What Does the Word “Bailiwick” For Private Property Mean and How Did the Term “Bailiff” Originate?

Bailiwick is an old English legal term and is a compound of baile, which is now bailiff, and wic, meaning a farm or dwelling.

From the mid-fifteenth century the word meant “under a bailiff’s jurisdiction”, which leads us to the sheriff.

During monarchial rule, each English shire had a reeve who acted as chief magistrate for the district.

what does the word bailiwick for private property mean and how did the term bailiff originate

When the title “shire reeve” crossed the Atlantic it became “sheriff.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for zippyfacts.com. Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.