To Put In Some K.P. (or K.P. Duty)

Introduction

In Season 1, Episode 9 of ‘The Mentalist’, Ben says the following:

 

Ben: I put in some K.P. with the dishes, and brought in the firewood, so you’re all set.

 

Answer

K.P. (also K.P. duty) stands for “kitchen police duty” or “kitchen patrol”. If you “put in some K.P.“, then you take charge in the kitchen, and accomplish some kitchen tasks (such as cooking, cleaning, or doing dishes). 

Grammar Notes
1) There is no set verb to match with the noun “K.P”, so you can be quite flexible. To do, to put in, to log, to fit in, etc.

2) Please note that “K.P.” never receives an article (there is no “a” or “the”).

3) K.P is an uncountable noun, so in order to quantify it, you must use relative terms such as, “a lot of”, “a little”, “some”, “too much”.

Examples:

  • To do K.P.
  • To put in K.P.
  • To put in some K.P.
  • To log some K.P.
  • To get a bit of K.P. done

 

Is This a Common Expression?

Honestly, you likely won’t hear this expression in daily English conversation, unless the person who’s speaking is familiar with working in the military, or working for police. Remember that Ben was in the military, along with Dave, Rich and Trey, all of them being part of the 192nd together. Even in this same scene, notice that Patrick Jane says, “You have that military bearing.” Ben acts like someone in the military, and that includes saying “K.P.”. 

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