I’ve had an enquiry from a cyberfriend and fellow Blog Villager Janey Loree from
regarding the origins of the British “bobby”. PJ’s specialise in creating books of handmade paper dolls. They sell a lot of other interesting items for children as well if you'd like to go over and pay them a visit. Janey has just introduced some new little animal paper dolls and one of them is Peppy the little Sheppy, an old timey cop. "Bobby" is an English expression used to describe a British policeman or cop as our American neighbours refer to them. The term “bobby” was first used many years ago and is derived from Sir Robert Peel who was the Home Secretary in England when the Metropolitan Police Force was created in the 1800’s. The British “bobby” is still to this day a treasured icon in England. However nowadays you're more likely to see them on motorcycles, in police cars or even on horseback rather than pounding the beat on foot like they used to in the old days. ("Pounding the beat" is another British expression. It means walking round the streets looking for any wrong doing).
Other expressions we use to describe a British policeman are “Plod”, which comes from the policeman character of Mr Plod in Enid Blyton’s Noddy stories and “Copper” which comes from the expression “copping” which literally means watching what criminals are up to and catching them. I hope that answers your question Janey.
P.S. You might also be interested to know that one of the most popular expressions we associate with the British "bobby" is, "Hello, hello what's goin' on here?". It's a popular line used on tv and in comedy sketches where policemen are featured.