nabob

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

In colloquial usage in English since 1612, from Urdu, from Persian, from the honorific plural of Arabic نائب (nā’ib, deputy).

Noun[edit]

nabob (plural nabobs)

  1. An Indian ruler within the Mogul empire; a nawab.
  2. (by extension) Someone of great wealth or importance.
    • 2013 June 22, “Engineers of a different kind”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8841, page 70: 
      Private-equity nabobs bristle at being dubbed mere financiers. Piling debt onto companies’ balance-sheets is only a small part of what leveraged buy-outs are about, they insist. Improving the workings of the businesses they take over is just as core to their calling, if not more so. Much of their pleading is public-relations bluster.
  3. (by extension) A person with a grandiose style or manner.

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References[edit]

  • Nabobs: A Study of the Social Life of the English in the Eighteenth-Century, Percival Spear, Oxford University Press, London 1938; New Edition OUP, USA: 1998.
  • Durham's Place-Names of the San Francisco Bay Area, David L. Durham, Quill Driver Books, California: 2000.