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Alternative forms[edit]


The expression may be a reference to the wooden construction of a bobby's custodian helmet.


wooden-top (plural wooden-tops)

  1. (UK, informal, idiomatic) A uniformed police officer.
    • 1988, Derek Raymond, The Devil's Home on Leave, Ballantine Books, page 151:
      Immediately a big wooden-top came in. He was young and blond.
    • 1991, Bill James, The Lolita Man , W. W. Norton & Company, page 41 [1]:
      It is Detective Chief Superintendent Cohn Harpur, one of the bosses, but just a wooden-top like all the rest.

Usage notes[edit]

Used by British police, Criminal Investigation Department detectives.