I just finished reading H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines for a class. In reading many of the definitions of the word and phrases used in the book I came across the word “boss.” It appears to be such an everyday word. Who would have thought it has such a long and interesting history.

1    /bɔs, bɒs/ Show Spelled[baws,
bos] Show IPA


1. a person who employs or superintends workers; manager.

2. a politician who controls the party organization, as in a particular district.

3. a person who makes decisions, exercises authority, dominates, etc.: My grandfather was the boss in his family.

verb (used with object)

4. to be master of or over; manage; direct; control.

5. to order about, especially in an arrogant manner.

verb (used without object)

6. to be boss.

7. to be too domineering and authoritative.


8. chief; master.

9. Slang: first-rate.