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come a cropper British English Informal

Meaning: If you come a cropper, you fall over, or you make a mistake which has serious consequences for you.

For example:

  • The prime minister came a cropper while coming down the steps and hurt his backside.

  • A radio announcer really came a cropper when he made a racist remark. He lost his job and now he can't get another one.

Variety: This idiom is typically used in British English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz:

I came a cropper in the bathroom because
  1. the tap was stuck
  2. the water was cold
  3. the floor was slippery

Discuss: come a cropper

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