1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hospodar

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HOSPODAR, a term of Slavonic origin, meaning "lord" (Russ. gospodar). It is a derivative of gospod, "lord," and is akin to gosudar, which primarily means "sovereign," and is now also used in Russia as a polite form of address, equivalent to "sir." The pronunciation as hospodar of a word written gospodar in all but one of the Slavonic languages which retain the Cyrillic alphabet is not, as is sometimes alleged, due to the influence of Little Russian, but to that of Church Slavonic. In both of these g is frequently pronounced h. In Little Russian the title hospodar is specially applied to the master of a house or the head of a family. The rulers of Walachia and Moldavia were styled hospodars from the 15th century to 1866. At the end of this period, as the title had been held by many vassals of Turkey, its retention was considered inconsistent with the growth of Rumanian independence. It was therefore discarded in favor of domn (dominus, "lord"), which continued to be the official princely title up to the proclamation of a Rumanian kingdom in 1881.