From Proto-Baltic; compare Lithuanian opšrùs, Old Prussian wobsdus. The source may be Proto-Indo-European *op- (“to do, carry out”), from which Latvian regionalism āpēties (“work hard”) (compare Sanskrit अपः (ápaḥ, “work, organizing”), Latin opus (“work, task”)). This name would be justified by the badger's well-made burrows. A parallel case is German Dachs (“badger”) from Proto-Indo-European *tek- (“weave, build”).
āpsis m (2nd declension)
- badger (name of several species of Mustelids, especiallyl Meles meles)
- āpša āda — badger skin
- āpšu alas — badger burrow
- dzīvot kā āpsim alā — to live like a badger in his burrow (= without paying attention to the lives of others)
- ^ “āpsis” in Konstantīns Karulis (1992, 2001), Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca, in 2 vols, Rīga: AVOTS, ISBN: 9984-700-12-7