bāls

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See also: BALs and bals

Latvian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Originally a parallel form to an older adjective *bals (which disappeared probably because of homophony with balss “voice,” but left related terms like the verbs balot, balēt “to bleach, to fade,” balināt “to whiten, to blanch”), from the same source as the adjective balts (white) (q.v.). Note that the long/short parallel forms apparently reflect an older state of affairs: alongside Proto-Indo-European *bʰel- (shiny, white), the source of *bals and balts, there was also *bʰa- (< *bʰeh₂-), from which Proto-Baltic *bāl- and Latvian bāls. The original meaning was probably wider (closer to “white”), but the co-existence with balts restricted it to its current range.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

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Adjective[edit]

bāls (def. bālais, comp. bālāks, sup. visbālākais; adv. bāli)

  1. (of people) pale (with lighter, whiter color on the face or skin than normal; without redness; also, implicitly, unhealthy)
    slimniekam ir bāla seja — the patient has a pale face
    bāls kā audekls, krīts, drēbe, līķis, nāvepale like a canvas, chalk, cloth, a corpse, death (= very pale)
    bērns auga, bija bāls kā pagrabā uzdīdzis stāds — the boy grew, he was pale as a plant grown in the basement
    spoguli paskatījies, viņš vairs nepazina sevi: bāls, kā no slimības gultas piecēlies cilvēks iekritušām acīm raudzījās viņam pretim... tā cilvēka vaigos vairs nebija sārtuma — looking at the mirror, he could not recognize himself anymore: a person pale as one who stood up from a sick bed, with hollow eyes, looked at him... on that person's cheeks there was no redness
  2. pale, light (not having brightness, not having bright colors)
    bāli pelēki mākoņipale gray clouds
    kombinēt spilgtas un bālas krāsas — to combine bright and pale colors
    mazas puķītes ar bāliem ziediem — small plants with pale flowers
    aiz loga stāv bālā miglas siena — standing outside the window was the pale wall of fog
  3. pale, dim, dull, faint (without brightness)
    bāls mēness — the pale moon
    platā, zemā maizes krāsnī vēl gailējas bālas aizkura ogles — in the wide, low bread oven some pale (= faint) kindling coal
    mākoņu spraugās šur un tur iemirgojās bālas zvaigznes — in the cracks in the clouds here and there (a few) pale (= faint) stars shone
  4. (usually of works of art) weak, poor, not interesting (without bright, interesting features)
    loma ir neizstrādāta, bāla — the role is undeveloped, pale (= weak)
    bālas un nenozīmīgas romāna nodaļaspale (= weak) and insignificant novel chapters
    pirmajās izrādēs vēl ir bālas un sasteigtas vietas — in the first performances there still are pale (= weak) and premature places (= parts)
    dzejolis ir bāls un nekā jauna lasītājam nedod — the verse is pale (= weak) and gives nothing new to the reader

Declension[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ “bāls” in Konstantīns Karulis (1992, 2001), Latviešu Etimoloģijas Vārdnīca, in 2 vols, Rīga: AVOTS, ISBN: 9984-700-12-7