Share this entry
bum-bailiff Line breaks: bum-bailiff

Definition of bum-bailiff in English:


historical, derogatory
A bailiff empowered to collect debts or arrest debtors for non-payment: a confounded pettifogging bum-bailiff
More example sentences
  • They are also often called bum-bailiffs or, shortly, ‘bums’.
  • They will do what the law commands, but they will not volunteer to act as tip-staves of bum-bailiffs.
  • Up to the time that a post office was established on January 1, 1806, it was known as Bumbridge because the bum-bailiff fell through the bridge while attempting to arrest a person.


Early 17th century: from bum2, so named because of the association of an approach from behind.

Definition of bum-bailiff in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources