One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A mock title used to refer to a self-important man, especially one in authority.‘his nibs expects things to be organized to suit him’
- ‘With my resolve well and truly replenished, it was time to start work on his nibs.’
- ‘Let me take you through the smoked glass door, and walk past the receptionist as she says, ‘If y'want 'im, his nibs is in a meeting.’’
- ‘If his nibs happens to be a regular patron, increase the aforementioned bowing and scraping a hundredfold.’
- ‘You know, news summaries scrawled with demands to have the Revenue set on reporters who said rude things about his nibs, enemies under the beds and loading up on lawyers.’
- ‘We were having fun till his nibs walked in and told us to be quiet.’
Early 19th century: of unknown origin; compare with earlier nabs, used similarly with a possessive adjective as in his nabs, on the pattern of references to the aristocracy such as his lordship.
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