One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A sheriff's officer; a bailiff.
- ‘So you couldn't just have a tipstaff or a sheriff or a jury officer say to the potential jurors, ‘Look, you guys surf the net, or not?’’
- ‘The whole judicial hierarchy, from the highest presidents in the parlements to the humble tipstaff in the obscurest rural jurisdiction, bought their positions.’
- ‘The American cases have examined these sorts of issues and we have provided your Honours' tipstaffs with some material which we will come to shortly.’
- ‘Let us assume, for example, that an associate has shares in a company that is a litigant and that the tipstaff's mother has invested in it.’
- ‘Civil injunctions are enforced by the court staff and not by the police, but there is no means of calling out the tipstaff or bailiff at midnight on a Saturday night to deal with a drunken partner.’
Mid 16th century (first denoting a metal-tipped staff): contraction of tipped staff (carried by a bailiff).
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