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I remember as a child, us children would say "老大"/lǎodà to describe the boss, or final enemy in a video game. If I am guessing correctly, it is probably like comparing a "boss" with a leader of a gang, thus "老大“.

However, nowadays I can't seem to find people that say "老大“ anymore to refer to "boss" of a video game. I just see being used with the english "BOSS" whenever it is mentioned (,such as in lifestreams). (Not sure if this is biased, but I assume this is probably started with trends of inserting English terms in certain situations.)

I am wondering if using “老大" is still acceptable in this case, as fitting the English word "BOSS" just feels off to me.

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    You are fine to use "老大" for the boss, the leader of a group, or the elder of a two men gang.
    – r13
    Aug 24, 2021 at 21:14

2 Answers 2

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“老大” is not often used as the "boss" in video games, but it depends. If there are other smaller enemies around when this "boss" appears, to distinguish between the "boss" and small enemies, “老大”is a proper word.

If "boss" appears alone, it would be wired to call him "老大", because "老大" in real life means your superior or manager. In videogames, the "boss" is not your manager.

The official translation of "final enemy" should be “首领” or “头目”, but between players we just use the English word "boss" nowadays, and there are also older names: “老怪”, “老王“, etc., but these are the names that were used about a decade ago, they are rarely used now.

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    as in world of warcrafts we refer them as 老一, 老二, 老三 ...., 尾王. Aug 25, 2021 at 14:45
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I remember in my childhood we used the word 大老板 (big boss). Not sure if it's still in use among youngsters.

And now I have switched to "大boss".

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    +1 for “大boss”, I hear it almost everywhere nowadays
    – blackgreen
    Aug 25, 2021 at 9:35

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