Soundtrack: Neil Young - Harvest Moon
Yesterday I went for leaving drinks (not my own), and when I was told it would cost me £17 for half an omelette, three chips and three small glasses of wine, I claimed I'd need to 'copper up'. This caused quite a commotion. Absolutely no one had heard the phrase 'copper up', even the other North Westerner there, although it was thought to be a quaint turn of phrase.
A google search doesn't bring back anything. Even my beloved slang dictionary has let me down. Have I created the term 'copper up'? Have I been mishearing 'cough up' all these years? To 'copper up' is to scrape together all your change to be able to afford to buy something, so it's quite different to cough up.