One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A native or inhabitant of Mingrelia; specifically a speaker of the Mingrelian language.
2The South Caucasian language of the Mingrelian people.
Of or relating to Mingrelia, its people, or their language.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Samuel Purchas (bap. 1577, d. 1626), geographical editor and compiler and Church of England clergyman. From post-classical Latin Mengrelia, name of an area of the (north-)western Transcaucasus and Black Sea coast around Zugdidi, incorporated within, but often misleadingly equated with, the ancient kingdom of Colchis + -an. Compare Russian mingrel, mingrelec (nouns) person from Mingrelia, mingrel′skij (adjective) Mingrelian; also in forms megrel, megrelec, nouns and megrel′skij, adjective.
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