Heard on "Aqua Team Hunger Force"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu May 14 15:41:01 UTC 2009

At 11:24 PM +0800 5/14/09, Randy Alexander wrote:
>On Thu, May 14, 2009 at 1:31 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
>>  "Carl," a white, animated-cartoon character says:
>>  "I gotta _cop a squat_"
>>  and literally squats behind a bush in order to  _take a dump_.
>>  I've known "cop a squat" in BE with the meaning, "have a seat," since
>>  ca.1955.  I heard it used, once, with that same meaning by a white
>>  person, to wit: Richard Belzer, in an episode of Homicide : Life on
>>  the Street, ca.1998.
>>  This is the first time that I've heard it used with a different meaning.
>I grew up with that from at least high-school (80s) onward.  Went to
>high-schools in NY state, and Michigan.  College in Massachusetts and New
Curiously, urbandictionary.com and other web slang compendia, which
I'd expect to have the more extreme sense, only give the "have a
seat/sit down" sense plus "sit down to urinate", not "take a dump",
although it's not hard to see how there might have been a broadening
involving the last two.  Apparently, there used to be a coffee shop
in Lancaster, PA called "Cop a Squat"; I assume it was advertising
its comfortable seating options rather than its rest rooms.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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