Friday, March 16, 2007

THE ORIGIN OF THE BRITISH BOBBY

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I’ve had an enquiry from a cyberfriend and fellow Blog Villager Janey Loree from
  • PJs Paper Doll Cut Outs

  • 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.

    4 comments:

    Janey Loree said...

    Oh Naomi, this is perfect! I will be linking to this post over on "Peppy the Little Sheppy's" post! Thank you for answer my question is such detail! I did not know that his stick was called a truncheon. We call them "night sticks or billy clubs". We love gathering this information to make our paperdolls educational as well as therapeutic and fun!!!
    Thank you again!!!

    Naomi said...

    You are very welcome Janey. If you need any further information on any other English characters don't hesitate to ask and I'll do my best to help you.

    jan said...

    Hi Naomi,
    I'm returning your BV visit. Calling them Bobbies is probably easier than calling them Sir Robert Peeles. I hope to visit England in the near future.

    CyberCelt said...

    That is why I love carnivals. I learn something new. Sorry I am late, but I have been ill and am just making the rounds.