One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A married white or upper-class woman (often used as a respectful form of address by nonwhites).
wife, spouse, brideView synonyms
- ‘Perhaps the jewel in the crown, so to speak, of the Central Business District or ‘The Fort’ is the old colonial Army and Navy Store, built in 1889, when Victorian memsahibs with parasols went shopping with their servants.’
- ‘He would remember himself, and say ‘Salaam, memsahib,’ putting his hands to his forehead, and then take off again, speaking his mixture of Hindi and Tamil, grimacing, gesturing at an invisible audience.’
- ‘Here, willfully ignoring the geography of their location, generations of mandarins and their memsahibs gossiped, took tea and went to the races, as if they were somewhere in Surrey rather than on the borders of Tibet.’
- ‘One of the oldest markets in Bangalore, Russell Market was built around 1927 and its clientele included English memsahibs who were driven in their horse drawn carriages to source their vegetables and meat for their kitchens.’
- ‘For example, case histories often place the etiology of women's madness in a failure to fulfill the social roles of the memsahib, and psychiatrists often found that men went mad when they failed to meet military standards for discipline.’
From mem (representing an Indian pronunciation of ma'am)+ sahib.
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