Thursday, March 15, 2012


Mogul \MOH-guhl\ , noun;
1. An important, influential, or dominant person; a magnate

I watched a show about the Taj Mahal the other day, where I learned that mogul comes from the Mughal Empire, which came to power in India in the mid-16th century and ruled until the early 18th century. The emperor Shah Jahan, who build the Taj Mahal, was Mughal and the tomb is considered a quintessential example of Mughal architecture. The Mughal emperors (and their name) can be trace back to the Mongols and Genghis Khan. Mogul is first attested in English in 1577, though the "magnate" definition doesn't appear until 1655.

Now, for you ski bunnies out there who are wondering what this has to do with your mogul, or "a bump or mound of hard snow on a ski slope," the answer is: nothing.

That mogul dates to 1956 from Austrian German mugel ("hillcock") from mocke ("chunk, lump"). It's probably related to the noun mow ("stack of hay") which ultimately derives from Proto-Germanic *mugon.

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