Josh ("little donkey") was a derisive term Iraqi Kurdish nationalists began to use in the 1960s for the Kurdish militia who supported the government of Iraq. The Iraqi government called these auxiliaries Fursan Salah al-Din (Saladin Knights). Many, but not all, josh were the tribal enemies of Mulla Mustafa Barzani. Over the years the term josh also came to be used to refer derisively to any civilian Kurd who supported the Iraqi government. Given their complex vulnerable positions, both Massoud Barzani and Jalal Ta-labani at times were accused by their enemies of being josh.
   By the summer of 1986, there may have been as many as 150,000 to 250,000 josh, poorly organized and equipped to handle mundane activities such as road blocks to free regular troops for the war against Iran. Sometimes these josh would engage in heated battles with Kurdish nationalists, but often the two sides simply had an unwritten understanding to avoid each other. During the Iraqi Kurdish uprising in 1991, most josh deserted the government and supported the rebels, which helps explain how the Kurdish nationalists initially captured so much territory and enemy troops. No organized josh have operated as pro-government militia in Iraqi Kurdistan since the creation of the de facto state of Kurdistan in the early 1990s. The term is still used, however, as an insult among Kurds.

Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. .

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  • josh´er — josh «josh», verb, noun. U.S. Informal. –v.t., v.i. to make good natured fun of; tease playfully; banter: »You re only joshing me (Bret Harte). –n. good natured banter. ╂[American English, perhaps < Josh, nickname for Joshua] –josh´er …   Useful english dictionary

  • josh — (v.) to make fun of, to banter, 1845, American English, probably from the familiar version of the proper name JOSHUA (Cf. Joshua), but just which Joshua, or why, is long forgotten. Perhaps it was taken as a typical name of an old farmer. The word …   Etymology dictionary

  • josh — josh·er; josh·ua; josh; …   English syllables

  • Josh|u|a — «JOSH u uh», noun. 1. the successor of Moses, who led the children of Israel into the Promised Land (in the Bible). 2. a book of the Old Testament. Abbr: Josh …   Useful english dictionary

  • josh — [dʒɔʃ US dʒa:ʃ] v [I and T] old fashioned to talk to someone or laugh at them in a gentle joking way ▪ The guys josh him and call him an egghead …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Josh — /josh/, n. a male given name, form of Joshua. * * * …   Universalium

  • Josh — m English: short form of JOSHUA (SEE Joshua), occasionally used as an independent given name …   First names dictionary

  • josh — [ dʒaʃ ] verb intransitive AMERICAN INFORMAL to make jokes …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • josh — vb *banter, chaff, kid, rag, rib, jolly …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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