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90s Slang You Should Know


[bah-boo] /ˈbɑ bu/
noun, plural baboos.


or baboo

[bah-boo] /ˈbɑ bu/ (in India, especially under British rule)
a Hindu title of address equivalent to Sir, Mr., or Esquire.
a Hindu gentleman.
a native Indian clerk who can write English.
Usually Disparaging. any native Indian having only a limited knowledge of English.
Origin of babu
First recorded in 1875-80, babu is from the Hindi word bābū
Usage note
The term babu English refers to florid, overly polite, and unidiomatic English regarded as characteristic of native Indians who have limited proficiency in English. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for baboo
Historical Examples
  • But baboo Dass swore he had seen a beast with his hands on the window.

    The Three Sapphires W. A. Fraser
  • The baboo produced a piece of paper, over which they bent their heads.

    The Burglars' Club Henry A. Hering
  • Realising who his rescuers were, baboo Dass gave way to tears of relief, and in this momentary abstraction framed an alibi.

    The Three Sapphires W. A. Fraser
  • The baboo entered, limp and crestfallen, in charge of two stablemen.

    The Burglars' Club Henry A. Hering
  • Of course baboo went, much to the disgust of Aboo Din, the syce.

    Tales of the Malayan Coast Rounsevelle Wildman
  • I interrupted her; and worse, she took me for a champion of the baboo!

    Carlyon Sahib Gilbert Murray
  • baboo Ram Gopal on principle never wounded her feelings by interfering with her religious belief.

    The Hindoos as they Are Shib Chunder Bose
  • Balwant Singh came back with the baboo when he had delivered this message.

    The Three Sapphires W. A. Fraser
  • We put the best face on the matter, congratulated the baboo with very bad grace, and asked him to get the skin cut up properly.

  • And baboo Dass stopped sobbing while he made this momentous announcement.

    The Three Sapphires W. A. Fraser
British Dictionary definitions for baboo


(in India) a title or form of address more or less equivalent to Mr, placed before a person's full name or after his first name
Word Origin
Hindi, literally: father
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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