cop on


Alternative formsEdit



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 behave, to 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 9781856355209, 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 9781848270961, 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. (Britain, dialect) To understand.