come a cropper

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come a cropper

1. slang To fall down. Primarily heard in UK. These shoes are too big and caused me to come a cropper as I was walking down the street.
2. slang To fail completely. Primarily heard in UK. Once heralded as a future star of the tech world, Shane came a cropper when his product proved to be a dud.
See also: come, cropper
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

come a cropper

Fig. to have a misfortune; to fail. (Meaning 'fall off one's horse.') Bob invested all his money in the stock market just before it fell. Boy, did he come a cropper. Jane was out all night before she took her final. She really came a cropper.
See also: come, cropper
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

come a cropper

BRITISH, INFORMAL
COMMON
1. If someone comes a cropper, they suffer a sudden and embarrassing failure. Ferguson came a cropper when the economy collapsed. Scott must concentrate on learning his new trade. He will come a cropper if he thinks he knows it all before he starts. Banks dabbling in industry can easily come a cropper.
2. If you come a cropper, you accidentally fall and hurt yourself. She came a cropper on the last fence. I came a cropper on a patch of ice just outside my house. Note: `Cropper' may come from the expression `to fall neck and crop', meaning to fall heavily. A bird's `crop' is a pouch in its throat where it keeps food before digesting it.
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Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

come a cropper

1 fall heavily. 2 suffer a defeat or disaster. informal
Sense 1 appears to have originated in mid 19th-century hunting jargon, and possibly came from the phrase neck and crop meaning ‘bodily’ or ‘completely’.
2 1980 Shirley Hazzard The Transit of Venus He had seen how people came a cropper by giving way to impulse.
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Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

come a ˈcropper

(British English, informal)
1 fall (to the ground): Pete came a cropper on his motorbike and ended up in hospital.
2 fail badly, usually when you are expected to do well: She’s so confident she’ll pass her exams without doing any work, but I’ve got a feeling she’s going to come a real cropper.
See also: come, cropper
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

come a cropper

To fail utterly.
See also: come, cropper
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

come a-cropper

To fail badly. “Cropper” comes from a horse's croup or crupper, the part of the animal's back behind the saddle. Someone who parted company from his horse (an involuntary dismount, so to speak) was said to fall “neck and crop.” That became “come a-cropper,” first appearing in the foxhunting author Robert S. Surtees' 1858 novel Ask Mamma: [He] “rode at an impracticable fence, and got a cropper for his pains.” The phrase was picked up and applied to any misadventure, equestrian or otherwise.
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Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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