Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference between Cops and Copse

Both words are nouns, pronounced exactly the same way (kops) but completely different in meaning.

Cops is the plural form of the word cop, which means a police officer.

  • Call the cops!  There has been a shootout next door. 
  • The Indian embassy in Kabul is heavily policed by cops. 
  • Cops in United Kingdom do not usually carry guns. 
  • Cops arrived in time to save the little boy from the jaws of a crocodile. 
  • The cops beat the thief so mercilessly that they fractured his legs. 
  • The cops are hiding in an invisible area to nab the drug smugglers. 
  • Cops are usually in uniform, but they can be disguised as plainclothes men. 
  • Be careful how you drive.  Cops are always prowling around Main Street. 
  • The cops had a huge celebration when they finally nabbed the leader of the narcotics trade. 
  • Two cops rushed to help the old lady who collapsed in the middle of the road. 

To cop out is an informal phrase signifying to avoid doing something one ought to do.  Cops out is the third person singular form of to cop out.

  • Whenever he is asked to deliver a speech, he cops out at the last minute. 
  • Peter cops out of bungee jumping whenever he sees the height of the drop. 
  • As we watch the court room drama unfold, the prime witness cops out of revealing what he saw. 
  • She cops out of doing the laundry every time her mother tells her to do it. 
  • Sheila always cops out of doing chores which need to be done, and leaves them unattended. 

A copse is a thicket of bushes or a small stand of trees. It is much smaller than a forest or a wood.  It originates from the 16th century word coppice.  A copse of trees can provide a good hiding place during a game of hide-and-seek.

  • At the far end of the estate, there was a copse of oak trees. 
  • The house was at the end of a village, in the middle of a young copse with a few fir trees. 
  • Our troops were close to a copse, in which smoked the bonfires of our enemies. 
  • Michael told us a long story of how he had gone into someone’s copse to take wood, and how he had been caught by the keeper.  
  • The two men hid in the copse thick with foliage, to avoid being caught by the cops. 
  • .The copse at the end of the field obstructed the view beyond it. 
  • As children we played “cops and robbers” in the copse behind our house. 
  • His body was found three days later when one of his neighbours discovered his horse tethered near a wooded copse down by the river. 
  • After a time, she climbed out of the water and made her way back to a copse of trees, where she dressed without being seen.  
  • Beyond the field was a tiny brook and beyond that was a copse of fir trees. 

If you go to your local garden shop and ask about how to take care of your copse, you may get some blank stares, as it’s not a word you’ll find much in everyday use. The word first appeared in the late-sixteenth century, as a shortened form of coppice, a word still used in British English, referring to an area with trees or shrubs that are periodically cut back to the ground so that they grow back thicker.


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