taipan

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See also: taïpan and tāipán

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

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From Mandarin 大班 (dàbān, big shot, rich businessman).

Noun[edit]

taipan (plural taipans)

  1. A foreign businessman in China; a tycoon. [from 19th c.]
    • 1922, W. Somerset Maugham, "The Taipan":
      Of course it was very sad, but the taipan could hardly help a smile when he thought how many of these young fellows he had drunk underground.
    • 1977, John Le Carré, The Honourable Schoolboy, Folio Society 2010, p. 438:
      The British taipans stood in one sodden circle with their womenfolk, like bored officers at a garrison get-together.

Etymology 2[edit]

An inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus)
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From the name of the Thaypan tribe of Aboriginal people of central Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia.

Noun[edit]

taipan (plural taipans)

  1. Any venomous elapid snake of the genus Oxyuranus, found in Australia and New Guinea. [from 20th c.]
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Anagrams[edit]