1. understand or realize something
catch/cop on to what someone is saying
In the context of this expression, the understanding or realization of something usually comes after an initial struggle or period of time. 'Cop on to' or 'catch on to' can both mean 'to realise' something. The 'cop on' variation is primarily heard in Ireland, where it can be used similarly to the phrase 'wise up.' Due to the fact that this expression is often used in relation to learning, understanding, and awareness, it is heard commonly in both a social and professional setting.