taipan(redirected from Tai-pan)
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1. A powerful businessman in China or Southeast Asia.
2. The head of a British trading company in colonial Hong Kong.
[Cantonese daai6 baan1, eminent businessman, head of a firm, Cantonese, daai6, big, great (from Middle Chinese tɦaj`; also the source of Mandarin dà), Cantonese baan1, class (from Middle Chinese pa⋮n, division, class; see honcho).]
Any of several large brown venomous elapid snakes of the genus Oxyuranus of Australia and New Guinea, especially O. scutellatus.
[Wik-Mungkan (Pama-Nyungan language of northeast Australia) dhay-ban.]
(Animals) a large highly venomous elapid snake, Oxyuranus scutellatus, of NE Australia
[C20: from a native Australian language]
(Commerce) the foreign head of a business in China
[C19: from dialectal form of Chinese tai great + ban company, class]
(in China) the head of a foreign business.
[1825–35; < Chinese (Guangdong dial.) daaih-bāan, akin to Chinese dàbǎn=dà great + bǎn company, class]
a large, highly venomous elapid snake, Oxyuranus scutellatus, of New Guinea and N Australia.
[1930–35; < Wik-Munkan (Australian Aboriginal language), recorded as tay-pan]