Zagreb (b/ ZAH-greb, Croatian pronunciation: [zǎːɡreb] (listen)) is the capital and the largest city of Croatia. It is located in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb lies at an elevation of approximately 122 m (400 ft) above sea level. The estimated population of the city in 2018 is 809,932. The population of Zagreb urban agglomeration is slightly above 1.1 million inhabitants and it makes approximately a quarter of a total population of Croatia.
The etymology of the name Zagreb is unclear. It was used of the united city only from 1852, but it had been in use as the name of the Zagreb Diocese since the 12th century, and was increasingly used of the city in the 17th century.
The name is first recorded in a charter by Ostrogon archbishop Felician, dated 1134, mentioned as Zagrabiensem episcopatum.
The older form of the name is Zagrab. The modern Croatian form Zagreb is first recorded in a 1689 map by Nicolas Sanson.
An even older form is reflected in Hungarian Zabrag (recorded from c. 1200 and in use until the 18th century).
For this, Desy (1990) proposes the etymology of Chabrag, a well-attested hypocorism of the name Cyprian. The same form is reflected in a number of Hungarian toponyms, such as Csepreg.
The name might be derived from Proto-Slavic word *grębъ which means hill, uplift. And Old Croatian reconstructed name *Zagrębъ is manifested through the German name of the city Agram.
In Croatian folk etymology, the name of the city has been derived from either the verb za-grab-, meaning "to scoop" or "to dig". One folk legend illustrating this derivation
ties the name to a drought of the early 14th century, during which Augustin Kažotić (c. 1260–1323) is said to have dug a well which miraculously produced water.
In another legend, a city governor is thirsty and orders a girl named Manda to "scoop" water from Manduševac well (nowadays a fountain in Ban Jelačić Square), using the imperative: zagrabi, Mando! ("Scoop, Manda!").