Why were police officers called "flat foot?"?

Seriously. The term "flat foot" always makes me laugh, but somehow I know it was meant as an insult to police officers. Why were cops called flat foot and where did the term originate?

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  • 9 years ago
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    In the early part of the 20th century, New York policeman as well as other larger metropolitan areas employed patrols on foot..............they walked so much some acquired fallen arches, thus "flat feet". Since that time, foot patrols have been slangily referred to as 'flat foots".

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  • 3 years ago

    Flat Footed Definition

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  • 5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    Why were police officers called "flat foot?"?

    Seriously. The term "flat foot" always makes me laugh, but somehow I know it was meant as an insult to police officers. Why were cops called flat foot and where did the term originate?

    Source(s): police officers called quot flat foot quot: https://tinyurl.im/qfPIS
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  • 4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/avzi4

    The OED cites an 1811 reference to a "pig" as a Bow Street Runner--the early police force, named after the location of their headquarters, before Sir Robert Peel and the Metropolitan Police Force (see above.) Before that, the term "pig" had been used as early as the mid-1500s to refer to a person who is heartily disliked. The usage was probably confined to the criminal classes until the 1960s, when it was taken up by protestors. False explanations for the term involve the gas masks worn by the riot police in that era, or the pigs in charge of George Orwell's Animal Farm. While police officers usually don't mind being called "cops," they aren't usually fond of the term "pig." A policeman's lot is not an 'appy one.

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  • 9 years ago

    The one answer about 'flat footed" officers on foot patrol is true. Once upon a time, the only way officers could patrol the city was on foot. And years of walking often led fat old cops to develop 'flat feet'

    The "Gum Shoe" answer you got is wrong. Gum Shoe refers to detectives, and it alludes to them wearing "gum soled shoes" the precursor of sneakers, so they could move about the streets and alleys quietly to sneak up on bad guys.

    Also, :Slap jacks" refer to just that, a flat 'slap jack', a flat lead, oval disc covered in leather with and handle about ten inches long, generally referred to as a "Black jack" it was so called because the handle flexed when it was swung, so that it 'slapped' the intended target. It was just a little different from "Convoy Jacks' which were more like a lead covered fishing weight with a spring loaded handle. Both are correctly called black jacks. I know, I carried both during my career.

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  • 9 years ago

    Not only the above is true about fallen arches, FLAT FEET, but also called GUM SHOE, walking the streets a lot of gum was spit out in the 40-50's thus many officers got gum on their shoes and would be called gum shoes.

    When blacks joined the force and walked a beat they were called shuffle feet.

    Also the carrying of a night stick were called "Slap jacks"

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    It means a police officer who controls a certain region.

    They are called that due to the amount of walking they do causes a "flat foot"

    Hope I helped:)

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  • JC
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    I always thought it came from flat-footed men not being forced intro military service during WWI. The police who stayed behind were men who could not be forced to serve. So you'd essentially be calling him a coward, a failure, a cripple or generally not being man enough, since they were unfit for service.

    The term flatfoot is older than that, so it perceivably that all flat-footed people were considered deformed.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    It stems from the medical requirements for active police/military/sports work. Cops with flat feet are stereotypically put behind a desk rather than out catching bad guys. In the worlds we're talkin about "desk jockey" is a scorned title... hence "flatfoot" is an insult.

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  • 9 years ago

    Officers were mostly foot patrol.

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