from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A measure of capacity mentioned in rabbinical writings, equal to about one sixth of a United States pint.
  • n. A current coin of Benadir, equivalent to one fourth of an anna, or about half a cent.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • In the wilder tribes of Dukaghini no general besa is given for Church festivals, and those who come – unless protected by a private besa and in company with one or more of the tribe visited – do so at their own peril.

    High Albania

  • A delegate came over from Shala to debate this nice point, and asked pertinently, Are you in besa with Krasnich?

    High Albania

  • Nikaj, when charged with the crime, was as furious as Shala, for even among the very wildest tribes the besa is held inviolable, and the Nikaj man, by breaking his, had put himself beyond the pale.

    High Albania

  • Many still live at least in part by the Kanun, a code handed down through the centuries in which "besa" - loosely translated as word of honor or sacred promise - is paramount.

  • All of them were motivated by an Albanian code of honor called "besa," a concept that can be translated into "keeping the promise," Gershman says.

    Righteous Among the Nations: Muslims Who Saved Jews from Holocaust

  • Religion has nothing to do with this but the strong tradition of hospitality called "besa". ALBANIAN LITERATURE.

  • Pouniša enjoys the fullest confidence of the border tribes because he has never been known to break his word; they are very conscious that even their vaunted "besa" is not nowadays observed as it was, say fifty years ago, for the Austrian and Italian propaganda schools have had an unfortunate effect.

    The Birth of Yugoslavia, Volume 2

  • It took all the eloquence of the Abbot to talk them over, and only after long deliberations did they consent to swear a "besa" (peace oath) till Ash Wednesday, 1909, stipulating at the same time for the retention of their old privileges and their old laws.

    Twenty Years Of Balkan Tangle

  • He and his party were unduly nervous, for when an Albanian has given his "besa" (peace oath) he keeps it.

    Twenty Years Of Balkan Tangle

  • I wonder if he goes by the nickname “Chupa mi” or “besa mi”?

    Think Progress » GOP congressional candidates say Obama and his voters are the biggest threats to national security.


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