Printable Version
Pronunciation: yu-krayn Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, proper

Meaning: The name of the Slavic nation between Poland and Russia.

Notes: In the late 1990s the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign affairs initiated a campaign called "Correct UA", a branch of which, called KyivNotKiev, set out to identify Ukraine to the world as a sovereign nation since achieving its independence in 1991. UkraineThe "the" in front of Ukraine implied to the Ukrainian ministry that it was still a territory, so should be removed. The adjective is Ukrainian and it may be used as a noun referring to the indigenous population of Ukraine.

In Play: English had relied on the transliterations of Russian words for Ukrainian cities, like Kiev, Lvov and Kharkov. KyivNotKiev also attempted to change these spellings in the lingua franca to their Ukrainian correlates,: Kyiv, Lviv, and Kharkiv. By 2019 the campaign had succeeded in most if not all its objectives.

Word History: Defiant serfs fleeing the Russian feudal system in the 16th century headed to the outer limits of Muscovy to escape the reach of the grand prince of Moscow. Ukraine came from the Old Russian phrase u kraiyu "at the border, edge". The Muscovite grand prince at that time had little influence in those sparsely populated distant lands. As the number of Cossack bands increased the region assumed the name Ukraina "land at the edge". Krai probably came from a PIE word krei-/kroi- "to cut (off), end", the progeny of which we see in Lithuanian krastas and Latvian krasts "edge, bank, shore", Greek krino "I separate, distinguish", Russian kroit' "to cut (out, off)", Irish and Scottish crioch "end(ing), finale".

Dr. Goodword,

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