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Pooh Bah

[poo bah] /ˈpu ˌbɑ/
noun, (often lowercase)
1.
a person who holds several positions, especially ones that give him or her bureaucratic importance.
2.
a leader, authority, or other important person:
one of the pooh bahs of the record industry.
3.
a pompous, self-important person.
Also, Pooh-Bah, poobah.
Origin of Pooh Bah
1880-1885
1880-85; after a character in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, who holds all of the high offices of state simultaneously and uses them for personal gain
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for pooh-bah
Historical Examples
  • In every community like this you'll find one local 'pooh-bah' who runs things pretty much as he likes.

  • But pooh-bah declares "I must set bounds to my insatiable ambition."

    The Secrets of a Savoyard Henry A. Lytton
  • This is what pooh-bah calls "corroborative detail intended to give artistic verisimilitude to a bald and unconvincing narrative."

  • A corporation is not a commercial pooh-bah, divided into unrelated sections.

    The Promise Of American Life Herbert David Croly
  • Great should be the gratitude of passage-selling Combines to pooh-bah; and they ought to cherish his memory when he dies.

  • pooh-bah, it seems that the festivities in connection with my approaching marriage must last a week.

  • pooh-bah will do a better job than I could,” Fay assured him.

  • Every one of us, or almost every one of us, does in reality fulfil almost as many offices as pooh-bah.

    Varied Types G. K. Chesterton
  • Fay sighed and gave simultaneously with pooh-bah the now-familiar triple-jointed shrug.

  • Instead of being “a very powerful chief having many Indians under his control”—a kind of “pooh-bah”—he was merely a pioneer.

    Inca Land Hiram Bingham
British Dictionary definitions for pooh-bah

Pooh-Bah

/ˈpuːˈbɑː/
noun
1.
a pompous self-important official holding several offices at once and fulfilling none of them
Word Origin
C19: after the character, the Lord-High-Everything-Else, in The Mikado (1885), a light opera by Gilbert and Sullivan
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pooh-bah
n.

"leader who maintains excessive bureaucratic control," 1888, from Pooh-Bah, the name of the "Lord High Everything Else" character in Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado" (1885).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pooh-bah in Culture

Pooh-Bah definition


A self-important person of high position and great influence. Pooh-Bah is a character in Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta The Mikado; his title is Lord-High-Everything-Else.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for pooh-bah

pooh-bah

noun

An important person; a self-important person; big shot, honcho, vip: where presidents and pooh-bahs commune

[1888+; fr the character in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado who holds many high offices, the name probably coined fr two exclamations of contempt and derision]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Word Value for pooh

9
9
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