Friday, 19 October 2007

A.W.A.D. - Words for Bosses, Leaders & Officials

How would you describe someone who has risen up and become a manager? Embossed!

The word boss has its origins in Dutch (from baas: master, foreman), but there are several homonyms of the word. Is your boss a timid manager, or a bungler, or ... ? Depending on how your boss runs the show, you apply one of these alternative meanings:

1. boss : a calf or a cow. That's where Bossy, a familiar name for a cow, comes from. (From English dialect borse/boss/buss: a six-months-old calf)

2. boss: a protuberance or swelling on the body of an animal or plant. This is where the word emboss comes from. (From Old French boce)

3. boss-eyed, adjective: cross-eyed or squint-eyed. (origin uncertain)

4. boss, verb: to bungle. (origin uncertain)

Why refer to your supervisor just as a plain old boss? On National Boss Day (October 16), why not use a more colorful word from this week's selection?

archon
(AHR-kon) noun
A high official or ruler.

[From Latin archon, from Greek arkhon (magistrate), from arkhein (to befirst, to rule). An archon was one of the nine principal magistrates in ancient Athens.]

pasha
(PA-shuh, PASH-uh, puh-SHAH) noun
A person of high rank or importance.

[From Turkish pasa, from Persian padshah, from pati (master) + shah (king). Pasha was used as a title of high-ranking officials in the Ottoman Empire.]

fugleman
(FYOO-guhl-muhn) noun
One who leads a group, company, or party.

[From German Flügelmann (flank man), from Flügel (wing) + Mann (man). A fugleman was once a soldier placed usually on a flank during drills to serve as a guide for his company.]

vizier
(vi-ZEER, VIZ-yuhr) noun
A high official.

[From Turkish vezir, from Arabic wazir (minister).]

hierarch
(HY-uh-rark) noun
A high-ranking person.

[From Latin hierarcha, from Greek hierarkhes (high priest), from hieros (sacred) + arkhes (ruling), from arkhein (to be first, to rule).]

No comments: