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pharaoh (FAR-o) noun, also Pharaoh

1. A title of an ancient Egyptian ruler.

2. A tyrant.

[From Middle English pharao, from Old English, from Latin pharao, from Greek pharao, from Hebrew pharoh, from Egyptian pr-o, from pr (house) + o (great). The designation was for the palace but later used to refer to the king, just as White House can refer to the US President.]

"Throughout most of history, governments -- usually monarchies headed by kings, emperors, pharaohs, and other major or minor tyrants -- actually owned everything under their rule, including, believe it or not, the people. In those regimes the population was considered to be subjects, not citizens. That means that the people were treated as the underlings, subjected to the will of the ruler."
Tibor Machan, The Orange Grove, The Orange County Register, Apr 15, 1999.

This week's theme: eponyms.


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