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also ba·boo  (bä′bo͞o)
n. pl. ba·bus also ba·boos
1. Used as a Hindi courtesy title for a man, equivalent to Mr.
a. A Hindu clerk who is literate in English.
b. Offensive A South Asian who has acquired some superficial education in English.

[Hindi bābū, father.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(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 and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈbɑ bu)

n. (in S Asia, esp. under British rule)
1. (a term used to refer to a native Indian clerical employee with a knowledge of English.)
2. Usually Disparaging. (a term used to refer to any culturally Anglicized, English-speaking South Asian.)
[1875–80; < Hindi bābū, a title equivalent to Sir or Mr., literally, father]
usage: Definition 2 is usually used with disparaging intent, implying that the English of such persons is florid and unidiomatic.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.babu - used as a Hindi courtesy title; equivalent to English `Mr'
adult male, man - an adult person who is male (as opposed to a woman); "there were two women and six men on the bus"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
There were Babus to whom Lurgan Sahib talked with austerity and authority, but at the end of each interview he gave them money in coined silver and currency notes.
At the end of that time entered a hulking, obese Babu whose stockinged legs shook with fat, and Kim opened on him with a shower of wayside chaff.
'I think,' said the Babu heavily, lighting a cigarette, 'I am of opeenion that it is most extraordinary and effeecient performance.
Good-night, Lurgan.' The Babu swung out with the gait of a bogged cow.
'Then what is the Babu's pay if so much is put upon his head?'
Among these ten I count the Babu, and that is curious.
His companion was the whale-like Babu, who, with a fringed shawl wrapped round his head, and his fat openwork- stockinged left leg tucked under him, shivered and grunted in the morning chill.
If only, like the Babu, he could enjoy the dignity of a letter and a number - and a price upon his head!
And if additional spur were needed, the Babu supplied it.
Said the Babu when he had talked for an hour and a half 'I hope some day to enjoy your offeecial acquaintance.
The new uniform is unimpressive and policemen wearing it look like babus.
But the action was blocked by these babus. Hence NM (Nirav Modi) fled abroad.