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What is a single word for a ruling representative of a supreme leader who carries out his orders and at the same time has almost complete rule over the portion of the earth in which the supreme leader has placed him?

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In BE it would be husband - but the region of rule is limited to the garden shed. – mgb Sep 9 '11 at 20:13

There are several other possibles, but I like plenipotentiary (if you're describing) and The Great Panjandrum (if you're lampooning) best. Whats the context?

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+1 for plenipotentiary. – ect Sep 9 '11 at 19:39
plenipotentiary is what I would have said – JeffSahol Sep 9 '11 at 20:11
As an aside, user11761, I think you're probably by far the highest-rep user here on ELU who hasn't actually chosen a specific username (unlesss you specially picked that one because of some affinity with 11761). If you change it on your 'info' page, I think that automatically ripples through onto all your posts. The only thing that doesn't change is where other people type it in comments, etc., such as me here. I only mention this because there's probably a tendency to ascribe less 'weight' to posts by userxxxx, since they're usually ephemeral visitors. – FumbleFingers Sep 9 '11 at 21:42
@ FF: Thanks for the tip. No special affinity with any numbers- it was system-generated. – Autoresponder Sep 9 '11 at 22:33
I'm not sure that plenipotentiary is quite right; according to this dictionary it appears to mean someone granted a considerable amount of discretion, rather than one who carries out orders. – Brian Hooper Sep 9 '11 at 22:52

The word used in colonial times was Viceroy.

Nowadays, we use the term Vice-President. But "viceroy" means "vice-king." (Roi is French for king).

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There may be a better position of authority title, but would "proxy" be appropriate?

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Viceroy would be a British example, sometimes used for Governor-General. A Governor or Commisioner might cover a smaller area.

Pasha was an Ottoman equivalent.

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Move a little bit east and one might encounter the grand vizier.

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How about regent?

a person who governs a kingdom in the minority, absence, or disability of the sovereign; a person who rules or reigns

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This doesn't imply that the regent is following the supreme leader's orders, though. This implies that the supreme leader is actually incapable to give orders in the first place. – simchona Sep 9 '11 at 19:39
Hence the second use. Also, "vicarious authority." – ect Sep 9 '11 at 19:40

How about factotum?

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"steward" or "major-domo" come to my mind. However the steward may be mainly meant to manage the ruler's holdings when he/she is absent. A major-domo is entrusted to act in place of his master whethe the master is absent or not -- but the terms could be almost synonymous. In a financial sense, "factor" is an archaic word that may fit your purpose (witness the movie Rob Roy -- quote Montrose: "what have you done with my factor?"

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