What Is The Offense Behind It?

Jacksonville, Florida
August 8, 2011 5:44pm CST
I have heard that calling a Police Officer a "Cop" is offensive. Growing up it was just a shorter way of saying the same thing. It wasn't meant as an offense to anyone. I am really confused because my cousins are police officers and it doesn't offend them at all. I know punks called them "Pigs" and I understand that one being offensive. What is offensive about saying cop instead of police officer? Can someone explain this to me? Do you say "Cop" because it's quicker and shorter to say?
6 people like this
13 responses
@carmelanirel (21108)
• United States
9 Aug 11
I know what you are saying and I hope someone has the answer because I am curious too, especially since I use it in my story, it might be nice to know why it is considered, (or was considered) offensive..
2 people like this
• Jacksonville, Florida
9 Aug 11
I really hope someone can answer this. I know there is one person that can and I really hope she replies here because I am super curious about this! She is the reason I started this because I honestly had no idea it was offensive. I always said it growing up and so did my parents.
3 people like this
• United States
9 Aug 11
I looked at the replies and it doesn't seem she did..I hope she does too, or someone else, because I don't want to offend an officer, especially when one of my friend's husband is one..
2 people like this
@Hatley (149146)
• Garden Grove, California
9 Aug 11
hi c arm and lovingmybabies as if I did not have enough on my plate with the costs of theambulances and all now I am being made fun of just because I did say some police officers do not like b eing called cops, yes I am the one you wanted to respond, well I am hurt ,I have had a lot on myplate today,sleepless night last night, now everyone is making fun of me because of something I said that I had no idea was going to be made into a discussion for all to make fun of my ideas. from now on I will keep my ddd mouth shut., I had no idea I had to prove anything.the police officers here in Garden Grove have an annual open house for the public and the term cop cam eup and a lot of them said they disliked being called that, I did not know I had to give a lengthy case history of what I said. I am a shy person, easily embarrassed now in tears as I feel like all my friends are pointing at me and laughing thanks for nothing.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Aug 11
To me there are 3 types of police officers. One is the man in blue. He is the officer who will give you a ticket for going 28 in a 25 zone. There are Pigs. They go out looking for someone to harass, usually a person different hue from themselves and then there is a Cop. A Cop is a person who just happens to be a police officer. If you are going 60 in a 55 zone , he warns you and lets you go. He is approachable if you see him walking down the street. So to me for me to call you a Cop or Fuzz I mean I see your humanity underneath the shield. men in Blue are not human , they are Only the shield. And Pigs aren't human , they are animals! A cop is a person. If he is cute , I'll call him Fuzz.
2 people like this
@zoey7879 (3104)
• United States
9 Aug 11
Sarah took the words out of my mouth :( I've never heard LEOs complain about being called cops instead of police or law enforcement officers... and my cousin is one!
1 person likes this
• Jacksonville, Florida
13 Aug 11
I agree there are different terms for what kind of person you are aside from just the job. I don't see offense in the word cop. Pigs, well yeah I see and understand the offense on it. My cousins are cops and they are not offended by the term but I guess it depends where you go in what state...
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Aug 11
I guess so.
1 person likes this
@apples99 (6564)
• United States
9 Aug 11
Well in the privacy of my own home I say police or cop, and whatever term comes to mind, lol, but it's just kidding, I would never say anything other the officer when speaking to the police in person, because it's ok to kid around in private but it's not so cool when talking to a real live Policemen, we mind find those terms amusing but the police probably don't so I think it's better to practice using respectful terms when referring to the police.
2 people like this
• Jacksonville, Florida
9 Aug 11
Well, I have never spoken to a cop other than when they have helped with something and then I just said sir. But when talking to other people and my cousins I have said cop and they never got offended so I am confused...
2 people like this
@apples99 (6564)
• United States
9 Aug 11
I've never had to deal with the police personally either unless I needed help, and when speaking to an officer I try my best to be as respectful as possible because not all officers are the same I know because I have friends who have dealt with police in minor situations, and it's best to practice using respectful terms when addressing an authority figure such as a cop That said there's a TV series called Cops it's a documentry style show about the police, so I don't think the police are bothered by that term but some other terms we civilians use might be offensive.
1 person likes this
@thezone (9452)
• Ireland
9 Aug 11
Much better than calling them "the Pigs" lol but we call them guards over here and they never had a problem with it
2 people like this
• Jacksonville, Florida
13 Aug 11
Yeah I can understand calling them the pigs being highly offensive. In other countries and even some other states than where I ever lived it is more offensive...
• Canada
8 Aug 11
I say it all the time, I don't consider it to be offensive, and I don't think others should either. It is much faster to say, especially if you're yelling at someone to call them.
1 person likes this
• Canada
8 Aug 11
It is slang, but there's still nothing wrong with it in my opinion.
