Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

bumbailiff

[buhm-bey-lif]
noun British: Disparaging.
  1. (formerly) a bailiff or underbailiff employed in serving writs, making arrests, etc.
Show More

Origin of bumbailiff

1595–1605; bum2 + bailiff; alluding to their following close behind debtors and other offenders
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for bumbailiff

bumbailiff

noun
  1. British derogatory (formerly) an officer employed to collect debts and arrest debtors for nonpayment
Show More

Word Origin

C17: from bum 1 + bailiff, so called because he follows hard behind debtors
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 bumbailiff

n.

server of writs, maker of arrests, etc., c.1600, from bum "arse" (see bum (n.1)), because he was always felt to be close behind, + bailiff.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper