From Pooh-Bah, a comic character in the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta The Mikado (1885), formed as pooh + bah, both expressing contempt. Libretto by W. S. Gilbert, preceded by character Pish-Tush-Pooh-Bah (described as “haughty”) in “King Borriah Bungalee Boo” (1866), one of the Bab Ballads, with pish and tush other terms of contempt.
poobah (plural poobahs)
- A person holding multiple offices or positions of power, all at the same time.
- An important person.
- A pompous person.
- (holding multiple offices at the same time): dual mandate