Italian policeman, 1660s, from Italian, "police officer" (plural sbirri), from Late Latin birrus "red," from Greek pyrros "red," literally "fire-colored," from pyr "fire" (see fire (n.)). With unoriginal prefix (cf. Spanish esbirro). Probably so called from the original color of the uniform.
The sbirro fell on his knees, but the officer was inexorable, and he was sent to prison.
But what manner of companion would this sbirro make in times of peace?
Having issued these orders, the lieutenant, followed by the sbirro whom he had chosen to accompany him, hastened to the mansion.
Signor Wagner, a wealthy German, was the reply given by a sbirro.
A sbirro, or officer of justice, stood near him, whether by chance or otherwise we know not.
It is decidedly blood, whispered the sbirro to one of his companions.
The sbirro at once stepped towards the group, which consisted of two persons.
The sbirro darting forward, pistol in hand, ordered them to stand.
He stopped, and saw a man in dusty and shabby black clothes, whom he took for a sbirro.
As the sbirro had himself been a lazzarone, he saw at once the trick that had been played him.