One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In Russia (especially in Siberia): a fortified house or village surrounded by a palisade or wall; a fort; a prison.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. From Russian ostrog from ostryj sharp from the same Indo-European base as Sanskrit aśri corner, aśani tip of a missile, ancient Greek ἄκρος tip, point, and forms in other Indo-European languages.
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