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region between France and Germany (disputed by them 18c.-19c.), Medieval Latin Alsatia, from Old High German *Ali-sazzo "inhabitant of the other (bank of the Rhine)," from Proto-Germanic *alja "other" + Old High German -sazzo "inhabitant," literally "one who sits." Alsatian was adopted 1917 by the Kennel Club for "German Shepherd dog" to avoid the wartime associations of German; the breed has no connection with Alsace.
region of France encompassing the northeastern departements of Haut-Rhin ("Upper Rhine") and Bas-Rhin ("Lower Rhine") and roughly coextensive with the historical region of Alsace. It is bounded by the regions of Lorraine to the west and Franche-Comte to the southwest. Switzerland lies to the south and Germany borders it to the east and north. The capital is Strasbourg. Area 3,197 square miles (8,280 square km). Pop. (1999) 1,734,145.