One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural dragomans, Plural dragomen
An interpreter or guide, especially in countries speaking Arabic, Turkish, or Persian.
interpreter, transcriber, transliterator, paraphraser, deciphererView synonyms
- ‘He asked, somewhat surprised at seeing someone climbing over the last stone without the help of a dragoman or guide, who usually assisted tourists up the pyramids.’
- ‘In Arabic, this was turjuman and the Turkish dragoman.’
- ‘My only comfort, a black dragoman, tribal scars on his face, until my parents returned from a performance of belly dancers and made the discovery that I had been bitten by an army of fire ants.’
- ‘Street stalls of changers, merchants with money; crates unloading - fish, sugar - by Spaniards and Danes; dragomen emitting unrecognizable tongues: such swirl over Charles in our genre-esque scene.’
- ‘Some other friends, also travelling in Libya this October, reported by fax that they were delighted by their ‘Brilliant dragoman speaking very good English.’’
- ‘They're called upon to seamlessly morph from domestic, to squire, to ingénue, to dragoman, to the overtly freakish.’
- ‘The last of the true dragomen was Maaroun ‘Arab who is said to have ruled Beirut when General Sir Edward Spears was High Commissioner during the Second World War.’
Late Middle English: from obsolete French, from Italian dragomanno, from medieval Greek dragoumanos, from Arabic tarjumān ‘interpreter’.
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