noun British: Disparaging.

(formerly) a bailiff or underbailiff employed in serving writs, making arrests, etc.

Nearby words

  1. bum out,
  2. bum rap,
  3. bum steer,
  4. bum's rush,
  5. bum-rush,
  6. bumbershoot,
  7. bumble,
  8. bumble-foot,
  9. bumble-puppy,
  10. bumblebee

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. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for bumbailiff



British derogatory (formerly) an officer employed to collect debts and arrest debtors for nonpayment

Word Origin for bumbailiff

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



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper