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Krajina (pronounced [krâjina]) is a Slavic toponym, meaning 'country' or 'march'. The term is related to kraj or krai, originally meanings land, country or edge[1] and today denoting a region or province, usually remote from urban centers.


The Serbo-Croatian word krajina derives from Proto-Slavic *krajina, derived from *krajь, related to *krojiti 'to cut';[1][2] the original meaning of krajina thus seems to have been 'place at an edge, fringe, borderland', as reflected in the meanings of Church Slavonic краина, kraina.[2]

In Old East Slavic: Ѹкраина/Ꙋкраина, romanized: Oukraina [uˈkrɑjinɑ]) appears in the Hypatian Codex of c. 1425 under the year 1187 in reference to a part of the territory of Kievan Rus',[3] meaning specifically region or land itself rather than borderland.

In most Slavic languages (including the Chakavian and Kajkavian dialects of Serbo-Croatian), the root krajina is found and means country:[2] in Polish (kraj), Slovak (krajina), Czech, Ukrainian (країна, romanised krayina), Belarusian (краіна, romanised kraina) and Sorbian. Though, in Slovenian, this word means land and march. To these languages, the word krajina was derived from Proto-Slavic *krajь, just like in Serbo-Croatian.

The name of Ukraine has a similar linguistic origin (it is a combination of two words УU which means In and країнаkraina which literally means country or land in Ukrainian). And here it goes "Ukraine", in Ukrainian Україна. Compare Deutschland is a combination of two words Deutsch and land.

In some South Slavic languages, including Serbo-Croatian and Slovene, the word krajina or its cognate still refers primarily to a border, fringe, or borderland of a country (sometimes with an established military defense), and secondarily to a region, area, or landscape.[2][4] Krajina is also a surname, mostly among South Slavic language speakers. The word kraj can today mean an end, extremity, region, land or area.

Geographical regions[edit]

Bosnia and Herzegovina[edit]

Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia[edit]






Political regions[edit]

Subdivisions of Austria-Hungary:

Political units formed by rebel Serbs at the beginning of the Croatian War of Independence (1991–95):

Political unit formed by Serbs in the prelude (1991) to the Bosnian War (1992–95):

Where the term Serbian Krajina or Krajina alone is used, it most often refers to the former Republic of Serbian Krajina.

In Russia:

In Slovakia:

In the Czech Republic:

In Ukraine:

  • In Ukrainian, krajina (країна) means 'country, land', while Ukrajina is the country's name. See also: Name of Ukraine.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Rick Derksen (2008), Etymological Dictionary of the Slavic Inherited Lexicon, Brill: Leiden-Boston, page 244
  2. ^ a b c d *krajina in Oleg Trubačóv (ed.) (1974–), Этимологический словарь славянских языков [Etymological dictionary of Slavic languages], Moscow: Nauka, volume 12, pages 87-88
  3. ^ Стлб. 653:8, 663:31-33. // ПСРЛ. — Т. 2. Ипатьевская летопись. — СПб., 1908. — Стлб. 652—673. — Ізборник.
  4. ^ Group of authors (1969). "Кра̏јина". Речник српскохрватскога књижевног језика, vol. 3 (in Serbo-Croatian). Novi Sad/Zagreb: Matica srpska/Matica hrvatska. p. 30.
  5. ^ (in Croatian) Excerpt from the book I. Marinović, B. Šutić, M. Viskić: Baćina: Prošlost Baćine, Udruga Pagania, Ploče, 2005, ISBN 953-95132-0-0
  • Karlo Jurišić, Lepantska pobjeda i makarska Krajina, Adriatica maritima, sv. I, (Lepantska bitka, Udio hrvatskih pomoraca u Lepantskoj bitki 1571. godine), Institut JAZU u Zadru, Zadar, 1974., str. 217., 222., (reference from Morsko prase)