memsahib

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From ma'am +‎ sahib.

Noun[edit]

memsahib (plural memsahibs)

  1. (India, historical, as a respectful term of address) A white European woman in colonial India.
    Coordinate term: sahib
    • 1997, Richard Dyer, White, →ISBN, page 184:
      This might be accomplished literally through missionary work (Plate 5.1), but that tended to be unattractively pro-active and spinsterish, and it was rather the memsahibs, the mothers, wives and daughters of the white officers and administrators, who were to instil civilisation, through the example of their own moral refinement.