One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(A) In Persian-speaking areas: a prince. Also used as a title before or, especially in Iran (Persia), after the name of a prince. (b) In Iran (Persia) and India used as an honorific title for an educated man. Hence: a clerk, secretary, or official.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Anthony Jenkinson (1529–?1611), traveller and writer. From Persian mīrzā (also in form mirzā), shortened from amīrzāda from amīr + zāda born, son of.
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