One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of, relating to, or designating an originally nomadic people now mainly inhabiting the Stavropol district of the northern Caucasus, Daghestan, Chechen-Ingushetia, and Karachay-Cherkessia, or their language.
1A member of the Nogai people.
2The Western Turkic language of the Nogai people.
Late 16th century. From Nogai nogai (also as noghai), self-designation from the name of Nogai (also as Noghai), 13th-cent. leader of this people who established the Nogai Horde as an offshoot of the Golden Horde, ultimately from Mongolian noqai dog, referring to the people's totem. Compare Russian † nagai, † nagajcy, plural nouns, nogai, nogajcy, plural nouns, † nagajskij, adjective, nogajskij, adjective. Compare earlier Nogaian [adjective].
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