We have all met a panjandrum somewhere in our lives. Somebody with some, usually small, official authority who views him or herself as Napoleon marching East.
English has plenty of mocking words for Grand Poobahs of all kinds. "Panjandrum' was made up by Samuel Foote in 1755 for a comic poem where it meant pretty-well nothing or anything.
Later it came in handy to describe the kind of person who loves spouting long, pompous words like 'panjandrum'. Only in English could a word originally meaning nothing later acquire its own grand mantle of meaning. Who says there is no class mobility amongst the English?
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