noun, plural bob·bies. British Informal.
  1. a policeman.

Origin of bobby

1835–45; special use of Bobby, for Sir Robert Peel, who set up the Metropolitan Police system of London in 1828 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bobbies

Historical Examples of bobbies

  • And for our insignificance, in turn, come the Bobbies as reward.

  • At the sound of his voice the owner of elephants exclaimed: "The bobbies!"

    Her Ladyship's Elephant

    David Dwight Wells

  • Mr. Robert Holt, Honora learned at breakfast, had two bobbies.

  • They dont have Bobbies for burgles in these sort of places, only for rows.


    Elizabeth Baker

  • The bobbies told each other who I wur, an' they was always a-watching me.

    Her Benny

    Silas Kitto Hocking

British Dictionary definitions for bobbies


noun plural -bies
  1. informal a British policeman

Word Origin for bobby

C19: from Bobby after Sir Robert Peel, who, as Home Secretary, set up the Metropolitan Police Force in 1828
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

Word Origin and History for bobbies



"London policeman," 1844, from Mr. (later Sir) Robert Peel (1788-1850), Home Secretary who introduced the Metropolitan Police Act (10 Geo IV, c.44) of 1829. Cf. peeler.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper