1570s, "shoulder belt" (for a wallet, etc.), from French bandouiliere (16c.), from Italian bandoliera or Spanish bandolera, from diminutive of banda "a scarf, sash," a Germanic loan-word related to Gothic bandwa (see banner). In some cases, directly from Spanish to English as bandoleer. Meaning "ammunition belt for a musket" is from 1590s; hence bandolero "highwayman, robber" (1832), from Spanish, literally "man who wears a bandoleer."
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