A Connecticut Yankee

In A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain, the main character, a head superintendent from Hartford, Connecticut in the 19th century, finds himself lost in 6th century England. At first the Yankee is sentenced to die, but he manages to use a solar eclipse to his advantage, and is eventually knighted. Having been raised in America, the Yankee believes that the best way to gain the respect of his new people is by taking a leadership position, and as a result the title that he chooses for his knighthood is “Sir Boss.”

Boss – a protuberant part or body, a raised ornamentation, an ornamental projecting block used in architecture; a soft pad used in ceramics and glassmaking; the hub of a propeller; to ornament with bosses, emboss; a person who exercises control or authority; specifically one who directs or supervises workers; a politician who controls votes in a party organization or dictates appointments or legislative measures; excellent, first-rate; to give usually arbitrary orders to; cow, calf. First known use in the 14th century. First known use for the “leader” definition in 1653.