One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Each of a pair of mounted constables acting as an official at a bullfight.
- ‘From this body the petty local officials were chosen; namely, the Gobernadorcillo, or ‘Petty Governor,’ and his lieutenants, the alguaciles, or constables, and other minor officers.’
- ‘The Spanish Constitution of 1812 and the subsequent independence of Mexico, which transformed many colonial institutions, did not substantively alter the alguacil's position.’
- ‘It stated that if a commissioner disappeared the alguacil would he held responsible.’
- ‘While the purpose of this measure was to eliminate the alguaciles, it proved impossible to do so, and they continued to exist alongside the marine guards.’
- ‘My policemen are the wolves, my alguaciles [runners] are the coyotes.’
Spanish, from Arabic al-wazīr ‘the helper, aide, or vizier’.
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