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90s Slang You Should Know


[as-kuh-ree] /ˈæs kə ri/
noun, plural askaris, askari.
a native African police officer or soldier, especially one serving a colonial administration.
Origin of askari
1885-90; < Swahili < Arabic ʿaskarī soldier, equivalent to ʿaskar army (< Persian lashkar; cf. lascar) + suffix of appurtenance Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for askaris
Historical Examples
  • The askaris kept double guard; but at dawn eleven of the porters were missing.

    Sacrifice Stephen French Whitman
  • We had four askaris, one of whom was the noisiest man I have ever heard.

    In Africa John T. McCutcheon
  • Both porters were on a broad grin, laughing and talking in subdued tones to the askaris.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • "Hope they don't wing one another," he remarked of the askaris' volley.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • On the best authority the Germans had 2500 white troops and 4200 askaris at the beginning of the War.

  • His load was missing: evidently one of the askaris had taken it up.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • Some have told me that you are not askaris, that you are common porters--and not good ones--who carry guns.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • Shouldn't we order out our askaris with their guns to make the parade?

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • There is now no need for headmen and askaris to handle this little lot.

    The Land of Footprints Stewart Edward White
  • Accompanied by Simba, Mali-ya-bwana, and three askaris he took the back track.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
British Dictionary definitions for askaris


(in East Africa) a soldier or policeman
Word Origin
C19: from Arabic: soldier
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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