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The word however comes from latin Caesar, after this name became a synonym for commander, leader.
It is supposed that it reached russian language through gothic kaisar, which would have produced in german the quite similar '''kaiser''' (another name for a Russian king, also may ba a branch of the Russian Royal family)and in russian the contracted form k'sar, later turned into a smoother, yet still similar pronunciation. It has to be remembered that latin classical pronunciation [1] for caesar is not similar to the english one, being letter C read as K (as in kid) [2], so it sounded like "kai-sahr".

The root itself could be not originally latin: on Rosetta stone there is a hieroglyphic cartouche that has been transcripted as k-e-s-r-s and supposed as related to the latin sense. More interesting, it has been said that latin caesar could be a derivation of persian Kasrá=Chosroës and its plural form Akásirah (the title of four great dynasties of Persian Kings), through Ahasuerus or Khusrau (Cyrus the Great); eventual relationships with kisri and kasra have been seen as less meaningful, also because mostly referred to later times (Sassanides). Another hypothesis of possible derivation from Xerses (grandson of Cyrus the Great) has been advanced, but with more doubts.

Most of this relates to "Caesar" rather than the word in the title, while I don't think any of it works for czar/tsar: for one thing, there's no uniform pattern of descent of pronunciation of Latin consonants (cf. English, French, Italian forms, which to my ear have more similarity with tsar than kaiser); for another, I don't see why Bulgarians should have taken their cue from Goths or Germans when adopting the term 650 years before Ivan IV.

You seem to be implying throughout that "czar" is somehow the earlier form, when I know of no evidence of any language adopting that form prior to the cyrillic form commonly rendered nowadays as "tsar", still less pronouncing it "ksar/kzar" (which again makes no sense in any language I know). All I ask is supporting evidence. Speculation is fine, but it shouldn't be the main content of an article.

To my mind, if there's one thing that links Rome, Bulgaria, Serbia and Russia it must surely be Byzantium: can anyone shed light on the evolution of the term through Greek? User:David Parker

At least holds the same opinion as the original author above. See

My german encyclopedia Das moderne Lexikon also begins its article on Kaiser as well as Zar with: von lat.: Caesar.

This is no proof, but strong indication, that the above theories are at least in wide use. JeLuF

You're missing the point, JeLuF: there's no dispute that Kaiser and tsar derive from Caesar or that czar is an attempt to render the same word as tsar. The issue is, where does czar come from, and does it have any claim to legitimacy as a transliteration of the cyrillic form otherwise rendered (correctly, in my view) as tsar.

There's no evidence in what you've cited to support or to refute either view above. I think you're falling into the same trap as the earlier contributor of assuming (because it has a "c", and a "z" whose usual English pronunciation sounds - we assume - like the "s" in Caesar) that the word derives from the same original source as tsar when there's nothing to suggest it's any more than a poor rendition of the latter (which is how it's pronounced, not "kzar").

My point remains that "czar" represents no valid transliteration of the cyrillic form of tsar in any language I know of. I'd originally suggested it was from the Polish, but a contributor pointed out quite correctly that it doesn't work in Polish either: my suspicion remains that it's just an obsolete English rendition predating consistent transliteration (perhaps indeed inspired by the Polish car, with the "z" added to differentiate it from English "car" (pron kar). User:David Parker

Whether or not "czar" is a correct transliteration or not, it IS the most used form in English; the dictionary redirects you to it from "tsar", and a Google search on 'English' language pages gives twice as much hits for "czar". Therefore, per Wikipedia:Naming conventions, we should put the article from tsar at czar and redirect tsar to it. Wikipedia should not try to change the dictionary. I will make the change if there are no objections. Jeronimo 00:10 Jul 30, 2002 (PDT)

I don't know -- My personal experience is the Czar is used more often. I did a Google search on this only looking at English language webpages and this is what I found:

1) tzar+Russia got 4,580 results

2) tsar+Russia got 60,400 results

3) czar+Russia got 51,400 results

Take this info or leave it, but I vote for Czar (which appears to be the most widely used). --mav

Maybe I was unclear, but that was exactly my point... Czar is the place were everything should be. Jeronimo

Hey idiots, Czar is WRONG, open open a book it is TSAR. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:984:8100:130:3CBB:A3E5:675D:54C3 (talk) 01:30, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

-- what dictionary redirects from Tsar to Czar?

I vote change it to Tsar. It is the more accurate transliteration, and is the preferred form in British English. Czar may be the preferred form in American English, and that is probably why Google shows it as more common (the Internet is rather US-centric); but where there is this kind of British/English spelling difference of a foreign word, and one spelling is closer to the original language, we should use the spelling closer to the original (be that spelling British or American). -- Anonymoues

I vote for Tsar, if only because I speak Russian and find Czar to be an annoying source of mispronunciation. -Smack 18:12, 4 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Tsar which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 14:29, 31 March 2017 (UTC)