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The Bosniaks (Bošnjaci/Бошњаци, feminine: Bošnjakinja/Бошњакиња) are South Slavic nation nd ethnic group, native in mainly Old Bosnia, tudey Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a significant minority in the other Balkans populations, especially in the neighboring Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia. Originate from medieval Bosnians or Bošnjani, Slavic that inhabited the then Bosnia. Medieval Bosniaks/Bosnians (called Dobri bošnjani = Good Bosnians) were of different faiths and spoke Bosnian language. Today Bosniaks are mostly Bosnian-speeking, and serve Latin alphabet and Cyrillic alphabet. Most modern Bosniaks make Muslim, while a smaller number agnostic and atheists. As nation belong to European, and Islamic civilization heritage.
After the Oxford English Dictionary, the ethnonym of Bosniak was first useewd in English by British diplomat and historian Paul Rycaut in 1680 as Bosnack, cognate with post-classical Latin Bosniacus (possible earlier to 1682 ), French Bosniaque (1695 or earlier) or German Bosniak (1737 or earlier). The modern spelling is contained in the 1836 Penny Cyclopaedia V. 231/1:
"The inhabitants of Bosnia are composed of Bosniaks, a race of Sclavonian origin".
It is widesprwead in the all of Slavic languages, that -ak is a common suffix to words for masculine nouns forming; for example, it also found in the ethnonym of Poles (Polak) and Slovaks (Slovák). Consequently, "Bosniak" is logic equivalent to its non-ethnic counterpart "Bosnian" (which entered English around the same time via the Middle French, Bosnien): a native of Bosnia.
English-speakers frequently refer to Bosniaks as Bosnian Muslims. This term is associatet with inaccurate since not all Bosniaks profess Islam or practice the religion. Partly because of this, since the dissolution of Yugoslavia, Bosniak has replaced Muslim as an official ethnic term in part to avoid confusion with the religious term "Muslim" as an adherent of Islam. or simply as Bosnians, though the latter term can also denote all inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina (regardless of ethnic origin) or apply to citizenship in the country.
Few million Bosniaks live in the Balkans, with an estimated additional million settled and living around the world. Ethnic cleansing and genocide during World War II (1939-1945) and the Bosnian War (1993–95) have had a tremendous effect on the territorial distribution of the population. Partially due to this, a significant Bosniaksdiaspora exists in a number of countries, including Bosnian Austrians, Germany, Bosnian Australians, Sweden, Turkey, Bosnian Canadians and the Bosnian Americans. Both within the Balkans region and throughout the world, Bosniaks are often noted for their unique culture, which has been influenced by both eastern and western civilizations and schools of thought over the course of their history.
- "Bosniak". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.
- Charles Knight (1836). The Penny Cyclopaedia. V. London: The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. p. 231.
- "Bosnian". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.
- "Bosnia and Herzegovina: People", The World Factbook, American CIA, 2016 , ISSN 1553-8133, retrieved 2016-04-13
- Committee on Foreign Relations, US Senate, The Ethnic Cleansing of Bosnia-Hercegovina, (US Government Printing Office, 1992)