One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A member of the Turkish irregular cavalry.
- ‘By his coming, the life of the spahi is saved; but his fear of his old comrades is such that he refuses to accept aid until they have themselves departed another way.’
2A member of the Algerian cavalry in French service.
Mid 16th century: from Turkish sipahi, from Persian sipāhī (see sepoy).
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