nation in Eastern Europe with a large possession in north Asia, 1530s, from Medieval Latin Russi "the people of Russia," from Rus, the native name of the people and the country (source of Arabic Rus, Medieval Greek Rhos), originally the name of a group of Swedish merchant/warriors who established themselves around Kiev 9c. and founded the original Russian principality; perhaps from Ruotsi, the Finnish name for "Sweden," from Old Norse Roþrslandi, "the land of rowing," old name of Roslagen, where the Finns first encountered the Swedes. This is from Old Norse roðr "steering oar," from Proto-Germanic *rothra- "rudder" (from PIE *rot-ro-, from root *ere- "to row").
Derivation from the IE root for "red," in reference to hair color, is considered less likely. Russian city-states were founded and ruled by Vikings and their descendants. The Russian form of the name, Rossiya, appears to be from Byzantine Greek Rhosia.
Russification is attested from 1842; Russianization by 1891.
"utopian," 1896, from Ruritania, name of an imaginary kingdom in "The Prisoner of Zenda" (1894) by Anthony Hope (1863-1933), who coined it from Latin rus (genitive ruris) "country" (see rural) + Latinate ending -itania (as in Lusitania, Mauritania). Ruritania as a recognizable generic name for an imaginary country lasted into the 1970s.
region in northeastern Germany, late 14c., Prusse (late 13c. as a surname), from Medieval Latin Borussi, Prusi, Latinized forms of the native name of the Lithuanian people who lived in the bend of the Baltic before being conquered 12c. and exterminated by (mostly) German crusaders who replaced them as the inhabitants.
Perhaps from Slavic *Po-Rus "(Land) Near the Rusi" (i.e. Russians; compare Pomerania). The German duchy of Prussia after the 17c. union with the Mark of Brandenberg became the core of the Prussian monarchy and later the chief state in the German Empire. The center of power shifted to Berlin after the union, and the old core of the state came to be known as East Prussia.
masc. proper name, from Old French rousel, diminutive of rous "red," used as a personal name. See russet. Also a name for a fox, in allusion to its color. Compare French rousseau, which, like it, has become a surname. Russell's Paradox, "the set of all sets that do not contain themselves as elements," is named for Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) who is said to have framed it about 1901.
surname attested from c. 1200, Russemere, from place names.
type of terrier (not recognized as a distinct breed), 1907, named for the Rev. John Russell (1795-1883) of Devonshire, "the sporting parson."