(formerly) one of a class of irregular mounted troops in the Turkish military service.
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. 2019
(in the 19th century) one of a group of irregular Turkish soldiers notorious for their brutality
Word Origin for bashibazouk
C19: from Turkish başibozuk irregular soldier, from bas head + bozuk corrupt
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