then cop out on everybody. Anyway, let me finish hiding my watch …

  • And then turn his back on everybody, then forget about everybody, then not do what he promised to do.

Charles — For what? The police left already. You’re a free man.

Jonah gave a big smile and jerked his knee, accidentally kicking the seat in front of him.

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Cop-out (n)

Cop-out can also be a noun. In this case, it is describing a person who has “copped out,” or gone back on their promise, done things that don’t fit their character. A similar expression in English is a “sell-out.” A sell-out (person) can sell out (action) and do things that go against their morals just for fame, wealth, success, or other reasons. It’s essentially the same idea as “cop-out.” A Cop-out can also be the excuse itself used by a person to escape consequences.

dialogue

Passenger — Excuse me! Can you stop kicking my chair?

Jonah — So sorry, sir. Won’t happen again.

Then he turned to Charles.

Jonah — Now we’re home-free! And it’s a good thing because I was totally gonna cop out and say you stole whatever they were looking for.

  • I was totally going to take the easy way out, was going to lie so I wouldn’t get in trouble, run away from the consequences.

Charles — Gee, thanks. I’m sure that cop-out would’ve worked.

  • I’m sure that lie would’ve worked, that bad excuse.

Jonah — Welp, are you ready for this trip? It’s your first time out of the state, right?

Charles — Yeah, kinda. I always get nervous on planes. It’ll be nice to see another part of the country, though.

The engines revved up and the plane started to move. Habitually, Charles started to pray and kissed his hands.

Jonah — That’s what I’m talking about! Even in a foreign country, you keep your traditions. That’s what I mean by not being a cop-out! Don’t sell out your traditions, don’t forget where you come from.

  • Not being a sell-out, not giving up on your identity, not changing who you are.

Charles — Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let’s just enjoy the flight, okay?

Jonah — Enjoy? I’m relaxed as can be. I don’t know what you’re so scared about anyway!

Charles bumped his friend in the ribs with his elbow.

Charles — So, now I’m the scared one?

Last thoughts

I would say by far, the most common use of Cop is relating to police. This will probably be the first thing that comes to most people’s minds. Cop out is also very common and used across the U.S., if not the world. Talking about police, “cop” is the most common slang word for a police officer, even though there are several others. It is also the least offensive and most neutral term for the police.

Copping something is more of a regional slang and I don’t think it’s as common for so many English speakers. I’m sure lots of people understand it, but it is the least used meaning out of the others we talked about here.

**Thanks for reading! I hope this helped you to better understand these expressions. Can you use “cop” or “cop-out” in your own sentences? Comment below! And feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or if you want to collaborate on the page (tietewaller@gmail.com). You’re more than welcome! Until next time. Peace.

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“Catch work trap device” – meaning and use of ‘Trap, Trapping’

From “Beez in the Trap” to “Trap Queen“, trapping has become a part of mainstream and popular English slang nowadays. Lots of native speakers are now getting used to this fun little word. But what about all my learners out there? Do you know what a “trap” is? We’ll take a look and explain what this word is and how to use it. To do that, we’ll read some dialogues with our favorite character, Charles. (To find other short stories and dialogues where I explain English expressions, check out Adventures of Charles) All set? Here we go …

The Trap

brown mouse inside mouse trap, representing the slang meaning of "trap"
by ardeshir etemad, Pexels.com

Explain

First of all, the trap can refer to a place. Normally, a “trap” is a situation or device used to trick someone or capture something. Think of a mousetrap used to catch mice. Well in slang, the trap has been used a lot to talk about a place, sometimes an actual house (trap house), where drug deals happened. I know, that’s a little dark. It’s also been used to talk about a place where any illegal activities and transactions happen on a regular basis.

On a similar tone, sometimes it’s used to talk about the “hood” or lower-class neighborhoods in general. That’s probably because these kinds of neighborhoods have usually been where you could find a trap house. Now, the whole block is considered a “trap.” This is also where you get names like trap queen and trap music, now a whole subgenre of hip hop.

