1. [mid-17C+] (also bosshead, bossman) the master (or mistress), the manager, the person in charge.
2. [mid-19C+] (US) an exceptional person; often in context of fashion.
3. [mid-19C+] (orig. US, also bossman) a term of address, esp. to a man whose name one does not know.
4. [late 19C+] a ‘criminal mastermind’.
5. [late 19C] (UK tramp) a farmer, thus boss-crib, farmhouse.
6. [1930s] (UK prison) a prison governor.
7. [1950s] a heroin wholesaler.
8. [1950s+] (US prison) a prison warder.
9. [2000s] (US black) female-to-male fellatio [the dominant role of the male as ‘boss’].
10. (US black) a man.
[1960s+] (US black) the senior member of a pimp’s ‘stable’ of whores.
[20C+] (S.Afr.) a black foreman or overseer in charge of subordinate black workers.
[20C+] (US black) a white man, esp. in authority.
1. (Aus.) a farmer who employs labour and still works.
2. (Aus.) a person in authority.
1. (US) an important person or one who poses as such.
2. (US prison) a prison rapist; one who exploits weaker prisoners, esp. sexually.
[1970s] (US black) an important person, usu. in ironic use.
1. [20C+] a female superior.
2. [1910s+] (US, also boss-woman) a wife who dominates her husband.
1. [19C] (US) the overseer, foreman, employer, chief prison guard, anyone in authority; also as a term of address.
2. a farmer.
3. [1960s] a pimp.
4. [1970s+] (US gay) the ‘masculine’ member of a homosexual couple.
see royal n.2
[1980s+] (Aus. prison) a middle-level prison officer.
[1940s–50s] (US prison) the chief officer on a prison farm.