See also: tāipán and tai-pan

Contents

EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

Etymology 1Edit

 
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From Cantonese 大班(daai6 baan1, big shot, rich businessman), originally as taepan.[1] Related to tycoon, from Japanese 大君(taikun) – the first half of both comes from the Chinese root (big, great).

Alternative formsEdit

  • taepan (historical)
  • tai-pan(historical)This term "大班 daai6 baan1" first used in early Qing dynasty in China. Foreign company can only trade through a reputable Chinese firm. Hence merchant firm is the "代办 dài bàn (representative)" of the foreign company. "大班 daai6 baan1" is a "Englishman-Cantonese" version of Mandarin.
  • typan (historical)

NounEdit

taipan ‎(plural taipans)

  1. A foreign businessman in China; a tycoon. [from 19th c.]
    • 1922, W. Somerset Maugham, "The Taipan":
      Of course it was very sad, but the taipan could hardly help a smile when he thought how many of these young fellows he had drunk underground.
    • 1977, John Le Carré, The Honourable Schoolboy, Folio Society 2010, p. 438:
      The British taipans stood in one sodden circle with their womenfolk, like bored officers at a garrison get-together.
Usage notesEdit

Relatively narrow usage, and somewhat dated (early/mid 20th century); primarily known outside of China due to use in fiction set in Hong Kong, notably The Taipan (1922) by Somerset Maugham and Tai-Pan (1966) by James Clavell. Even in Hong Kong, the more globally widespread (and distantly related) tycoon is more common today.

Related termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

 
An inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus)
 
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From the name of the Thaypan tribe of Aboriginal people of central Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia.

NounEdit

taipan ‎(plural taipans)

  1. Any venomous elapid snake of the genus Oxyuranus, found in Australia and New Guinea. [from 20th c.]
TranslationsEdit
Derived termsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ J[ohn] A. Simpson and E[dward] S. C. Weiner, editors (1989) The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition, Oxford: Clarendon Press, ISBN 978-0-19-861186-8.

AnagramsEdit


PortugueseEdit

NounEdit

taipan f (plural taipans)

  1. taipan (venomous snake of the genus Oxyuranus)