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Not to be confused with the French name Arnaud.

Arnaut (Ottoman Turkish: آرناﺌود) is a Turkish term used to denote Albanians.[1] In modern Turkish the term is used as Arnavut (pl. Arnavutlar).

Ottoman mercenary formations were also called Arnauts, though this was a generic name, as the mercenaries were composed of Greeks, Albanians, Bulgarians and Serbs, who served as bodyguards.[2] In the Danubian Principalities, it was also used to denote various mercenary units.[3]

In Serbo-Croatian usage, the word Arnaut(in) was also used as a pejorative, meaning "evil", "malicious" and "murderous", used as a nickname[4] - for instance, one Serbian family got the surname Arnautović from an ancestor who was a murderer and was nicknamed "Arnautin".[5]

In Ukraine, Albanians who lived in Budzhak and later also settled in the Azov Littoral of Zaporizhia Oblast are also known as Arnauts.[6] The city of Odessa has two streets Great Arnaut Street and Little Arnaut Street.[6]

Surnames derived from the word[edit]

  • al-Arnaut Arabic: ارناؤوطي, ارناؤوط, ارناوطي
  • Arnautović and Arnautić (Serbo-Croatian)
  • Arnaoutis (Greek)
  • Arnautov or Arnaudov (Bulgarian)
  • Arnăutu (Romanian).


  1. ^ Arnaut at the Free Dictionary
  2. ^ Gordon Thomas, History of the Greek revolution, 1844, London & Edinburgh, 2nd edition, volume 1, page 95.
    "Included under the generic name of Arnauts, it was recruited from Roumeliote Greeks, Albanians, Bulgarians and Servians, who acted as body-guards to the princes, the great functionaries, and even the simple Boyards."
  3. ^ Alan W. Fisher, The Russian Annexation of the Crimea 1772-1783, Cambridge University Press, I970, pp. 94, 95.
  4. ^ Glasnik Srbskog učenog društva. 1878. p. 347. зову Арнаут, Арнаутка, па од тог назива доцније им потомци прозову се Арнаутовићи. [...] Арнаучићи зли, пакосни и убојити. 
  5. ^ Srpska Kraljevska Akademija Umetnosti (1903). Srpski etnografski zbornik 5. Srpska Kraljevska Akademija Umetnosti. p. 1022. Арнаутовићи су добили то презиме ио томе, што је један од њихових предака био убојица, те га прозвали Арнаутин, а отуда и презиме Арнаутовићи 
  6. ^ a b Seven ethnographical miracles of Ukraine. Ukrayinska Pravda. May 13, 2014