- (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. 2018
- (in the 19th century) one of a group of irregular Turkish soldiers notorious for their brutality
C19: from Turkish başibozuk irregular soldier, from bas head + bozuk corrupt