The word Co-oppy


Officially coined term 2nd July 2013

I’m officially launching (for the second time) the term “co-oppy” this applies to a person, people, activities or actions that are co-operative, within the International Co-operative Alliance Values and Principles; that are good, kind, strong or are supportive of people and communities.

Co-operation is a fixed doctrine, a code of values and principles, a business and or societal model. Its roots lie in people’s campaigns, writings and moral codes going back to the start of humanity. 

Described, articulated, defined and codified partly by the early Co-operative Missionaries, Robert Owen being the most prominent, but Henri de Saint-Simon and Charles Fourier, Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen,  William Lovett, William King, Charles Gide, George Jacob Holyoake, Mary Lawrenson, Beatrice Webb and Jeannie Mole, Muhammad Yunus, David Rogers and Stephen Yeo, along with millions of others can all lay claim to helping to define co-operation in words and most importantly through action.

Widely accepted as the originators of the definitive list of principles of co-operation, the Rochdale Pioneers take pride of place in the list of missionaries and definers. 

The word co-operative can be applied in the same way as co-oppy, to mean someone, some people or organisation who behave co-operatively, are co-operative or promote the co-operative principles. But Co-oppy is shorter and lighter. It is intended to be used in a more genial manner. For instance someone who does something co-operative for no personal gain is Co-oppy. Someone who works for a Co-operative and supports that Co-operative well, is co-operative, but might not necessarily be co-oppy. And in a critical vein, a co-operative society that does not promote all seven of the Co-operative Principles could be called a Co-operative, but never Co-oppy.  

But the use of the term Co-oppy could be seen as frivolous, and unnecessary. 

The fashion of shortening words has gone on for centuries. In the age of social media, this has turned into an imperative. Twitter and other methods of communication have led to a foreshortening of a considerable number of words. 

As an aside I wish someone would solve the problem of the hyphen in hashtags and such

Whilst the use of the word co-oppy helps in this, notwithstanding the above problem, it is also intended as a slightly different meaning of the word co-operative. 

Frivolous not, but light, intended as a joyful word that makes the act, or art of co-operation more open. However complex and serious co-operation is, when one considers its history in which people have died in supporting it and defending it. How life changing when one thinks of the Pioneers, not just in Rochdale, but Soboliste, Mumbai, New York and Kericho & Bomet in the Rift Valley where co-operatives have formed and lifted life. 

First written July 2013 amended August 2017