Dialogue

One thing had been on Charles’s mind for the longest time: Sheila. But he’d heard some rumors about her that he wanted to clear up. One man knew more about Sheila than anybody else, and Charles was in the neighborhood to find him.

Charles — Okay, I hope this is the right stop. Goodness, what is this place? It’s so dirty and empty. I better find this guy soon … before it gets dark.

A boy from the neighborhood came up to Charles, noticing he was kind of lost.

Local boy — Hey, yo. What’s your name? You looking for the trap or what?

  • Are you looking for the drug house, looking to buy some illegal things?

Charles — Who, me? No. I mean, sorry. I’m not from around here. I’m just looking for somebody.

Local boy — I figured, cuz I ain’t ever seen you around here before. Why you look all scared? You never been to a trap before?

  • Haven’t you ever been to a hood, a ghetto, a poor neighborhood before?

Charles’s nervousness was showing all over his face.

Charles — No, I mean … I don’t know. I didn’t know there were places like this in this city. It’s so different. Just trying to find somebody.

Explain

All illegal activity aside, nowadays a trap can also be a place where one makes their money or just spends their time. It’s a bit more sarcastic used this way though. The idea is still of a place or situation that is hard to get out of. Trap is also used to refer to trap music in general, in the sense of “listening to trap.”

Dialogue

Local boy — I could help you find “somebody.” You know her name? What street is she on?

Charles — Oh, no, it’s a he. I’m looking for this rapper or singer or whatever– He records at the studio on Wilmington Ave.

Local boy — Oh, dang. He doesn’t owe you anything, does he? That boy is so bad at paying people back.

Charles — No, no. I need to talk to him about a girl. Sheila. They record together.

Local boy — Ahh, okay! You’re talking about Lil B Dowry, that old trap rapper from down past the alley.

  • That rapper who makes trap music.

Charles — You know him?

Local boy — Yeah, I know who he is. If he’s not at the trap right now, he’s probably at home. Want me to take you over?

  • If he’s not at work, at the place where he makes money.

He thought for a second. Then Charles gave the boy a nod, and they started walking down the street, around the corner, and past the alley.

To Trap

Explain

This is basically the verb version of the above. Just like how “trap” in regular usage can be a situation/device and an action, “trap” in slang can also be an action. More often than not, people refer to the action as trapping. Trapping is used a lot to talk about making illegal transactions, especially dealing with drugs. But you’re all saintly people, so you won’t need to use it like that πŸ˜‰

Dialogue

As they got near to Lil B Dowry’s house or hang-out spot — or trap, as the local boy called it — Charles noticed a couple of strange-looking people with tired eyes and smelly clothes wandering around. They looked sick in the face, and they couldn’t stop shuffling around on the floor like they were searching for worms.

Local boy — Ha. You see them? They’re probably coming from Lil B’s place right now.

Charles — Yeah? Does Lil B … trap?

  • Does he sell drugs, make money illegally?

The local boy laughed and shook his head. He then turned to Charles.

Local boy — Well, that’s what people say. Let’s find out.

Explain

Now, trapping doesn’t have to be all bad. In the loosest sense, it’s used to talk about any kind of work that one makes their money from. Some people use it to talk about making money in general, even by legal means. That’s right; even on their legal paying jobs, sometimes people say trapping.

Dialogue

When they arrived at the house, Lil B Dowry was already on the front porch. He put out his cigarette and stood up, ready to encounter two strangers. But he realized they weren’t so strange after all.

Lil B Dowry — Hey, bro! What’s happening with you?

Local boy — You know this guy? He was wandering around the block, lost, looking for you.

Lil B Dowry — Heck yeah, I know this fool. I’ve seen him around at the studio. You know, the one on Wilmington. Come on up, don’t be scared!

The sun was getting low in the sky. The sick people were still shuffling around in the streets.

Local boy — So, I see you’ve been hustling out here. Making hit songs and making deals on these fiends.

Lil B Dowry — Nah, that’s not on me. You know I don’t trap like that.

  • You know I don’t sell drugs, make money illegally like that.

