Etymology
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cop (v.)

"to seize, to catch, capture or arrest as a prisoner," 1704, northern British dialect, of uncertain origin; perhaps ultimately from French caper "seize, to take," from Latin capere "to take" (from PIE root *kap- "to grasp"); or from Dutch kapen "to take," from Old Frisian capia "to buy," which is related to Old English ceapian (see cheap). Related: Copped; copping.

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cop (n.)

"policeman," 1859, abbreviation (said to be originally thieves' slang) of earlier copper (n.2), which is attested from 1846, agent noun from cop (v.) "to capture or arrest as a prisoner." Cop-shop "police station" is attested from 1941. The children's game of cops and robbers is attested from 1900.

Each child in Heaven's playground knows each other child by name.
They choose up sides as all take part in some exciting game
Like Hide=and=Seek, Red Rover, Cops and Robbers, Pris'ner's Base.
Our Lord is glad to referee their every game and race.

[John Bernard Kelly, "Heaven is a Circus," 1900]

English has many nouns cop, some archaic or obsolete, many connected more or less obscurely to Old English cop "top, summit," which is related to the source of cup (n.).

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cop out 

by 1942, noun ("a cowardly escape, an evasion") and verb ("sneak off, escape, give up without trying"), American English slang, perhaps from cop a plea (c. 1925) "plead guilty to lesser charges," which is probably from northern British slang cop "to catch" (a scolding, etc.); as in cop a feel "grope someone" (1930s); see cop (v.). Sense of "evade an issue or problem" is from 1960s.

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copper (n.2)

"policeman," 1846; probably an agent noun from the verb cop "to seize, to catch, capture or arrest as a prisoner" (see cop (v.)).

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*kap- 

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to grasp."

It forms all or part of: accept; anticipate; anticipation; behave; behoof; behoove; cable; cacciatore; caitiff; capable; capacious; capacity; capias; capiche; capstan; caption; captious; captivate; captive; captor; capture; case (n.2) "receptacle;" catch; catchpoll; cater; chase (n.1) "a hunt;" chase (v.) "to run after, hunt;" chasse; chasseur; conceive; cop (v.) "to seize, catch;" copper (n.2) "policeman;" deceive; emancipate; except; forceps; gaffe; haft; have; hawk (n.); heave; heavy; heft; incapacity; inception; incipient; intercept; intussusception; manciple; municipal; occupy; participation; perceive; precept; prince; purchase; receive; recipe; recover; recuperate; sashay; susceptible.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit kapati "two handfuls;" Greek kaptein "to swallow, gulp down," kope "oar, handle;" Latin capax "able to hold much, broad," capistrum "halter," capere "to grasp, lay hold; be large enough for; comprehend;" Lettish kampiu "seize;" Old Irish cacht "servant-girl," literally "captive;" Welsh caeth "captive, slave;" Gothic haban "have, hold;" Old English hæft "handle," habban "to have, hold."

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copout (n.)

"a cowardly escape, an evasion," 1942; see cop out.

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dummkopf (n.)

"stupid person," 1809 (dom cop, in Washington Irving), from German dummkopf, literally "dumb head;" see dumb (adj.) + cup (n.).

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shamus (n.)
"police officer, detective," 1920, apparently first in "The Shamus," a detective story published that year by Harry J. Loose (1880-1943), a Chicago police detective and crime writer; the book was marketed as "a true tale of thiefdom and an expose of the real system in crime." The word is said to be probably from Yiddish shames, literally "sexton of a synagogue" ("a potent personage only next in influence to the President" [Israel Zangwill]), from Hebrew shamash "servant;" influenced by Celtic Seamus "James," as a typical name for an Irish cop.
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attercop (n.)

"spider," Old English atorcoppe "spider," literally "poison-head," from ator "poison, venom" (Middle English atter), from Proto-Germanic *aitra- "poisonous ulcer" (source also of Old Norse eitr, Old High German eitar "poison;" German eiter "pus," Old High German eiz "abscess, boil;" Old English atorcræft "art of poisoning") + copp "top, summit, round head," probably also "spider" (compare cobweb and Dutch spinne-cop "spider").

Amptes & attircoppes & suche oþer þat ben euere bisy ben maide to schewe man ensaumple of stodye & labour. [Elucidarium of Honorius of Autun (Wycliffite version) c. 1400]

It lingered in Northern England dialect in the sense "peevish, ill-natured person" (c. 1500).

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cope (v.)

late 14c., coupen, "to quarrel;" c. 1400, "come to blows, deliver blows, engage in combat," from Old French couper, earlier colper "hit, punch," from colp "a blow" (see coup).

The meaning evolved by 18c. into "handle (successfully), deal with," perhaps influenced by now-obsolete cope "to traffic, bargain for, buy" (15c.-17c.), a word in North Sea trade, from the Flemish version of the Germanic source of English cheap, and compare Copenhagen. Related: Coped; coping.

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