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badlands | 15:25 Tue 14th Nov 2006 | Phrases & Sayings
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When or where did the word "Rossers" come from as in " Quick scarper here comes the rossers" i know its slang for police but when did it first appear?


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If you find the answer, you might like to tell the Oxford English Dictionary. My middle-range version says it dates from the 19th century and has an unknown origin.
The earliest recorded use of the word in print was in a book called Signor Lippo by P H Emerson and published in 1893. So, the closest we can come to its first emergence is by saying "Late 19th century" as Grunty suggests above.
Maybe a corruption of Roberts? As in Shazzers for Sharon, Rossers for Roberts (Sir Robert Peels - Peelers)?
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