Cop An Attitude

Meanings of “Cop An Attitude”

The phrase “cop an attitude” means to show an attitude like a policeman or become aggressive, hostile, or unfriendly. It also means to demonstrate antagonistic bearings.

Origin of “Cop An Attitude”

The phrase “cop an attitude” is stated to have been a slang term until 1980. However, it was published in a respectable newspaper, Oakland Tribune, way back in 1976 in its February publication in an advertisement which shows slogan such as; “Cop an attitude, with altitude – dressy slip-ons…” Since then the phrase has been used in several other connotations.

Examples in Literature

Example #1

Cop an Attitude by Poison Idea

I’ve been waiting for this moment
For all my life
Strength to taking stride in strife
Standard scruple is out the door
Always be better always want more
Bow down onto reasons untold
A shell of being, no conscience or soul
You say you’re speaking your mind
Good, because I’m next in the line
High and mighty, spineless man
So above the rest of them
Eye to eye its all the same
But something happened and you changed
Now I’m the righteous one
But you’re way up there and I’m still down here
You’re so great, you are all
Your arrogance is starting to show
Heading for a new low

The above song is the imagination of the singer. He expresses that though he has learned to stand up to oppression and also learned to stand up equal to others, the cop still has the same arrogance. However, this arrogance of treating the public condescendingly has made both of them head for low. The meanings of the phrase seem to be given through this metaphorical storyline.

Example #2

In Need of a Joshua Man by Teresa D. Patterson

“Just you moving your lips says enough. Don’t cop an attitude with me. I have to get on your every day about this house.” By now she’d ventured into their room. “Oh Lord have mercy! I know you don’t think that this room is clean! I told both of you to clean up this room this morning before I left for work. Is this supposed to be clean?”

In these lines from In Need of a Joshua Man, the narrator talks to another person, perhaps a child, to admonish him not to show him such an attitude that borders arrogance. Then the narrator turns his attention to another character that is going to enter the room, asking that the room is not completely clean as the listener is supposed to have done. The phrase is used here as a child or a person being rude or disrespectful.

Example #3

The Note: A Story of Second Chances by Angela Elwell Hunt

Too bad she wasn’t an actress. She could cop an attitude with the best of them, maybe even manage to bring a semblance of sincerity to a role. But actresses, when they hit it big, attracted too much attention. No one cared about the private life of a newscaster; no one was likely to go digging into her past. So Esther Hope Harner would remain hidden forever.

Here the narrator talks about Esther Hope Harner to state that despite her efforts to demonstrate arrogance like superstars, she was not an actress and could not do it effectively. That is why nobody bothered to know about her past. The use of the phrase is rather ironic in this passage.

Example #4

Keeping It Real: Life Lessons Criminal Consequences by Michael Bradshaw

Inmates make big drama to get what they want but aren’t willing to give anything in return. They are always demanding things that they think they should have, but they forget they are in jail. They cop an attitude when they are told, “No.” Tough.

In this passage, the author tells about different types of criminals how they become quite arrogant in prison, as they know that the jail authorities could not do more harm to them. Therefore, their arrogance has been reflected here through the use of this phrase.

Example in Sentences

Example #1: “The coach was tired of the boxers fighting without listening to him. So he yelled: We cannot tolerate cop an attitude here in this arena.”

Example #2: “Almost half of the incidents involving Hector showed cop an attitude manner because he didn’t know how to be polite.”

Example #3: “His cop an attitude role does not seem to go down well with the people but it was necessary to maintain order in the class.”

Example #4: “Being in a supreme position doesn’t mean to show a cop attitude to the juniors. The leader must always carry a serving attitude.”

Example #5: “If mother shows cop an attitude there’s always a good reason. However, if children do that, they get grounded indefinitely.”