zouaves

Zouave

[zoo-ahv, zwahv]
noun
1.
(sometimes lowercase) one of a former body of infantry in the French army, composed originally of Algerians, distinguished for their dash, hardiness, and picturesque Oriental uniform.
2.
a member of any body of soldiers adopting a similar dress and drill, especially a soldier serving in any of certain volunteer regiments in the American Civil War.

Origin:
1820–30; < French < Arabic zawāwah, probably < Berber igowawen, the name of a Berber group

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World English Dictionary
Zouave (zuːˈɑːv, zwɑːv)
 
n
1.  (formerly) a member of a body of French infantry composed of Algerian recruits noted for their dash, hardiness, and colourful uniforms
2.  a member of any body of soldiers wearing a similar uniform or otherwise modelled on the French Zouaves, esp a volunteer in such a unit of the Union Army in the American Civil War
 
[C19: from French, from Zwāwa, tribal name in Algeria]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

zouave
1848, from Fr., from Arabic Zwawa, from Berber Igawawaen, name of a Kabyle tribe in Algeria, from which the Fr. light infantry troops of that name were originally recruited in 1831.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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