"native or citizen of Russia," 1530s, from Medieval Latin Russianus, from Russia (see Russia). Slang or colloquial or slang Russki, Ruski "Russian" (by 1858) is from Russian Russkiy. Russian roulette attested from 1937. Russian dressing for salads is from 1915. The expression scratch a Russian, find a Tatar, frequent from 1842 and conventional wisdom on the topic, might be from a French original.
updated on July 07, 2022