What is the etymology of the Russian word приставка?

  • 2
    I think it's pretty obvious, при + ставить. При is a prefix with the meaning of "bringing closer", "attaching" or "toning down", and ставить means that you put, set the object somewhere. Basically, the same as the word "prefix", only from Russian parts.
    – Shady_arc
    Nov 25, 2014 at 21:55
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    Also note, that in addition to original meaning "prefix" since early 90s приставка also means "gaming console" (i.e. something that is attached to TV-set). Although recently this term is getting somewhat obsolete and superseded игровая консоль. So the word приставка in this meaning sounds more natural when used referring to SNES (especially Chinese copies of it more known as Денди in ex-USSR) and Sega Mega-Drive. :D Nov 26, 2014 at 7:48
  • Is a question about grammatic term or about when it first appeared in Russian with any meaning?
    – Artemix
    Nov 26, 2014 at 14:36

1 Answer 1


This word is coined (apparently) by Vostokov in his Русская Грамматика, 1830.

Preceding authors, including Gretsch who published Пространная русская грамматика just three years earlier, in 1827, did not differentiate prefixes and prepositions.

The word itself is a not so good calque from Latin "prefix". A more exact term would have been представка which had been in limited use for some time, but has not settled down. The word приставка already existed in Russian by that time with the meaning "appendage, lace", that's probably why it was chosen.

Other similarly formed terms, like "suffix", "infix" etc., had been just borrowed into Russian rather than calqued.

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