Words: Cop, kop

Cop è il poliziotto, probabilmente perché agli inizi i caschetti e i distintivi erano fatti di copper (rame), ma perché, invece, la curva dello stadio di Liverpool si chiama kop? Non c’entrano i poliziotti, ma le guerre boere in Africa… LANGUAGE LEVEL B2 (UPPER INTERMEDIATE)

Mark Worden (Standard British accent)
As you probably know, the word “cop” (C-O-P) is a British and American slang word for a police officer. The origins of this expression are a bit of a mystery, but most people seem to think that it is an abbreviation of “copper (1),” and this could be because in the old days policemen’s helmets (2) or buttons or badges (3) were made from copper. But what about the word Kop (K-O-P), which is the name of the terrace behind the goal at Liverpool’s ground (4) Anfield? This story is a little bit more straightforward (5): Spion Kop was the name of a battle that took place on a hill (6) in 1900 during the Boer War in South Africa. And a journalist noticed that the terrace behind the goal at Arsenal’s ground was similar to the Spion Kop. And so “Spion Kop” or “Kop”  became a generic term for the area behind the goal, although it is usually associated with that at Liverpool’s ground.

1. copper: rame
2. helmets: caschetti
3. badges: distintivi
4. the terrace behind the goal at Liverpool’s ground: gli spalti (la curva) dietro la porta allo stadio di Liverpool
5. straightforward: chiara
6. hill: collina


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