from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A pasha.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A very large siluroid fish (Leptops olivaris) of the Mississippi valley; the goujon or mudcat.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A Turkish title of honor, now written pasha. See pasha.
  • n. Fig.: A magnate or grandee.
  • n. A very large siluroid fish (Leptops olivaris) of the Mississippi valley; -- also called goujon, mud cat, and yellow cat.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as pasha.
  • n. A grandee; an important personage; a bigwig.
  • n. The mud-cat, Leptops olivaris.


Arabic bāšā, from Turkish paşa; see pasha.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Variant of pasha. (Wiktionary)



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  • "I was most curious to know why the woman had not been better treated—she, the wife of a member of the Petit-Parliament, a Bashaw!"
    Under the Harrow by Mark Dunn, p 34

    September 1, 2011

  • in the English (I saw it in Moby-Dick and then there are the works cited below). OE says it's the earlier form.

    ETA: I suspect -aw is a way of expressing the contrast in length that is inherent in that word in its original language; the unadorned 'a' is short whereas 'aw' is long (according to English orthography). not true; they're both long in the original Persian, which is pa:dʃa: in IPA. this word appears in Urdu as baadshah (king); -ah and -aw, therefore, both serve in English transliterations of long 'a'.

    June 19, 2009

  • Variant in the English rendering or in the source tongue(s)?

    June 19, 2009

  • var. of pasha

    June 19, 2009

  • A Sea of Words: A grandee, a haughty, imperious man. From the title of rulers of Barbary Coast countries. (p. 102) Usage on firman.

    October 13, 2008

  • "'Not to know the odds between a halliard and a sheet, after all these years at sea: it passes human understanding,' said Jack.

    "'You are a reasonably civil, complaisant creature on dry land,' said Stephen, but the moment you are afloat you become pragmatical and absolute, a bashaw — do this, do that, gluppit the prawling strangles, there — no longer a social being at all. It is no doubt the effect of the long-continued habit of command; but it cannot be considered amiable.'

    "Diana said nothing: she had a considerable experience and she knew that if men were to be at all tolerable they must be fed..."
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Fortune of War, p. 272

    February 6, 2008