Pejorative word?

July 12, 2010


California transit cop verdict sparks looting

The word “cop” is a slang term. When used to refer to police, it is a pejorative. The use of the word “cop” by news media reflects laziness, unprofessionalism and disrespect.


I would describe that word as informal, the same thing my dictionary calls it.

As far as I can tell it was not used in our actual stories. However, it is a very convenient word to use in headlines, where it takes up a lot less space than officer or policeman: GBU Editor

Law enforcement officers form a line during a protest against the verdict in the case of Bay Area Rapid Transit officer Johannes Mehserle in Oakland, California July 8, 2010.
REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

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I too thought that the use of the word COP would be disrespectful, but I have a few COP friends who refer to themselves as COPs….

Posted by michael-M | Report as abusive

The word Cop is not disrespectful. It comes from the days when police uniforms used to have copper buttons on them. Police officers were called Coppers back then. It gradually got shortened to Cops. It’s more a nick name than a disrespectful slur.

Posted by Benny_Acosta | Report as abusive