|Bedouin, by Berthe Worms (1868-1937)|
Noun & adjective. Also Beduin, b-. Late Middle English.
[Old French beduin (modern bédouin) ultimately (through medieval Latin beduini plural)
from Arabic badawi, plural badawin (from badw desert, nomadic desert tribes)]
1. An Arab of the desert. LME
2. A person living a nomadic life; a Gypsy. M19
Of the desert or Bedouins; nomadic, wandering. M19
The Bedouin have long held a deeply romantic mystique in the English-speaking world - a proud and venerable people with flowing robes and penetrating eyes, looking down from atop the long, ponderous gait of loping camels or sitting cross-legged at the mouth of spacious, brightly-coloured tents. Their rootless, wandering lifestyle, with its whispers of freedom and adventure, starkly contrasts our own comfortably static existence with our fixed abodes and nine to fives.