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Meaning & History
Ethnic name for a native or inhabitant of Bohemia (now the western part of the Czech Republic), from Böhmen, German name of Bohemia (Middle High German Böheim, Beheim). This derives its name from the tribal name Baii + heim "homeland"; the Baii were a tribe, probably Celtic, who inhabited the region in the 1st century A.D. and were gradually displaced by Slavic settlers in the period up to the 5th century. The same tribe also gave their name to Bavaria. Bohemia was an independent Slavic kingdom from the 7th century to 1526, when it fell to the Habsburgs. In 1627, it was formally declared a Habsburg Crown Land, and by the Treaty of Versailles it became a province of the newly formed Czechoslovakia in 1919.