1 person likes this
• Jacksonville, Florida
9 Aug 11
Okay, I didn't even know it was slang but that does make sense that it is now that you said it. I don't really think being slang causes it to be offensive though. I hope someone can answer this mystery for me! =)
2 people like this
• Canada
9 Aug 11
Ok, I checked an online dictionary and there are a few definitions of this word. Pretty interesting information. transitive verb 1 slang : to get hold of : catch, capture; also : purchase — cop a plea : to plead guilty to a lesser charge in order to avoid standing trial for a more serious one; broadly : to admit fault and plead for mercy 3cop noun Definition of COP : police officer Origin of COP short for copper First Known Use: 1859 Other Job Terms factotum, milliner, ostler, scrivener, tinker, webster, wordsmith Definition of COP 1 dialect chiefly English : top, crest 2 : a cylindrical or conical mass of thread, yarn, or roving wound on a quill or tube; also : a quill or tube upon which it is wound Origin of COP Middle English, from Old English copp First Known Use: before 12th century
1 person likes this
@Hatley (149146)
• Garden Grove, California
9 Aug 11
Hi when I said that I did not know you were going to go on and on about it in a discussion, I am only glad you did not use my user name and point to me, I am a little shocked and embarrassed that you would make a big to do over my saying I felt the use of cop as a police officer was offensive as where I live here in Garden Grove the police whom I have met at their annual open house told us that the word cop to a lot of them is offensive. I did not realize I was upsetting you or that you were going to embarrass me for saying that.'so okay its commonly used but a lot of commonly used expressions are unpleasant to the people being called that. I openly apologize if I have somehow got everyone up in arms over a silly word.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Aug 11
Oh no Hatley, please don't feel bad, it isn't silly because I think some people are offended by that word, I had just forgotten about it. The reason I wanted to know was because I use that word in my story and I don't want to offend a police officer by saying that word..It makes for a good discussion, to find the meaning, because if it is no longer considered an offensive word, I can leave my story as it is..Please don't feel bad..
• Jacksonville, Florida
10 Aug 11
I second that. No one meant to hurt or embarrass you. I was curious and so were other people. I didnt want to say that word if it was offensive so I was curious why it was something wrong to say. There was only one person that knew I was talking about you hatley but we didnt say anything bad about you. We were hoping you could give us answers about it. If your that hurt about it tell me and I will have it deleted. I never meant to hurt you at all and again I am so sorry. So many people were apparently curious about this too and you werent the only person to say it was offensive...Please forgive me. =(
9 Aug 11
i don't think its the actual word itself, i think people just classify it in the same thing as pigs.. so because you dont have the "respect" to say police man, or woman, or police officer, its like your shortening it in a derogatory, or disrespectful way.. you know what i mean?
1 person likes this
• Jacksonville, Florida
13 Aug 11
Yeah I see what your saying but I think it's in other countries maybe that its offensive because 2 of my cousins are police officers and they call themselves cops all the time. They even feel its so much easier to say.
@derek_a (10904)
9 Aug 11
Well, here in the UK when I was growing up in the 60s, it was offensive to call a police officer a "cop", but gradually that seemed to disappeared and even cops themselves call themselves "cops". I was once a volunteer with Neighbour Watch and worked closely with the police and always calles them cops. It is fully acceptable now and yes, I find it quicker and easier to say. My nephew is a cop and doesn't mind being referred to as a cop. So until somebody tells me otherwise, I call them cops._Derek
1 person likes this
• Jacksonville, Florida
13 Aug 11
Yeah that was a very different time I suppose because now I hear it all the time. And my cousins also call themselves cops and don't think twice about it. It is so much easier to say!
• Philippines
9 Aug 11
I can't find any reason why it's offensive....
1 person likes this
• Jacksonville, Florida
13 Aug 11
Me either but I guess to some people it is surely offensive.
@alaskanray (4642)
• United States
9 Aug 11
lol...This brings to mind a comic strip I read years ago. It was in Alley Oop and Oop had just been appointed "CHIEF OF POLICE" so the anagram on his helmet spelled out "COP". When the villagers saw it, they called him "cop" and he got riled and explained that he wasn't a cop, he was the CHIEF OF POLICE. As he walked away, one guy says to another "It's a good thing they didn't name him "POLICE INSPECTOR GENERAL".
1 person likes this
• Jacksonville, Florida
13 Aug 11
LOL That is a really good one! Thanks for giving me a laugh in this discussion. =)
1 person likes this
@megamatt (14333)
• United States
9 Aug 11
People tend to get offended by the most absurd reasons to say the very least. There are a lot more offensive things that you can call a police officer than a "cop" and many of them, I can't really reprint right here at the moment, because well they are in fact offensive. The term cop doesn't seem that offensive to me but giving the things that people get offended by, yeah I really can see how they would get their offended by. Still cop is just something that people have always said. I just say it because I've always said it. It just rolls off of the tongue a lot easier for me. There are a lot of job titles that are like that, that there are shortened words from more commonly used terms for job titles. Some people get rather hung up on those things it is rather intriguing in many ways.
1 person likes this
• Jacksonville, Florida
13 Aug 11
Apparently in other countries this term is offensive I just had no idea it was because in this country it isn't. I say it too because it is easier than police officer and I never heard of it being offensive before. There are worse things to say about them than cop, that is true.
@lala501 (1533)
• United States
9 Aug 11
wow this is some new imformation to me also.I never thought that saying cop instead of police officers would be offensive.I never really say cops i just say the police.I've never said pigs either but i do say the 'po po' as a joke sometimes when im talking about police officers.i wonder if that's offensive.
@dawnald (84124)
• Shingle Springs, California
9 Aug 11
I used to be part of this group of people that got together regularly and one of them was a cop. He certainly wasn't offended by the term.