Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Bailiff.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
At Constantinople, the person who had charge of the imperial children used to be called the bajulus, from baios, a child. The word was subsequently attached to the Venetian consul at Constantinople, and the Venetian ambassador was called the balio, a word afterwards extended to any superintendent or magistrate. In France the bailli was a superintendent of the royal domains and commander of the troops. In time, any superintendent of even a private estate was so called, whence our farmer’s bailiff. The sheriff is the king’s bailiff—a title now applied almost exclusively to his deputies or officers. (See BUMBAILIFF.)   1



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