Date: Sun, 27 Oct 1996 14:37:40 -0500
From: "Barry A. Popik" Bapopik[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM
Subject: "The Boss"; other stuff
George Steinbrenner, like Bruce Springsteen, is THE BOSS.
This is from The Brooklyn Daily Times, 3 May 1856, pg. 2, col. 2:
THE AMERICAN IDIOM
...The long sound of "i" in "genuine," "engine," &c., and the shortening
of the same sound in the middle syllable of the word "inquiry," do not escape
remark. So with the indiscriminate use of "fix," "guess," "calculate," &c.
To the infusion of Dutch blood in the locality of New York is attributed the
words "stoop" and "boss," the latter being derived from the Batavian _baas_,
a master workman. ...
And this is from the San Francisco Bulletin, 24 May 1906, pg. 6, col. 5:
WHAT "BOSS" MEANS.
A South African correspondent of the London Spectator, Ernest H. S.
Schwartz, of the Rhodes University College, figures out that the word "boss"
may mean Vulcan, the blacksmith god of mythology.
The Egyptians called Vulcan "Obas," as indeed Cicero mentions. To this
day the Hottentot addresses his Boer employer as "ou baas," and the oldest
son as "ou baas." But "ou baas" is a term of respect generally.
Says Mr. Schwartz: "I have so frequently come across classical customs
among the natives of South Africa that to me the connection does not seem
improbable. I have seen the wailing for the dead Adonis among the Basutos
performed as ceremoniously as among the ancient Greeks, while some of the
folklore tales of this nation, given by Cassalis, can be paralleled, incident
for incident, with some of the Greek tales, which in many instances were
borrowed from the Egyptians. I should explain that I am thinking of the god
Obas (Vulcan) not as the blacksmith of later mythology, but as the very
essence of supreme being