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See also: Bey



From Turkish bey (gentleman, chief), from Old Turkic 𐰋𐰏 (bég, chief, titled man).



bey (plural beys)

  1. (historical) A governor of a province or district in the Turkish dominions
    • 1978, Lawrence Durrell, Livia, Faber & Faber 1992 (Avignon Quintet), p. 512:
      She was chaperoned by the widow of a Bey whose son had been at Oxford with him, and this gave him the excuse to exchange a few words with her, and then to be presented to the Princess.
    • 2005, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Pashazade, p. 15:
      Whether his position with the Third Circle made the difference or the fact that he ranked as a bey, life in El Iskandryia was proving easier than he'd ever dreamed possible when he stepped off the plane.
  2. in various other places, a prince or nobleman

Derived terms[edit]






bey m (plural beys)

  1. bey




  1. Obsolete spelling of bei



From Ottoman Turkish بك (beg), from Old Anatolian Turkish [script needed] (beg, ruler). Akin to Old Turkic 𐰋𐰏 (beg, chief, titled man), Old Uyghur [script needed] (beg, lord, chief), Karakhanid باكْ (bēg, chief, a woman's husband).

There are different theories about the further etymology of the word. According to one theory the word may ultimately come from Middle Chinese (MC pˠæk̚, “hundred”),[1] (MC pˠæk̚, “the head of a hundred men”).[2] Another theory states that the word may have its origins in Sogdian [script needed] (baga, lord, master).[3][4] Or from Middle Chinese 伯 */pˠæk̚/("count"). Nonetheless German Turkologist Gerhard Doerfer assessed the derivation from Iranian as uncertain and pointed out that the word may be genuinely Turkic.[5][6] Unrelated to bay.


bey (definite accusative beyi, plural beyler)

  1. gentleman, mister
  2. lord, master
  3. husband
Related terms[edit]


  1. ^ “bey.”, in Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc.[1], accessed 22 March 2008
  2. ^ Clauson, Gerard (1972), “be:g”, in An Etymological Dictionary of pre-thirteenth-century Turkish, Oxford: Clarendon Press, page 322
  3. ^ Eilers، “Iranisches Lehngut”, persisches Lehngut in europäischen Sprachen Von Jamshid Ibrahim from: Göttingen 1919 Wilhem Eilers, Iranisches Lehngut im Arabischen, p. 58
  4. ^ Carter Vaughn Findley, Turks in World History, Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 45: "... Many elements of Non-Turkic origin also became part of Türk statecraft [...] for example, as in the case of khatun [...] and beg [...] both terms being of Sogdian origin and ever since in common use in Turkish. ..."
  5. ^ "Baga.".Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved 22 August 2011.
  6. ^ “beg.”, in Encyclopædia Iranica[2], accessed 7 May 2011