Definition of bum-bailiff in English:

Share this entry

bum-bailiff

noun

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.

Origin

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

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: bum-bailiff

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.