bey

bey

[bey]
noun, plural beys.
1.
a provincial governor in the Ottoman Empire.
2.
(formerly) a title of respect for Turkish dignitaries.
3.
(formerly) the title of the native ruler of Tunis or Tunisia.
Turkish beg.


Origin:
1590–1600; < Turkish, by-form of earlier beg, Old Turkic beg subordinate chief, head of a clan, perhaps < a MChin word akin to Chinese bǎi hundred (Guangdong dial. baak)

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World English Dictionary
bey (beɪ)
 
n
1.  (in the Ottoman Empire) a title given to senior officers, provincial governors, certain other officials or nobles, and (sometimes) Europeans
2.  (in modern Turkey) a title of address, corresponding to Mr
 
[C16: Turkish: lord]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

bey
"governor of a Turkish district," 1590s, from Turk. bey, a title of honor, the Osmanli equivalent of Turk. beg.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

bey

title among Turkish peoples traditionally given to rulers of small tribal groups, to members of ruling families, and to important officials. Under the Ottoman Empire a bey was the governor of a province, distinguished by his own flag (sancak, liwa). In Tunis after 1705 the title become hereditary for the country's sovereign. Later "bey" became a general title of respect in Turkish and Arab countries, added after a personal name and equivalent to "esquire" (or "sir" in conversation) in English. In the 20th-century Turkish republic, bey, though surviving in polite conversation, was replaced by bay before the name (equivalent to "Mr.").

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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