Local boy — You mean, you don’t sell …

Lil B Dowry — All of my trapping is legal, kid. I make my music, and that’s it. Don’t get misconstrued. If anybody is dealing drugs, it’s Charles over there. Probably got ties with the Colombian Cartels, the Haitians. He might even be in the Japanese mafia, for all we know.

  • All of my ways of making money are legal.

They broke out laughing, and Charles realized that the rapper was joking with him. Thank God!

Explain

Just a quick note. Trap can also be a person that is lying or deceitful. It’s especially used towards women or trans people who lie about their identity, but that’s another story. You can read more about that meaning if you want to here.

Dialogue

Charles — Yeah, you all better run from me. I’ll get the mob after you. But for real, I came to ask you about …

Lil B Dowry — Sheila? I know, I remember you liked her. You come to find out if she’s a trap or not. Listen, Sheila’s cool, okay? You don’t have to worry about her. And you can ask her for yourself, she doesn’t hide anything.

  • Find out if she’s a liar, if she’s deceitful, if she’s a fake.

A sigh of relief swept over Charles. Nerves came back when he realized how dark it was.

Local boy — That’s cool you rap at a studio though. You should get me a spot in the booth.

Lil B Dowry — For sure! If you want, I’ll take you down there right now. Sheila’s probably getting done making a song right now, Charlie. I’ll take y’all if you want.

Charles — That’s alright! Where’s your car parked?

Closing

Alright, my learners! I hope this made some sense to you. These aren’t all the possible meanings of “trap,” but this is mostly what you’ll want to know. Since it’s a term that originates from illegal activities, it could be a tricky word to know how to use. If you’re an English learner, I suggest not using it unless you’re around people who use it commonly. If you’re around younger people, you could surprise them with your use of “trap” in the healthy, legal sense.

Whatever you decide, at least you now understand these slang expressions. Use them in your own sentences. Think of songs where you’ve heard these expressions. And whatever you do …! Don’t give up learning. Peace out! And take care.

One day bet ride – “bet” “ride or die” “rider” “day one” meanings & uses

There are more than a few ways to agree with something in English. What about talking about a lifelong friend? We cover these topics and more in today’s post, looking at terms bet, ride or die, rider, and day one, as well as their meanings and how they’re used. Read more if you want to learn more about these words and how to use them properly. We’ll see examples in a short story about Charles, and as always, practice with some questions at the end. Here we go!

Young woman doing a thumbs-up to represent the word Bet, English slang word
Bet! – Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com

Bet

You may be familiar with a “bet” as a type of wager or strong guess that something will happen, usually involving a loss or gain of money depending on the result. Bet has meant different things over the years, yet in slang, it often has the same meaning as “cool”, “for sure”, or “really?” This is because of the phrase, “You bet ya” or the shorter version, “You bet.” This is a way to say “of course” or to guarantee something. Shortening it to just “bet” usually is a response to something to show gratitude or respect, but can also be used to question something.

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Sweeping up the stage as always, Charles liked to approach his work with a smile. He knew one day he’d save up enough money to move out of his tiny apartment and into a decent condo, maybe even a home. Who knows? His friends Sheila and Jonah could split the rent with him, easy. By then, he could be designing the sets for plays instead of cleaning up dirty props. Until that day, he was content to help where he could.

BUNG BUNG BUNG. Footsteps pounded on the wooden floor before the doors to the theater flung open. It was an actor looking for … something.

Charles β€” You need help? You look lost.

Actor β€” Who? Oh, no, I’m just looking for my phone. I always forget it under a seat or behind a box or something. I bet money it’s in the same place I always leave it.

  • I’m sure, I know, I’m almost certain.

Charles β€” What? Do you mean this phone?

The actor smiled and ran up to Charles.

Actor β€” Yeah, man! Thanks so much. It was under the seat agian, wasn’t it?

Charles β€” Well, in the costumes bin, actually.

Actor β€” Bet. Thanks a lot man. I appreciate it. I was getting frantic.

  • For sure, cool, I get it, of course.

Charles β€” Really? I didn’t notice. Haha. I know how it is with the cellphones.

