Denotation vs. Connotation


[bob-ee] /ˈbɒb i/
a male given name, form of Robert.
a female given name.


[bob-ee] /ˈbɒb i/
noun, plural bobbies. British Informal.
a policeman.
Origin of bobby
1835-45; special use of Bobby, for Sir Robert Peel, who set up the Metropolitan Police system of London in 1828 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bobbies
Historical Examples
  • The bobbies hugged the line of waists that sat squat in front of the campfire.

  • At the sound of his voice the owner of elephants exclaimed: "The bobbies!"

    Her Ladyship's Elephant David Dwight Wells
  • It was not yet dark and the two bobbies started off on a merry chase, as usual.

  • They dont have bobbies for burgles in these sort of places, only for rows.

    Chains Elizabeth Baker
  • Peg had actually spent the night in the bobbies camp, and her treasure was now hidden in their packing-case safe.

  • The bobbies told each other who I wur, an' they was always a-watching me.

    Her Benny Silas Kitto Hocking
  • Surprised and pleased, I asked myself, "Which of our own bobbies could thus assist a foreigner?"

    Through the Land of the Serb Mary Edith Durham
  • I didn't run about a bit, and there were bobbies with me all the way back.

    The Four Corners Abroad Amy Ella Blanchard
  • But I did try my hardest to get it back—because the young gent let me off when the bobbies would have walked me to quod.

    Mattie:--A Stray (Vol 1 of 3) Frederick William Robinson
  • "'Cause the bobbies finds it so hard to lay hands on me," Bill replied.

    Sturdy and Strong G. A. Henty
British Dictionary definitions for bobbies


noun (pl) -bies
(informal) a British policeman
Word Origin
C19: from Bobby after Sir Robert Peel, who, as Home Secretary, set up the Metropolitan Police Force in 1828
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
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Word Origin and History for bobbies



"London policeman," 1844, from Mr. (later Sir) Robert Peel (1788-1850), Home Secretary who introduced the Metropolitan Police Act (10 Geo IV, c.44) of 1829. Cf. peeler.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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