MEANING: noun: A wealthy and powerful person, especially in business or politics.

ETYMOLOGY: From Japanese taikun (great lord or prince), from Chinese ta (great) + kiun (prince). Earliest documented use: 1857.

NOTES: The word was used as a title for the shogun of Japan. Abraham Lincoln's aides used the word as an affectionate nickname for him. Later the word came to be applied to powerful people in business.

USAGE: "Believe it or not, you can buy a $6,000 shower curtain for your home. But why would you? Former Tyco International tycoon Dennis Kozlowski did. He also spent $2,200 on a wastebasket, nearly $3,000 on coat hangers and nearly $6,000 on sheets. ... 'The prices are not out of line, but they're off the scale when it comes to priorities,' says Bilhuber, whose client list includes ex-AOL Time Warner honcho Robert Pittman, Michael Douglas, David Bowie and his model wife, Iman, and designer Hubert Givenchy."
-- Maria Puente;s Tchotchkes of the Rich and Infamous; USA Today; Sep 27, 2002.


TOYCOON -- an animated Davey Crockett hat from the 1950s

TRYCOON -- hopeful owner of a new startup company, with visions of being the next Steve Jobs