• Glossary
Union (Marriage)
Russian “brak” (marriage, matrimony, wedlock, a union) is derived from Russian “brat’”, or Ukrainian “braty”, (“to take”). The connection between these verbs and the word “brak” becomes obvious when we look at Russian old-fashioned “brat zamuzh” (“to marry a woman” of a man) or dialect “brat’sya” (“to get married”) and Ukrainian “pobratysya” (“to get married”). In turn, “brat’” (“to take”) is related to “borati” — “to fight, to conquer” in the sense of conquering other nations when the winning party “took” wives from the conquered nation and, by doing so, protected them from other conquerors. The union of a man and a woman is connected with the union of forces, or joining forces, which, in the past, meant the union of troops for protection. Perhaps, this explains the two meanings of Old Slavic (and contemporary Ukrainian) “druzhnyna” — “a wife” on the one hand and “an army, a squad, troops” on the other.