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Bailiwick is a person’s niche, in other words his or her area of expertise or interest. Within the legal system, it is the powers held by the office of the bailiff. It is pronounced with the same long sound as bailiff, and not (bah lee wick).

A bailiff works in a court of law and aides the judge in keeping control of the courtroom. He or she might also work for a sheriff to repossess items held on collateral loans. Another usage of the word is someone who manages another’s property or land.

A related word, bailie was originally used the same as bailiff in Scotland. This word is solely historical in its use today.

The word comes from Middle English where the word baillif  was combined with wik, a village or dwelling place.

Bailiwick also is used in references to two locations under the British Crown in the Channel Islands.


But recently, its leading companies have ventured deep into areas well outside its traditional bailiwick, most notably international development — promising to transform a field once dominated by national governments and international institutions into a permanent playground of hackathons and app-fueled disruption. [New York Times]

In the meantime, in the Middle East, which the United States used to regard as its particular bailiwick, Israel’s patience has been exhausted. [Canberra Times]

“This is not the Park Board’s general bailiwick. This gives us the opportunity to have an entity that is ensuring that the space is properly utilized and maximizes public access.” [Star Tribune]

Herm is 1.5 miles long and is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey. [BBC News]