American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Used as a Hindi courtesy title for a man, equivalent to Mr.
- n. A Hindu clerk who is literate in English.
- n. Offensive A native of India who has acquired some superficial education in English.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A Hindu title of address, equivalent to sir or Mr., given to gentlemen, clerks, etc.: formerly applied in some parts of Hindustan to certain persons of distinction. “In Bengal and elsewhere, among Anglo-Indians, it is often used with a slight savor of disparagement, as characterizing a superficially cultivated but too often effeminate Bengali; and from the extensive employment of the class to which the term was applied as a title in the capacity of clerks in English offices, the word has come often to signify ‘a native clerk who writes English.’”
Yule and Burnell, Anglo-Ind. Gloss.
- n. used as a Hindi courtesy title; equivalent to English `Mr'
- From Hindi बाबू (bābū) (Wiktionary)
- Hindi bābū, father. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“From a printed curiosity -- a letter written by one of those brave and confident Hindoo strugglers with the English tongue, called a "babu" -- I got a more compressed translation: "Godville.”
“A remarkable statement reveals him to be a 'babu': "He said many of the awardees will go abroad while others will study at home, but those who do not go abroad should not feel deprived, because, 'I know many men and women who excelled globally, but had studied in Bangladesh.”
“The influence of Hindi in English is always there in the land of India where its national language, the colloquialism of which has been widely accepted by the Indians and even some words like Badmash, babu, maska and many more are introduced in English dictionaries.”
“One of the pandies stirred, and pulled himself up on one knee; Wheeler, his arm still round the babu, whipped up his revolver and fired, and the pandy flopped back in the dust.”
“Someone came forward at a crouching run and laid two charged muskets on the ground beside me; to my astonishment I saw it was Bella Blair - the fat babu I'd seen reading the previous night was similarly arming the riding-master, and the chap on t'other side of me had as his loader a very frail-looking old civilian in a dust-coat and cricket cap.”
“Wheeler himself was down on one knee, supporting the fat babu, who was wailing with a shattered leg; the frail civilian was lying asprawl, his cricket cap gone and his head just a squashed red mess.”
“The babu, flat on the ground, was turning his head to polish his spectacles; Bella Blair had her face hidden, but I noticed her fists were clenched.”
“She had said herself that a babu read English books to her aloud.”
“That being a miracle, the babu forthwith wrought another one, and within a minute King's one trunk was checked through to Delhi.”
“Excuse me, sir," said the man in glib babu English.”
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