\ \ [19] The British bobbypoliceman’ gets his name from the English statesman Sir Robert Peel (1788–1850) – Bobby or Bob being the pet form of Robert. Peel was Home Secretary when the Metropolitan Police Force was formed in 1828, but the term bobby is not actually recorded until 1844. A much earlier application of his name was the now obsolete Peeler, used from 1817 for members of the Irish Constabulary, founded under Peel’s auspices, and later for English policemen.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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