[bah-boo](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
The term babu English refers to florid, overly polite, and unidiomatic English regarded as characteristic of native Indians who have limited proficiency in English.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for babus
Once upon a time the Babus of Nayanjore were famous landholders.The Hungry Stones And Other Stories
Once upon a time the Babus at Nayanjore were famous landholders.Stories from Tagore
But, cried the Oriental in him, Babus do not travel far to retail compliments.
Sahibs cannot distinguish one hillman from another, but Babus have eyes for men—and women.'
The Babus make beautiful accountants, and if we could only see it, a merciful Providence has made the Babu for figures and detail.From Sea to Sea
- (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
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