Word Origin & History

"gang member, young ruffian," a transliteration of the Rus. word for "friend," introduced by Eng. novelist Anthony Burgess in "A Clockwork Orange" (1962). The Rus. word comes from O.C.S. drugu "companion, friend, other" (cf. Boh. drug "companion," Serbo-Cr. drugi "other"), which belongs to a group of
related IE words (cf. Lith. draugas "friend, traveling companion;" Goth. driugan "do military service," ga-drauhts "soldier;" O.N. drott, O.E. dryht, O.H.G. truht "multitude, people, army") whose original sense seems to be "companion."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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