Sheriff

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A sheriff is a government official, with varying duties, existing in some countries with historical ties to England, where the office originated. There is an analogous although independently developed office in Iceland that is commonly translated to English as sheriff, and this is discussed below.


Historically, a sheriff was a legal official with responsibility for a "shire" or county. In modern times, the specific combination of legal, political and ceremonial duties of a sheriff varies greatly from country to country.

The word sheriff is a contraction of the term "shire reeve". The term, from the Old English scīrgerefa, designated a royal official responsible for keeping the peace (a "reeve") throughout a shire or county on behalf of the king. The term was preserved in England notwithstanding the Norman Conquest. From the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, the term spread to several other regions, at an early point to Scotland, latterly to Ireland and to the United States.

In British English, the political or legal office of a sheriff, term of office of a sheriff, or jurisdiction of a sheriff, is called a shrievalty in England and Wales, and a sheriffdom in Scotland.

The Arabic term sharif ("noble"), sometimes rendered sherif, bears no historical or etymological connection.

This page was last edited on 16 June 2018, at 17:28 (UTC).
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheriff under CC BY-SA license.

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