A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 14, 2006
Popo (Pissing Off a Police Officer?)

"Popo” is slang for a police officer. Some people think the word “popo” is an acronym for “pissing off a police officer.” There is some evidence that this slang originated in Texas.


Rap Dictionary
noun
po-po
The police. “Anybody seen the po-po’s, let ‘em know”—“Anybody Seen The Popo’s,” Ice Cube

Urban Dictionary
POPO
A Police officer. especially the ones that rides on bikes.
Orgin: California late 80’s
police officers that patrols certain beaches on bikes wore a vest that said PO in huge blockletters on each of their chest. which means Police Officer. they usually ride around in group of two’s.
when you see them coming by. you see the word “PO” “PO” when they stand next to each other.
Man.. here comes the PoPo to tell us what to do again.
by Lec2 Feb 9, 2003

Double-Tongued Word Wrester
po-po n. the police. Also po-poo, po
Citations:
1990 [cambler@polyslo.CalPoly.EDU] Usenet: soc.college (Apr. 29) “Poly Royal”: Mr. Po-po decided that they were not going to be stationary targets for these idiots and decided to mobilize. Right towards the bottle-throwing dickheads. At a run. You’ve probably seen film clips of cops beating the shit out of people
[1990 Candace Sutton Sun Herald (Australia) (Dec. 30) “Back Page” p. 100: A disillusioned member of the State’s thin blue line has written to police journal Police News suggesting a new name for officers who think they have been unfairly treated when promotions crop up. “PO-PO. Passed Over, Pissed Off,” the unhappy walloper wrote.]
1993 [pharvey@quack.kfu.com (Paul Harvey)] Usenet: alt.rap (May 12) “Lyrics: Raw Fusion: Throw Yo Hands in the Air!”: i guess i couldn’t hear the sirens yeah it was po-po an that’s oh pee dee for those who don’t know.

American Dialect Society listserv
Date:  Sat, 14 Oct 2006 20:59:22 -0500
Reply-To:  American Dialect Society
Sender:  American Dialect Society Mailing List
From:  Wells Darla L
Subject:  Re: Popo (police)

In 1977, I heard this expression used in Nolanville, Texas, right outside Fort Hood. It was in an explanation as to why one of the local police had just gotten in trouble. Apparently when a lady asked him why he was stopping her and writing her up, he told her that she was being charged with popo—pissing off a police officer. Small town—she called the chief, he bitched out the officer, and the term somehow got out into the community.
Darla Wells

Google Groups: fido7.ru.hip-hop
From:  MarS
Date:  Mon, Mar 11 2002 10:25 am

PO
1) (n) Police officer, parole officer or probation officer. “dven pack my gatt when I go to see my P.O.”—Mobb Deep (The infamous posse [??]).
2) (adj) Piece out.
3) (v) Pissed off, angry.
po-po
n) The police, from Oakland Police Department. “Yeah it was po-po, and that’s OPD for those who don’t know”—Raw Fusion (?? [????])

Google Groups: tx.motorcycles
From: 
Date:  Wed, Mar 8 2006 11:32 am

On Tue, 7 Mar 2006 09:52:16 -0600, “Brian Walker”
wrote:
>He’d be a laughed out of town buffoon for
>going up to a police officer with a license number to report a motorcycle
>with loud pipes!

I’d be willing to bet if he did something like that..HE would be the one receiving a citation for some minor offence like POPO aka Pissed Off Police Officer
JC

Lejolilapin.blogspot.com
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Ticket?! WHAT?!
February 2006

I got my first ticket today!!!! *tear*

So, I was driving to my friend, Cate’s, house (for a study group that wasn’t even necessary for me to go to!) and I wasn’t paying attention to my speed. And I see this popo (Texas slang for police) sittin’ on the inside of a curve.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Saturday, October 14, 2006 • Permalink