One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A cylindrical or conical military hat with a brim and a plume or pom-pom.
- ‘He was a droll sight, with a battered shako and trousers made of old gunny sacks tied up with twine.’
- ‘Because of the prestige of the light horse, items of hussar dress were adopted in emulation by other armies - the infantry shako, standard military headgear of all nations in the nineteenth century, being the prime example.’
- ‘Before games, she had to make sure all the shakos had plumes, help set up or load equipment, and run any other errands, and during the games, she ran flags for me and the other guard members.’
- ‘Jägers wore grey-green rather than field-grey uniforms, and a flat-topped shako rather than a spiked helmet.’
- ‘The man wore a greatcoat that was wet with rain and a dishevelled shako adorned his head.’
Early 19th century: via French from Hungarian csákó (süveg) ‘peaked (cap)’, from csák ‘peak’, from German Zacken ‘spike’.
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