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bashi-bazouk

[bash-ee-buh-zook]
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noun
  1. (formerly) one of a class of irregular mounted troops in the Turkish military service.
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Origin of bashi-bazouk

First recorded in 1850–55, bashi-bazouk is from the Turkish word başι-bozuk civilian, irregular, orig., leaderless, not attached (to a regular military unit), literally, (one) whose head (is) broken
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bashi-bazouk

Historical Examples

  • I get twenty doldars for a real odalisk and fifteen for a bashi-bazouk.

    Felix O'Day

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • When we clattered into the cobbled street, we found a solitary Bashi-Bazouk armed with a Winchester repeating rifle.

    Recollections

    David Christie Murray

  • But may I ask what all this means, and why you were hiding behind my curtains as though you were a burglar or a Bashi-Bazouk?

    Molly Bawn

    Margaret Wolfe Hamilton

  • Even a bashi-bazouk must have quailed before that amazing declaration and that patient resignation to fate.

  • As I looked six spearmen started out and spurred full speed at our Bashi-Bazouk, who was some two hundred yards behind us.

    Tent Work in Palestine

    Claude Reignier Conder