E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The homeless street poor are so called. Thus the Times calls the ragged, houseless boys the Bedouins of London. The Bedouins are the nomadic tribes of Arabia (Arabic, bedawin, a dweller in a desert; badw, a desert). (See STREET ARABS.)
These Bedouins of the prairie invariably carry their lodges with them.A. D. Richardson: Beyond the Mississippi, chap. v.