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Why is it called Ukraine?

Capital of Ukraine

Why is it called Ukraine?

Every country around the world has an unique episode about the etymology of its country name. What is the word of origin of the country name, Ukraine?

What does Ukraine Mean? Etymology of Ukraine explained.

How did Ukraine get its name? According to the Constitution of Ukraine, the supreme law of Ukraine, the country’s official name is “Україна”. The official English spelling is “Ukraine” while “the Ukraine” is also used unofficially.

The origin of the word “Ukraine” is the medieval Ruthenian words “Ukraina (ѹкраина)” and “Vokraina (вкраина),” meaning “Inland,” or “Homeland”

The most basic of the Ukraina/Vokraina-related old words, the one-syllable word “Krai (край),” which is still used today, has multiple meanings including “region,” “corner,” “border,” and “edge”.

The Ukrainian noun “Kraina (країна),” derived from the old word which has a meaning of “country.”

In Ukrainian, “U (у-)” and “V (в-)” are prepositions meaning “within” or “in” so “Ukraine” and “Vukhraina” mean “inside the boundary” or “inner land”.

Some speculate that it is based on the early modern Polish word “Okraina (okrajna)” meaning “remote area” and the Russian word Okraina (окраина)”, which means “remote place”.

Russian word “Okraina (окраина),” derived from “Krai,” means “place,” “frontier,” or “outskirts. In Russian, “O (о-)” and “U (у-)” are prepositions meaning “on the side of” or “at the edge of,” so Russian speakers tend to interpret “Ukraine” as “frontier”.

What does Ukraine mean? It means “homeland” or “inland” with the connotation of “inside the boundary”.

Why is Ukraine called “the Ukraine”?

Some people wonder why Ukraine is sometimes called “the Ukraine” with the definite article.

Russians put “the” to Ukraine and especially the country was called “The Ukraine” in Russian in the days of Soviet Union with the connotation that it is a territorial part of Soviet Union. Since Ukraine is an independent state, adding “the” is not proper and it can be offensive.

Ukrainian flag over the sunflower field

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