Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Originally used to refer to the crews of 17th and 18th century ships, which contained men of many different nationalities
- 1830 John Carne - Recollections of Travels in the East: Forming a Continuation of the Letters from the East
- Away they marched from the rocky region and miserable village where they were posted, a motley crew of Christians and Infidels, Catholics, Greeks, and adorers of the Prophet, all mingled together, to go and attack the holy city . . .