noun: An important or self-important person.
The word is said to have been coined by dramatist and actor Samuel Foote (1720-1777) as part of a nonsensical passage to test the memory of his fellow actor Charles Macklin who claimed to be able to repeat anything after hearing it once. Earliest documented use: 1825, in the novel “Harry and Lucy Concluded” in which the author Maria Edgeworth attributes the word to Foote.
“Another man coming to hear Fry was Graham Turner, the owner, chairman, former manager and grand panjandrum of Hereford United.”
Brian Viner; Unexpected Frictions Follow Ferguson’s Fall; The Independent (London, UK); Nov 14, 2009.
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