Green’s Dictionary of Slang

staggering bob n.

[meat trade jargon bob, bobby, inedible meat, esp. that taken from animals that have died rather than been slaughtered; note dial. staggering bob (with his yellow pumps), a new-born calf (with yellow hooves) that is killed for veal]

meat declared unfit to eat.

[UK]J. Wetherell Adventures of John Wetherell (1954) 21–25 Mar. 137: We had what we called staggering bob, which might be sucked thro’ a quill; this was served us for beef.
C. Sedley Winter in Dublin 3 122: These miserable cottiers are fated to live on potatoes all the year round — strangers, mostly, to the indulgence of a bit of ‘staggering bob’.
[‘Thomas Brown the Elder‘ Edinburgh 2 279: Bobby Fiddle, sometimes called silly Bob, sometimes staggering Bob (partly from his love of drink, and partly from his resemblance in appearance and in weakness to a young calf)].
[UK]Bristol Mercury 11 July 4/1: When distant from this motley mob, / From measley pork and staggering bob.
[C.I. Johnstone Cook & Housewife’s Manual 156: Some gourmands admire veal stew-soup made of Staggering-Bob, that is an infant calf, whose bones are still gristle, and his flesh a jelly].
[Ire]Kerry Eve. Post 21 Mar. 4/2: The Lord Mayor sweeps along the streets [with] the scales of justice in his van-guard, to seiuze the light bread, and throw the staggering bob into the river Liffey.
[UK]London Mag. Feb. 64/1: [in fig. use] No human hand can ever recover them from the effects of this staggering boon, which has made of PEEL a mere ‘Staggering Bob’.
[UK]Manchester Courier 25 Nov. 7/3: Mr Fagg, market-looker, for exposing for sale unwholesome meat [...] called ‘Staggering Bob’.
J.D. Burn Lang. of Walls 375: This sort of veal is locally characterised by the title of slink, or staggering bob. The meaning of slink we take to be characteristic of the gelatinous nature of the meat, and staggering bob, conveys the idea of the animal not being able to walk.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. (2nd edn) 226: staggering bob an animal to whom the knife only just anticipates death from natural disease or accident, ? said of meat on that account unfit for human food.
[UK]Pall Mall Gaz. 2 Nov. 5/2: The cod he buys at that magnificent price are [...] as different from shallow water cod as ‘staggering bob’ is from prime beef.
[UK]Derry Jrnl 22 Feb. 4/6: The veal is of that peculiar quality known as ‘staggering Bob’.
[UK]Western Mail (Wales) 13 Apr. 4/5: In Liverpool they do not permit the sale of calves called ‘slink’ or ‘staggering Bob’.
[UK]Dly Gaz. for Middlesborough 8 Nov. 4/2: Nothing better than a ‘staggering bob’.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Colonial Reformer III 4: Their cattle was falling off [...] No calves given in, except regular staggering Bobs.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 399: Corpulent professional gentlemen [...] and chlorotic nuns might possibly find gastric relief in an innocent collation of staggering bob [...] it should perhaps be stated that staggering bob in the vile parlance of our lower class licensed victuallers signifies the cookable and eatable flesh of a calf newly dropped from its mother.