One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A Hindu (especially Rajput) prince or raja; specifically a member of the family of Rajput origin which effectively ruled Nepal from 1846 to 1951. Also used as a title. Now historical.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Henry Lord (b. 1563), clergyman and ethnographer. Partly from Marathi rāṇā and Rajasthani rāṇā, the title of a king or prince among Rajputs, and partly (in later use) from Hindi rānā and Nepali rānā, all ultimately from Sanskrit rājn-, oblique stem of rājan.
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