Actor β€” I have an extra special reason to keep my phone on me, though.

Charles β€” Bet? What is that?

  • Really? For real?

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Two hands making a promise to represent the term Ride or Die, informal English words
A ride-or-die is always there – Image by Cheryl Holt from Pixabay

Ride or Die * Rider

The concept of a ride-or-die means a person, usually a close friend or partner, who will do anything to help you and is extremely trustworthy. It can sometimes be used to call someone your best friend or boy/girlfriend. This comes from the idea of “ride,” or to ride with someone. This means the person sticks with you when you need them and you can count on them. A rider then is someone who is a ride-or-die. A rider can also be a person who is willing to do whatever you want and has few boundaries. They go with the flow and are true companions.

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Actor β€” “What is it?” What else could it be? I gotta call my girl, man, my ride-or die.

  • My girlfriend, the person I trust, my close partner.

Charles β€” Oh, I didn’t know you had a girl. She a actress too?

Actor β€” Yeah, but she prefers the term actor. We met at the theater down the street watching somebody else’s play. Can you imagine? Somebody else’s play. Ha!

Charles continued to sweep the stage floor, focused deeply on his work.

Actor β€” What’re you doing after this?

Charles β€” I think I’ll dust the curtains. They’re pretty dirty.

Actor β€” Man, don’t you have a rider in your life? You need a woman.

  • Don’t you have a girlfriend, a close friend, a trustful partner?

Charles β€” I’m working on that, too. I have a potential girl. Just have to ask, really.

Actor β€” That’s what I’m talking about! But don’t wait too long. I’ve made that mistake before. Is she a rider?

  • Is she willing to do anything for you, trustworthy, does she like you a lot?

Charles nodded, halfway not understanding the question.

Actor β€” Oh, well then she’ll wait for you. Still, don’t take too long. Take my advice.

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Two young girls together representing the meaning of Day One, informal English term
Together since day one – Image by Cheryl Holt from Pixabay

Day one

This term comes from an older one, “Since day one.” This is used to describe someone who has been there for you since the beginning, during hard times, and has stuck by your side the whole time. Calling someone a day-one means they are generally your closest and most trusted friend, and you respect them a lot for being there for you after years and years.

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Charles β€” I won’t. She’s been a good friend to me since we met. I come from another country and it can be hard to make friends.

Actor β€” I get that. I couldn’t imagine being so far from home without family or friends close by. I couldn’t live without my day-ones, too. They’re the ones that keep me together.

  • Without my closest, most trusted friends.

Charles β€” Yeah, well I didn’t have any super close friends like that back home anyway. I had to make some new friends here. But Sheila and Jonah have been there for me in lots of situations. They’re like my new day-ones.

Actor β€” Well, that’s all that matters, isn’t it? Good talking, bro. I never knew your story, so thanks for sharing.

Charles β€” Don’t mention it. I’ll see you at the next rehearsal. Or the next time you lose your phone.

The actor laughed at this statement and waved at Charles with a sarcastic smile.

Actor β€” See you next time. And call that girl!

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Final Thoughts

Saying bet is usually more informal, so it’s often used with friends or in casual settings. It’s not that it could be offensive, but it just sounds quite informal. It’s a pretty useful word you can use much the same as “okay, cool, for sure,” and so on. Ride-or-die and rider are mostly compliments and terms of respect, although they can be seen as disrespectful if they aren’t used correctly. “Rider” can have a negative connotation at times, so make sure the meaning is clear if you do ever use it. Otherwise, day-one is a very respecting and caring term, and it’s a great way to refer to a close friend, companion, or anyone that’s been there for you for a long time. We usually use it with friends though, and not family members like parents.

Do you get it? If you want, take some time to practice with these questions below. And make sure to learn some other words with the Adventures of Charles series. Be safe out there!

Questions:

  1. Can you use today’s words in your own sentences? Bet – Ride or die – Rider – Day one
  2. Are there any ride-or-dies or day-ones in your life? Who are they?
  3. What is something you would “bet money on?”
  4. Have you heard the slang word “bet” before in casual conversation? When was that?