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2017 Word of the Year

Old Bill

noun (Brit, slang)
1.
a policeman
2.
(functioning as pl) the Old Bill, policemen collectively or in general
Word Origin
C20: of uncertain origin: perhaps derived from the World War I cartoon of a soldier with a drooping moustache
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Examples from the Web for old bill
Historical Examples
  • For some time the maherry was led in hand, old bill being its conductor.

    The Boy Slaves Mayne Reid
  • Among them old bill saw some things that had appertained to himself.

    The Boy Slaves Mayne Reid
  • old bill likes the looks of a dollar as well as any man you ever knew.

    A Woman at Bay Nicholas Carter
  • Now that you speak of it, said Paul, I remember I have an old bill about me.

    The Motor Boys Clarence Young
  • old bill loved to spin yarns—that was his particular failing.

    The Missing Formula Mildred A. Wirt, AKA Ann Wirt
  • Invention surely could not improve on that old bill—and invention is no laggard!

    A Leisurely Tour in England

    James John Hissey
  • She and old bill seemed to be in partnership in about everything he could have a part in.

    Prairie Gold Various
  • Well, as I said in the beginning, we buried old bill to-day.

    Prairie Gold Various
  • They were then three years old, and one of them was old bill.

    Prairie Gold Various
  • old bill looked at him with surprise not unmingled with pleasure.

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Nearby words for old bill

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5
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