Definitions starting with B

ID #1547

boss, bossman

[Car.; cf. SA baas master, sir "mode of address usu. by non-whites to the master or employer ... from Dutch baas master, captain"; cf. also US dial. South, Black boss-man ADD]

n. 1. term of address to a man viewed as a superior or one from whom a favor is expected (used especially by Haitians): 1880 Can't you give me a penny, boss? (Ives 49). 1885 Evidently "Boss" is a more important personage than "Massa", for Buddy calls Sampson "Massa" and Tom "Boss" (Brassey 330). 1888 A gentleman is usually addressed as "Boss" or "Buckra" (Powles 154). I say, "All right, bossman, I goin' home now" (Andros). (Gen.)

2. one's superior at work; one's employer: 1918 Mas' Tom was the bossman of the work (Parsons 84). (Gen.)

Tags: Haitian, noun

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Last update: 2010-09-09 04:15
Author: Holm and Shilling, DBE, 1982
Revision: 1.0

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