A new recruit; applied originally in derision, to young soldiers sent from Spain to Italy, who landed both ill-accoutred and in want of everything (Ital. besogni, from bisogno, need; French besoin).
“Base and pilfering besognios and marauders.” —Sir W. Scott: Monastery, xvi.
“Great men oft die by vile bezonians.”
Shakespeare: 2 Henry VI., act iv. 1.
“Under which king, Bezonian? Speak or die” (2 Hen. IV., act v. 3). Choose your leader or take the consequences—Cæsar or Pompey? “Speak or die.”
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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