since 1997, the world's premier FREE website for learners + teachers of English
Idioms

come a cropper

This page is about the idiom 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

a. the tap was stuck

b. the water was cold

c. the floor was slippery

Idiom of the Day

Contributor: Matt Errey