1. a British or Australian, occas. US, policeman, latterly any police officer.
|Sessions Papers June 341: I heard her say [...] ‘a bobby’ [...] it was a signal to let them know a policeman was coming .|
|Swell’s Night Guide 66: Ven I pitches, and they count me the best flag pitcher of all the shallows; I never gets copped by the Bobbies [...] but yet I nails the browns.|
|Pippins and Pies 119: ‘Here’s a Bobby!’ cried a shrill juvenile voice on the outskirts of the crowd.|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 4 Aug. 2/5: While a busy B was humming about the neighbourhood [,,,] he espied a maiden-fair emerging from the hostelerie of Mr. Taylor with a bottle of [...] rum.|
|Melbourne Punch 21 Feb. 24/2: Just in the nick of time, a Bobby dropped into the bar, and took him before the Beak.|
|Uncommercial Traveller (1898) 22: They don’t go a headerin’ down here wen there an’t no Bobby nor gen’ral Cove fur to hear the splash.|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 2 Feb. 3/2: The atrocious crime of having represented himself as one holding the dignified position of a ‘Bobby’.|
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor I 16/1: It is often said in admiration of such a man that ‘he could muzzle half a dozen bobbies before breakfast’.|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 32/2: The policeman appeared, and regardless of all the ‘flat’ could say, he was collared by the ‘bobbie’.|
|Appleton’s Journal (N.Y.) 6 Sept. 307/2: To limp as if lame means ‘Don’t go in that direction;’ to wipe the brow, ‘Have a care of Bobby’ (policeman).|
|Lays of Ind (1905) 62: A bobby stopped the fray.|
|Dagonet Ballads 4: And the bobbies came down on us costers.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 14 Feb. 5/4: He accompanies bobbies, alias the myrmidons of the law, in their rounds, making all sorts of raids into all sorts of places, at all sorts of hours.|
|Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 14 Jan. 2/2: [T]he cohorts of virtue as epitomized by those venging angels without wings — the ‘Bobbies’.|
|Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday 7 June 47/2: To others Samuel Hardstaff is a peeler, a reeler, a copper, a Bobby, a Robert, an unboiled lobster, or a slop, but to cook he is Mr Policeman.|
|My Secret Life (1966) I 103: Said I, ‘Perhaps she has gone off with the bobby.’ It was a current joke then, policemen not having been long invented.|
|Mysterious Beggar 267: ‘Tell all the Bobbies on this beat!’ suggested Burle sarcastically.|
|‘The Captain of the Push’ in Roderick (1967–9) I 187: Would you smash a bleedin’ bobby if you got the blank alone?|
|Jack London Reports (1970) 311–21: Their [i.e. tramps] argot is peculiar study. [...] bobbie – policeman – transplanted from Cockney argot.‘The Road’ in|
|🎵 He told a ‘Bobbie’ of the lisp.[perf. Marie Lloyd] And she lisped when she said, ‘Yes!’|
|Sporting Times 3 Mar. 7/1: The event was celebrated by the appearance of a band of butchers [...]. A halt in front of the Pink ’Un office to cheer the staff was resented by the police, and the unsympathetic City bobbies moved the cleavers on.|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 14 Aug. 1/1: The opium-smokers can play the game while the bobbies are in the room [...] to the uninitiated the pig-tailed vermin appear to be reading Chinese history.|
|Truth (Wellington) 11 Jan. 5/8: [headline] A Blundering Bobby.|
|Truth (Sydney) 10 Nov. 12/2: [headline] LIZZIE LUMBERED. A Sussex Street Solicitress BUMPS A BRACE OF BOYS IN BLUE. Bright Bobbies Boob Her Bludger Bloke Barnay.|
|Thirty-Nine Steps (1930) 14: I [...] found a couple of bobbies and an inspector busy making an examination.|
|New York Day by Day 24 May [synd. col.] I say, bobby, old top, can you direct me to a shoe surgery?|
|Chicago May (1929) 97: A bobby soon had us in charge. I slipped one of my diamond rings into the sucker’s pocket, and cried copiously all the way to Bow Street Station.|
|May the Twelfth: Mass-Observation Day-Surveys II:63: I asked the bobby: ‘How long has this bye-law been in force?’ B: ‘About’ – deliberately swinging forward on his toes and back on his heels – ‘two years.’.|
|Foveaux 252: When a cop brings in one of these strikers, a sympathetic Bobbie down at the Court rings up the Trades Hall.|
|Whizzbang Comics 45: ‘Humph! We must have a look inside this tent, anyway!’ said the bobby.|
|Oh Boy! No. 20 7: You showed the bobby your return ticket to China!|
|Fings I Prologue: Just take it from me that a bobby knows best.|
|An Only Child (1970) 102: The bobby was so stunned at being cheeked by a small spectacled boy.|
|Breathing Spaces 49: Dee Street was empty as a tomb except for a bobby standing in the library doorway.|
|1985 (1980) 210: We want to see our brave bobbies back on the beat.|
|Faggots 303: Adriana’s house on Widgeon was British Empired for the night. Union jacks and pearlie buttons [...] bobbie outfits.|
|He Died with His Eyes Open 145: The bobby told me, ‘Let’s get clear of this, son, it’s bloody dangerous’.|
|Godson 82: ‘[M]y friends and I get on quite well with the police — or the bobbies, as we call them’.|
|Guardian G2 30 June 3: If you’re a corrupt London bobby, you might like to consider early retirement.|
|Urban Grimshaw 167: The bobbies must have put two and two together.|
|Life 287: It was also a real drag to wake up every day with these bluebottles around your doot, these bobbies.|
|Out of Bounds (2017) 320: ‘Should I be talking to the local bobbies about popping round with a search warrant?’.|
2. (US) an Englishman.
3. (Aus. prison) a prison officer.
|Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. 🌐 Bobby. Prison Officer. Derived from the British usage where a bobby is a police officer.|
4. (N.Z. prison) constr. with the, the police force.
|Boobslang [U. Canterbury D.Phil. thesis] 22/2: bobby, the n. the police.|
5. (also boaby man) the penis, thus sexual intercourse; bobby juice, semen [? backform. bobby’s helmet ].
|www.bikes.me 🌐 i mean he could be a poofter and could have had a boaby in his mouth and was spitting out the boaby juice and giving your friend a facial.|
|Ringer [ebook] n.p.: Christ, it’s keen. Maybe get the boaby today after all.|
|Decent Ride 45: Ah pats ma wee boabyman but through ma jeans.|
see separate entry.
the glans penis.
|DSUE (8th edn) 108/1: since 1930s.|
|Roger’s Profanisaurus in Viz 87 Dec. n.p.: bobby’s helmet n. Bell end. From the distinctive shape of the British police constable’s hat.|
volunteers who joined up as special constables during the Fenian scares of the 1860s.
|Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.|
1. a form of blow.
|Glasgow Herald 11 Nov. 3/4: After a violent [...] struggle [...] Sir Hedworth ‘grassed’ or rather ‘flagged’ his man in galant style with what is known to the initiated as a well-timed ‘bobby-twister’.|
2. a thug who will stop at nothing, even killing a policeman.
|Dict. of Sl., Jargon and Cant.|
|Sl. and Its Analogues.|