One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In Ottoman-ruled Greece: a member of an armed militia composed of Greek mercenaries, serving from the 15th cent. until Greek independence in the 1830s as a form of police force.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Bury & Norwich Post. From modern Greek αρματολός, variant of αρματόλογος person who is concerned or involved with weapons (from άρματα, plural (by analogy with neuter nouns in -μα) of άρμα weapon + -λόγος: see -loger)); compare -o-.
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