Who’s Your Boss?

You may a ‘boss’, you may know a ‘boss’, or, you could be a ‘boss’ yourself (perhaps you are your own ‘boss’?). But what actually is a ‘boss’?

‘Boss’, meaning ‘supervisor’, ‘overseer’, or ’employer’ was originally American slang but has been used in the UK since early last century. It was originally a Dutch word: baas. Baas meant (and means) ‘master’ although early sources suggest it also refers to ‘uncle’. In the 1620’s, baas was used in American English to refer to the captains of Dutch ships, before going ashore and acquiring its anglicised spelling. It was used as a replacement for ‘master’, which was never popular in the US. When ‘boss’ arrived in the UK it was used in workmen’s slang for humorous effect. ‘Boss’ can also be an adjective meaning ‘great’ (Bruce Springsteen springs to mind!).

‘Boss’, according to the Urban Dictionary is still used today to mean ‘supercool’, ‘awesome’. and ‘to the max’.

Funnily enough, they are three descriptions I have never used to describe any ‘boss’ I worked for……

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