One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Of, relating to, or designating the North American territories which were colonies of the Russian Empire, especially during the 19th cent. In later use chiefly in "Russo-American Company". Now historical and rare.
2Of, belonging to, or involving both Russia (or the former Soviet Union) and the United States of America; of mixed Russian and American origin.
Early 19th century. From Russo- + American. Compare German russisch-amerikanisch, French russo-américain, both earliest in sense 1.
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