|Part of a series on|
|Imperial, royal and noble ranks in West Asia, Central Asia, South Asia and North Africa|
|Emperor: Caliph, King of Kings, Shahanshah, Padishah, Sultan of Sultans, Chakravarti, Chhatrapati, Samrat, Khagan|
|High King: Great King, Sultan, Maharaja, Beg Khan, Amir al-umara, Khagan Bek|
|King: Malik, Emir, Hakim, Sharif, Shah, Shirvanshah, Raja, Khan, Dey|
|Grand Duke: Khedive, Nawab, W?li, Nizam|
|Crown Prince: Shahzada, Mirza, Nawabzada, Yuvraj, Vali Ahd, Prince of the Sa'id, Mir|
Prince / Duke: Emir, Sheikh, Ikhshid, Pasha, Babu Saheb, Sardar, Rajkumar, Sahibzada, Nawab, Nawabzada, Yuvraj, Nizam, Sardar,
Thakur, ?ehzade, Mirza
|Noble Prince : Sahibzada|
|Earl/Count: Mankari, Dewan Bahadur, Rao Bahadur, Rai Bahadur, Khan Bahadur, Beylerbey, Atabeg|
|Viscount: Zamindar, Khan Sahib, Bey, Baig/Begum, Begzada|
|Baron: Lala, Agha, Hazinedar|
|Royal house: Damat|
Nobleman: Zamindar, Mankari, Mirza, Pasha, Bey, Baig,
|Governmental: Lala, Agha, Hazinedar|
Sahib or Saheb (, traditionally ; Perso-Arab, Devanagari?, Gurmukhi?, Bengali?) is a word of Arabic origin meaning "companion". As a loanword, it has passed into several languages, including Persian, Kurdish, Turkish,Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Pashto, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi and Somali. In English, it is especially associated with British rule in India. It can be used as a term of address, either as an official title or an honorific. It is often shortened to saab.
Sahibzada is a princely style or title equivalent to, or referring to a young prince. This derivation using the Persian suffix -zada(h), literally 'born from (or further male/female descendant; compare Shahzada) a Sahib', was also (part of) the formal style for some princes of the blood of Muslim dynasties in the Indian sub-continent, e.g.:
This could be further combined, e.g.:
Sahib means "owner" in Arabic and was commonly used in the Indian Sub-continent as a courteous term in the way that "Mister" (also derived from the word "master") and "Mrs." (derived from the word "mistress") is used in the English language. It is still used today in the Sub-continent just as "Mister" and "Mrs.", and continues to be used today by English language speakers as a polite form of address.
In the British Indian Army, a British officer would address a Viceroy's commissioned officer (i.e., a native Indian officer) as "<rank> sahib" or "<name> sahib". This form of address is still retained in the present-day army of independent India.
The term sahib was applied indiscriminately to any person whether Indian or Non-Indian. This included Europeans who arrived in the Sub-continent as traders in the 16th Century and hence the first mention of the word in European records is in 1673.
Pukka sahib was also a term used to signify genuine and legitimate authority, with pukka meaning "absolutely genuine".
Sahiba is the authentic form of address to be used for a female. Under the British Raj, however, the word used for female members of the establishment was adapted to memsahib, a variation of the English word "ma'am" having been added to the word sahib.
The term sahib (normally pronounced saab) was used on P&O vessels which had Indian and/or Pakistani crew to refer to officers, and in particular senior officers. On P&O Cruises and Princess Cruises vessels the term continued to be used by non-Indian/non-Pakistani junior officers to refer to the senior deck and engine officers for many years, even when no Indian or Pakistani crew featured in the ship's company.
This article contains a list of miscellaneous information. (January 2020)
The term is used exclusively to refer to any white European on the Indian subcontinent, throughout Rudyard Kipling's 1901 novel Kim. Kim is ethnically a 'sahib', but was raised as a low-caste native boy. Most sahibs in the novel are British, but there is also a Russian and a Frenchman.
It is noteworthy that the character referred to had never been in India and had no connection with India.
In Bruce Marshall's The World, the Flesh and Father Smith, the protagonist serves as a military chaplain in the trenches of WWI and gives absolution to soldiers and officers about to go into battle. A major tells him: "God's a bit hard on a chap at times. Still, I am sure God's too much of a Sahib to run a fellow in for ever and ever just because he got messed up with a bit of fluff" (i.e. casual affairs with women).
Later, the same major is mortally wounded. As the priest is about to administer last rites, the major says: "It's all right, Father; I still think God is a Sahib".(Ch.IX-X).
Jim Davis uses the term in a 1983 Garfield comic strip in which Garfield refers to Jon Arbuckle as "sahib" after Jon asks Garfield to retrieve his newspaper, and again in a 1989 strip after Jon asks Garfield to go outside and see if it's still raining.
The term is frequently used throughout the short stories of Robert E. Howard, mostly by Indian or Arabic characters -- e.g. a Sikh manservant addresses the guests of his employer as "sahib" in The Noseless Horror.
This title (pl. mus?hib?n), etymologically the active part. of to associate, or consort (with), means originally companion, associate, friend (the abstract term is mus?habat); not unlike the Hellenistic Greek Philos and the Latin Comes in the Roman empire, it became a title for a favourite (of a Sahib, especially a prince), and such 'personally close' positions as aide-de-camp, in some princely states even a Minister.