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Of or appropriate to high or respectable society. The word, which comes from Hindi pakkā ‘cooked, ripe, substantial’, is used first (in the mid 17th century) of a weight or measure, meaning full, good; in extended usage, this came (in the late 18th century) to mean sure, certain, reliable. The expression pukka sahib came to be used for a person of good family and credentials whose behaviour was beyond reproach.

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