\ \ [19] Japanese taikun was a title used for the military commander or shogun of Japan, particularly by his supporters when addressing foreigners, in the attempt to convey the impression that he was more powerful and important than the emperor. For it meant literally ‘great prince, emperor’. It was borrowed from ancient Chinese t’ai kiuən ‘emperor’, a compound formed from t’aigreat’ and kiuən ‘prince’. English acquired it in the 1850s, and it began to be used more generally for a ‘highranking personage’ in the USA soon afterwards.
\ \ The specific application to businessmen seems to have evolved after World War I.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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