Cossacks - Name

Name

Vassmer's etymological dictionary traces the name to an Old East Slavic козакъ, kozak, originally from Cuman Cosac - a free man, specifically an individual who could not find his appropriate place in society and went into the steppes, where he acknowledged no authority. It is first attested in Codex Cumanicus from the 13th century. The English word is attested from 1590. The ethnonym Kazakh is from the same Turkic root. Such adventurers or Qazaqlar served as border guards in the Khanate of Kazan.

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