poobah

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

poobah (plural poobahs)

  1. A person holding multiple offices or positions of power, all at the same time.
  2. An important person.
  3. A pompous person.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]