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See also: Prússia


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The flag of Prussia from 1892 to 1918.


From New Latin Prūssia, a Latinization used by Peter of Dusburg of a Baltic (Old Prussian, or perhaps Lithuanian or Latvian) autonym. The Proto-Indo-European source of the name is unclear; more at Prussia. Compare the Proto-Balto-Slavic *prus-sk-[1], whose cognates include Sanskrit प्रुष्णोति (pruṣṇóti, sprinkle)[1], Czech prskat (splutter, sizzle)[1] and Serbo-Croatian prskati (splash)[1], and thus signifying "watery land".

The Middle English designation for the region, Pruce, derives from the same Latinization and is the source of the terms pruce and spruce.


Proper noun[edit]


  1. (chiefly historical) A geographical area on the Baltic coast of northeastern Europe.
  2. (historical) A Baltic country located in this area, conquered by the Teutonic Order and ultimately absorbed into Germany.
  3. (historical) A German province which was originally located in this area but later greatly expanded, and which was the predecessor to and a member of the German Empire; abolished as an administrative unit at the end of the Second World War.

Usage notes[edit]

In the Baltic languages the 'u' is long; it was also long in Middle English, but it has become short in modern English.

Related terms[edit]



  • 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Derksen, Rick (2008) Etymological Dictionary of the Slavic Inherited Lexicon (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 4), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 423