In the movie "Equalizer" (2014), the co-worker addressed Denzel Washington, "Yo, Pops, bet you didn't have to push dollies at your old job." and Denzel Washington replied, "Guilty as charged." I just don't understand the meaning of "Yo, Pops" and why past tense "did" was used. Can anybody help, please.


"Yo, Pops" is a possibly insulting slang phrase that means "Hello, old man".

"Yo" is a slang term to get someone's attention. It has connotations of either "friendly enough that it is OK to be rude", or "rude".

"Pops" is a slang term for "Pa" or "Father" or "old man".

The sentence is in the past tense because it is asking about something that happened in the past -- what Washington's character did in his previous job.

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  • In this context, should it be "pop" instead? – Peter Li Dec 13 '14 at 6:55
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    Pops is what the man said, so pops it is. What I mean is that pops as a singular noun for 'old man' is standard in some dialects of English. Pop is an informal term for 'father' used by most AmE speakers. – user6951 Dec 13 '14 at 9:24

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